They had no widespread political support.
Their only two advantages were control of the Petrograd Soviet, and as always Vladimir Lenin's mad leadership skills.
Unfortunately for history, the provisional government of Russia was downright inept.
Just how did a handful of zealots based in St. Petersburg get their hands on nearly the entirety of the former Russian empire?
Segment 21b. "Democracy Fails".
On March 15, 1917, Tsar Nicolas II abdicated the Russian throne to the next in line, his younger brother, Grand Duke Mikhail.
When Mikhail refused to accept the throne this marked the end of the Romanov dynasty and of the Russian Empire.
Later that month Nicolas II was arrested and imprisoned with his family at their palace at Tsarskoe Selo, southeast of Petrograd.
The entire family was ultimately departed to Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains.
On July 17, 1918, the entire former royal family was executed by order of Lenin.
As rumor had it the youngest daughter, Anastasia, somehow survived.
In fact, the so-called Anastasia was actually a middle-class Polish woman who merely thought she was Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia.