By Georg von Rauch
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Extra resources for A History of Soviet Russia
A l l political prisoners were given amnesties and those exiled to Siberia were permitted to return. The police were replaced by a people's militia. Postponement of elections for a Constituent Assembly until the fall was a tragic mistake for the govermnent. , the Soviets. O n March 1 (March 14) they issued their Order No. 1, calling for the formation of soldiers' councils in every military unit and the election of all officers by the troops. The consequence of this notorious order in the army, where discipline had already been shaken by recent 38 A HISTORY OF SOVIET RUSSU events, was confusion of catastrophic proportions.
Chkheidze remembered his countryman from the revolutionary spadework in the Caucasus. Stalin had no authority in party circles where Kamenev's name carried greater weight. The first issues of Pravda were characterized by a more conciliatory tone toward the provisional government. In an editorial of March 15 (March 28) Kamenev came out for national defense. ^ When Lenin, annoyed by this behavior, protested in several of his "Letters from Afar," Stalin tried to justify the support of the government^ at a Party Conference which was held on March 29 (April 10).
But within a few days Lenin knew how to marshal all his arts of agitation. When old comrades reminded him of his former thesis that Russia was not yet ripe for Socialism, he scolded them as conservative and inflexible. One must not cling to old formulas but must always revise them critically. Russia's development could only be viewed in connection with that of Europe, it was Russia's mission to pave the way for the European revolution. There was strong opposition, of course. Some said that these were views which formerly had been heard only from Trotsky.