War Communism

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  • War Communism
    • Before the Civil War
      • Lenin's aim was to replace the capitalist system with communism
      • Lenin created the Supreme Council of National Economy
        • Offer central control of the economy
      • 14th of December the army used to take over all banks
        • They were then declared to be owned by the communists
      • 21st of January Lenin declares that all of the debt of the Provisional Government and Tsarism is illegal and wouldn't be paid
      • All landowners lost their estates
      • State Capitalism
        • Recognised workers control of their factories
        • Workers took control of the  factories and set their own hours of work and levels of production
        • Industrial production slumped
        • The economy started to operate solely on a barter system
          • Shortages in goods produced a flourishing black market
    • What was war communism?
      • Supreme Economic Council formed to run the economy
      • Nationalisation of industry
        • Decree on nationalisation
          • Made all large industries liable to nationalisation without compensation
          • By 1920 around 37,000 businesses had been nationalised
      • Private trade banned
      • Grain surpluses were seized from peasants
        • Grain sent to troops and cities
        • Anyone thought to be withholding grain could be shot
      • Decline in the use of money
        • Rationing introduced
          • Based on worker outputs in industry
      • Use of terror and slave labour by the state to achieve goals
    • Outcomes
      • Chaos
      • Inadequate rations lead to a flourishing black market
      • Political commissars found it impossible to eliminate the free market
      • Allowed the communists to win the civil war
      • Major famine of 1921
        • Caused as the peasants stopped producing grain when they realised it was just going to be taken away plus a drought
        • Death of between 1 to 2 million people
      • Between 1917 and 1920 over half of the urban population disappeared
      • Failed to stop the industrial slump
      • Peasants resented the grain requisitioning
        • Protested and lead to empire wide uprisings


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