Proclaimed territory of the Russian Republic
|Government||Democratic federal republic|
o Sep-Nov 1917
|8-16 March 1917|
o Republic proclaimed
|14 September 1917|
|7 November 1917|
|19 January 1918|
The Russian Republic[d] was a short-lived state which controlled, de jure, the territory of the former Russian Empire after its proclamation by the Russian Provisional Government on 1 September (14 September, N.S.) 1917 in a decree signed by Alexander Kerensky as Minister-Chairman and Alexander Zarudny as Minister of Justice.
After the seizure of power, the Bolsheviks used the name "Russian Republic" for some time, until the name "Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic" was officially adopted. In 1918, an unsuccessful attempt was made to revive the Russian Republic under the name "Russian Democratic Federative Republic". This decision was made by the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, which adopted a new constitution, but it was not executed, because the Assembly was dissolved the same day, and the territory of Russia was controlled by the Bolsheviks who proclaimed the RSFSR.
The term "Russian Republic" is sometimes used erroneously for the period between the abdication of the Emperor Nicholas II on 3 March 1917 (16 March, N.S) and the declaration of the Republic in September. However, during that period the future status of the monarchy remained unresolved.
Officially, the Republic's government was the Provisional Government, although de facto control of the country was contested between it, the soviets (chiefly the Petrograd Soviet), and various ethnic-based separatists (such as the Central Council of Ukraine). Soviets were political organizations of the proletariat, strongest in industrial regions, and were dominated by left-wing parties. Soviets, whose influence was supplemented with paramilitary forces, were occasionally able to rival the Provisional Government which had an ineffective state apparatus.
The Government's control of the military was also tenuous. Seamen of the Baltic Fleet, for example, had far-left views and openly engaged in political activism in the capital. Right-wing proclivities among the army officers were also a problem - Kerensky's attempt to dismiss Gen. Lavr Kornilov led to a failed coup.