On March 12, 1917, the Russian Duma carried through a coup d’état, as a result of which the Emperor Nicholas II abdicated. A Provisional Government under Prince George Lvotf was set up which held office until May 16. 1917, when it was reorganised. On August 6, 1917, a new Cabinet under M. Alexander Kerensky was formed. This too was reorganized on October 8, 1917, and maintained itself until November 7, 1917, when the Military Revolutionary Committee seized the government authority, and handed it over the next day to the All-Russian Congress of the Councils of Workmen’s, Soldiers’, and Peasants’ Deputies. On November 10, 1917, the following manifesto was issued: — “The All-Russian Congress of the Councils of Workmen’s, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies decrees the form of the administration of the country pending the meeting of the Constituent Assembly. The Provisional Workers’ and Peasants’ Governments is to be called the Council of People’s Commissioners. The administration of the individual branches of State life is to be entrusted to Boards, the composition of which is to secure the carrying out of the programme proclaimed by the Congress in close contact with the organisations of workers, sailors, soldiers, peasants, and employees. The Government authority belongs to the Board and chairmen of these Commissioners, that is to the People’s Commissioners, and the right of Systemising them belongs to the All-Russian Congress of the Council of Workmen’s, Peasants’, and Soldiers’ delegates, and its Central Executive Committee.”
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