The People’s Holiday: 1st May, 1917 in Isaac’s Square, Petrograd

8. The People’s Holiday 1st May, 18th April 1917 in Isaac’s Square, Petrograd
Source: Marx Memorial Library (MML) Reference: PHOTO_SUB_SOVIET_UNION_1917_REVOLUTION+CIVIL_WAR_PERIOD

DUAL POWER (February-October 1917)

Lenin referred to the period between the February and October revolutions of 1917 as the phase of the ‘dual power’. Although the unelected Provisional Government de facto ruled Russia after the overthrow of the tsarist autocracy, at grass roots level the elected Soviets of workers and soldiers, within the towns especially, were exercising an increasingly important influence on the daily lives of the Russian people. This is clearly seen in the mass demonstrations that took place on May Day and in July 1917.

In what does this dual power consist? In the fact that side by side with the Provisional Government, the government of the bourgeoisie, there has developed another government, weak and embryonic as yet, but undoubtedly an actually existing and growing government — the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.’ (Lenin)