Biography of Alexander Feodorovich Kerenski (1881-1970)

Russian Socialist politician, born in Simbirsk (present Ulyanovsk) on May 4, 1881 and died in New York (United States) on June 11, 1970. Prominent leader of the moderate socialism, after the fall of the Tsarist monarchy was Minister of Justice and of the war of the provisional Government headed by Prince Lvoff. In June 1917 he/she was appointed head of Government, who served until the triumph of the Bolshevik revolution in November of that year.

He studied law at the University of St. Petersburg. During his student years he/she joined the Narodniki Revolutionary Socialist Movement. 1905 adhered in secret to the Revolutionary Socialist Party, which operated in secrecy, while publicly, it was part of the Toil, a legal moderate, liberal trend of party group and developed a brilliant career as a lawyer, gaining fame for his defense of leaders Socialists. In 1912 he/she was elected member of the Duma (the Russian Parliament set up after the revolution of 1905), as a representative of the labour group Trudoviki Volsk (Saratov) District. During the following years he/she consolidated his political career and became one of the leading figures of the Russian moderate socialism, thanks to your brilliant speeches before the Duma.

Unlike the radical Socialists, Kerensky supported the participation of Russia in the first world war. However, he/she was soon disappointed by the war policy pursued by the Tsarist regime, and at the outbreak of the revolution in February 1917, wholeheartedly supported the dissolution of the monarchy. He/She was appointed under-Secretary of the Soviet of workers and soldiers in Petrograd and Justice Minister of the interim Government appointed by the Duma and chaired by Prince Lvoff. As the only political leader who participated simultaneously in both organisms, Kerensky dealt with mediate in growing conflicts that arose between these parallel powers. As Minister of justice he/she promulgated basic civil rights (freedom of expression, Association, press, meeting, religion, universal suffrage and equal rights for women) and achieved an enormous popularity in the revolutionary media.

In May 1917, after a series of riots against the military measures taken by the Government that led to the fall of several Ministers, Kerensky was appointed Minister of war and Navy. In a last-ditch effort to stop the advance of the invading German army, Kerensky designed a major offensive and toured the street, haranguing the demoralized troops that defend the homeland and the revolution. But the fall of tsarism disposal had the hierarchical structure of the Russian army, many of whose officers refused to acknowledge the authority of the Republican government, while soldiers defecting en masse to join to the soviets or return to their homes. Discipline collapsed completely and the so-called Kerensky offensive, launched in June 1917, was a resounding failure that ended with any expectation of remaking the Russian war effort.

Shortly after this failure the Government faced a frustrated rebellion of soldiers and sailors that caused a new ministerial crisis. Kerensky was then called happen Lvoff, head of the Government, due to its broad popular support and its influence on the Petrograd Soviet. He/She presided over a precarious coalition of moderate and Liberal Socialists and tried to bring together the various political forces in the Duma to stabilize the political situation. But soon earned the opposition of Liberals and the army, to dismiss summarily to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army, general Lavr G. Kornilov, which he/she personally held in September. On the other hand, their refusal to adopt the economic and social measures that radical socialists demanded him caused him to lose the confidence of the left wing of the Duma, fearing a Kerenski to assume dictatorial powers. One of his first actions as Prime Minister was the Elimination of the Bolshevik Party, which was accused of causing the riots of July, while the own Lenin had unauthorized insurrection as premature. Lenin managed to escape to Finland, but other Bolsheviks as Trotsky or Stalinleaders, were arrested and imprisoned.

Kerenski measures failed to curb the deterioration of the political and social situation, which allowed the Bolsheviks attack the prestige of the provisional Government and assume control of the soviets of workers, soldiers and peasants that arose in all Russia, to become a parallel power which escaped the control of the Government. From the right, Kerensky suffered the continuous stakes of the royalist party and various traditionalist and Liberal groups who demanded an immediate suppression of the revolutionary movement. In September, general Kornilov led a March of the cavalry against the Government, in an attempt to proclaim a military dictatorship with the support of the Liberals. Isolated, Kerensky was unable to take effective measures against the coup attempt. This only was suffocated by the intervention of the Bolsheviks, steadily winning support among the people.

The Bolsheviks accused Kerensky's complicity with the rebellion military Kornilov, at the time that the Liberals withdrew you its support. Kerenski remained, however, the Government Headquarters, although it lacked almost full of effective political authority. The Bolsheviks were made with the control of the Soviets of Petrograd and the majority of the soviets of the country, which until then had been the main support of the moderate Socialist Government. Unable to wait for the formation of a constituent Assembly that would stabilize the situation, Kerensky convened a pre-parlamento representation of the main parties and trade unions. However, Lenin boycotted Parliament, instead convening a Congress of the Soviets of entire Russia under the slogan "all power to the soviets". On the night of the 6th of November 7, the Bolsheviks took by force the power in Petrograd, proclaiming the Communist revolution. A ship of war aimed their cannons towards the Palacio of winter, where the Cabinet was meeting. The Congress of Soviets declared deposed the Government of Kerensky, and instead appointed a Council of Commissioners of the people, chaired by Lenin himself. Kerensky managed to escape to the street, where tried, without any success, reorganize some troops to deal with the coup. It remained hidden until May 1918, when he/she managed to escape to Western Europe.

He lived exiled in Paris, where organized groups of migrants and directed anti-Bolshevik publications, such as the journal ID. In 1940, on the eve of the second world war, he/she moved to the United States, where he/she dedicated himself to give lectures at several universities on topics of sociology and Russian politics. Among his works of political and historical analysis: prelude to Bolshevism: the revolt of Kornilov (1919), the catastrophe (1927), the crucifixion of liberty (1934) and Russia and the turning point in the history (1965). In 1966, his memoirs were published. He/She died in New York City at the age of 89.