The most important stages on the way to a nationwide crisis were political crises in April-July 1917. In the second half of 1917, the strike movement acquired a wide scope. On August 12, a general strike of the workers of Moscow took place, opposing the Moscow State Conference. N. N. Sukhanov, who arrived in Moscow for a meeting, noted: “There were no trams in Moscow. And there were almost no cab drivers on the streets ... All city enterprises went on strike, except for satisfying the immediate needs of the population. Restaurants, waiters went on strike ... In the evening, Moscow was to plunge into darkness, as the gas plant went on strike along with other enterprises. " Over 400 thousand workers in Moscow and its environs participated in this one-day strike.
Strikes by the Baku oil industry workers (September 27 - October 3), workers of one of the largest metallurgical plants in the South of Russia - Yuzovsky (October 3), and textile workers of the Ivanovo-Kineshma region (October) became major speeches. In total, between September and October 1917, about 2.4 million workers took part in the strike movement. During this time, more than 3.5 thousand peasant uprisings were recorded, many of which developed into revolts.
Throughout 1917, the Russian economy continued to plunge into the economic abyss. Country swept the flow of paper money. For 8 months, the Provisional Government released them as much as the tsarist government for the entire period of the First World War. Non-gold-covered credit notes were issued for 16.5 billion rubles. In September 1917, so-called “Kerenki” appeared in circulation, treasury marks in denominations of 20 and 40 rubles. This money, according to the general opinion, was "bad marks", as they were made without a sufficient degree of protection against forgery. Nevertheless, the last Minister of Finance of the Provisional Government, M. V. Bernatsky, recognized that if they had not been released in September, the " October Revolution would have turned into a September revolution ."
The deterioration of the economic situation in the country could not but affect the growth of the revolutionary mood of the masses. Wages did not keep pace with the rapid rise in prices. The capital workers by August 1917, on average, earned 200 rubles. per month, while a pair of men's shoes cost 144 rubles, and a suit 400 rubles.
Russia was on the verge of economic disaster. The destruction of the productive forces of dos-tiglo of unprecedented size, railway transport was in complete disarray. From March to October, about 800 enterprises stopped their work. One of the largest entrepreneurs, P. P. Ria-Bushinsky, speaking in August 1917 at the II All-Russian Trade and Industry Congress, stated with bitterness: "We have spoiled everything with our own hands, and the whole economic and financial life of Russia went upset, and we all entered into some kind of dead end. " The question of whether the masses had any conditions for the introduction of socialism and what the new system would be like did not arise among the masses, not only from faith in the future, but also from the belief that it could not be any worse.
In order to alleviate the growing national crisis in the country and strengthen the positions of the Provisional Government by decision of the Central Executive Committee and the executive committee of the Council of Peasant Deputies, it was decided to convene a Democratic Conference in Petrograd. According to the organizers of the meeting, the representatives of the Soviets were to form only a minority. The majority of the delegates to the meeting were supposed to represent city and local governments, cooperatives, trade unions, etc.
The meeting was held from September 14 to September 22, 1917 in the Alexandrinsky Theater. Over 1,500 people attended, including representatives of the main political parties of Russia. After the Kornilov revolt, many ministerial portfolios were not busy, and everyone was looking forward to the opening of the meeting. (From September 1 to September 24, the so-called Directory, or "Council of Five" was in power, consisting of: A. F. Kerensky, A. M. Nikitin, M. I. Tereshchenko, A. I. Verkhovsky and D. N. Verderevsky.) Minister-Chairman of the Provisional Government Kerensky spoke at the meeting, however, according to the testimony of a prominent leader of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party N. D. Avksentyev, "extremely nervous, he was uneven, not sure of himself and did not make much impression. He was welcomed but it felt like the same enthusiasm had already flown away. "
In addition to the decision to re-build power on a coalition basis, another was taken; to single out representatives of all groups and factions from the Democratic Conference to a permanent body - the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic (Pre-Parliament). The Pre-Parliament was a deliberative body under the Provisional Government, which had to be held accountable before the Constituent Assembly. However, the 3rd coalition government, formed on September 25, sharply restricted the rights and functions of the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic.
The meetings of the Pre-Parliament opened on October 7 in the Mariinsky Palace in the hall of the former tsarist State Council. Kerensky made an incendiary speech, and then handed over the chairmanship to the oldest member of the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic - the "grandmother of the Russian revolution" EK Breshko-Breshkovskaya. After that, elections to the presidium took place and N. D. Avksentyev became the chairman of the Pre-Parliament. After reading Leonid Trotsky of the prepared declaration, the Bolshevik faction left the Pre-Parliament, refusing to work in it.