After 3 years of war communism, a mutiny in the Kronstaft naval base scared the Bolsheviks, and they realsied that they were pressing the people too hard.
Lenin - much to the annoyance of hard-line Communists - brought in the New Economic Policy, which allowed some free enterprise, and concentrated on simulating production.
- In 1921, the sailors at the Kronstadt Naval Base mutinied
- They demanded free speech, free elections, free trade unions and an end to war communism
- Trotsky's Red Army put the mutiny down with great losses
- The Mutiny scared the Bolsheviks because the Kronstadt sailors had been their greatest supporters
- Lenin said later that the rebellion was "like a flash of lightening which threw more of a glare upon reality than anything else."
- So he abandoned the policy of War Communism and brought in the NEP
- Lenin allowed freedom to national and Muslim cultures
- In the Ukraine, although the Bolsheviks were in power, the Ukrainian language was used in government and business and children were taught in schools.
- In the Muslim areas of central Asia, bazaars were allowed to reopen, mosques were taken from Soviet control, the Koran was restored and native languages were encouraged.
- Coal, iron, steel and railways stayed nationalised, but the Bolsheviks brought in experts (on high wages) to increase production
- Small factories were handed back to their owners
- New traders (called "nepmen") were allowed to set up small private businesses
- At the same time - where War communism had forced the peasants to hand over all their surplus grain - Lenin let them sell their surplus, and pay a tax instead.
- Some hardworking peasants become rich - the Kulaks
- Some of the Politburo (the inner cabinet of the government) opposed the NEP because it allowed capitalism
- However, the NEP did something to restore prosperity - although production levels passed the 1914 levels in 1928.