The impact of war communism & NEP on Russia

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  • The impact of war communism & NEP on Russia
    • War communism
      • Impact on peasants
        • possession of grain surpluses by the peasants was treated as hoarding
          • Many peasants had abandoned the money economy and either bartered or hung on to their grain
          • Bolsheviks sent armed detachments to the villages to seize grain
        • Poor Peasants Committees established
          • Resentments over land ownership
          • The Bolsheviks empowered poorer peasants and set them against their wealthier kulak neighbours
            • created division between peasants and middle classes
          • put incharge of grain requisitioning in villages
            • often acted illegally
              • lead to revolts in 1918 and 1919
        • Food brigades
          • Nearly 80,000 troops left from Russia’s cities to the countryside
          • plunder villages, seize grain, torture peasants
        • Famine 1921
          • level of requisitioning left some peasants with no food reserves at all
            • Lenin and his government did not reducethe quotas
          • killed 6 million people
            • 10 millionpeople were fed by American, British and European aid
      • Impact on workers
        • Bolsheviks forced to tolerate workplace democracy
          • introduced their own managers into all major factories, replacing the bourgeois managers
          • Red Army was desperate for munitions and supplies
        • protest groups called the Extraordinary Assemblies of Factory and Plant Representatives
          • wanted democracy like Constituent Assembly
            • strike in may 1918 shut down brutally by Bolsheviks and cheka
        • The Worker’s Opposition faction
          • They protested against the lack of partydemocracy and decision making that had emerged during the war
          • In 1922 Lenin banned factions within the party
      • Uprisings
        • Kronstadt Uprising Feb 1917
          • sailors in Tsar's fleet joined revolution opposed Bolsheviks
        • Antonov Rebellion
          • Led by the peasant Social Revolutionary
            • It took 100,000 Red Army soldiers using aircraft dropping poison gas to finally eradicate the rebels
    • New Economic Policies
      • Impact on peasants
        • Bolshevik government allowed peasants to borrow money from the state
          • very popular and effective measure with the peasantry
            • the left of the party from being very suspicious of it
        • Productivity improved in Russian agriculture under the NEP
          • harvest yields continued to grow throughout the 1920s
        • Mechanisation and the merging of the peasants’ fields into large scale farming operations was planned
          • Bigger collectives, called Kommuny were less popular because land, livestock andtools became communally owned
          • but the government also used financial pressure to encourage collectivisation
      • Impact on workers
        • Resentment towards peasants
          • lacked spending power, especially after inflation
        • resentful of new generation of wealthy traders called NEP-men
          • portrayed as gangsters, drinking champagne and having prostitutes in magazines
        • workers wanted more freedoms but were scared of being seen as counter revolutionary
          • caused a profound sense of crisis in them, with some worker party members even feeling suicidal
      • Disagreement in the party
        • profusion of flea markets across Russia due to NEP, promoting capitalism
        • widespread shock and disbelief that capitalism was being resurrected after civil war


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