War Communism

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  • Created by: JasmineR
  • Created on: 17-11-15 19:37

State Capitalism

  • Key element of State Capitalism was nationalising the economy/
  • Lenin made a number of dramatic decisions in 1917:
    • Land Decree: abolished private ownership giving peasants control of their farms. 
    • Decree of Workers' Control: placed control of factories in hands of the workers.
    • People's Bank of the Russian Republic: all banks nationalised and merged into one. 
  • This gave considerable power to the people, making the Bolsheviks very popular.
  • However, it caused a crisis in the economy as workers: gave themselves massive pay-rises, violently dismissed managers, and experts were purged. 
  • In December 1917, Lenin stepped in by setting up the Vesenkha (Supreme Council of National Economy), which provided greater centralised decision making over the economy. 
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Key features of War Communism

  • Nationalisation - All industry without compensation.
  • Vesenkha - State control of the economy.
  • Hierarchical Structures - Replace Workers' Councils with managers.
  • Military Discipline - Death penalty for workers who went on strike.
  • Rationing - Soldiers & factory workers received preferential treatment. 
  • Grain Requisitioning - 150,000 volunteers sent to countryside to seize peasant's grain; starvation became common. 
  • Private Trading Banned - Trade controlled trade, but sheer demand led to the spread of black markets. 
  • Bartering - All good traded for other goods; workers received wages in goods. 
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The Tenth Party Congress

  • At the Tenth Party Congress in 1921, Lenin announced an end to War Communism.
  •  He suggested it was because they had now won the war so there was no further need for it. 
  • However, it was actually because of a number of critical factors put massive pressure on Lenin to make this decision:
    • Economic collapse:
      • Heavy industry fell by 20%
      • Food production also dropped to 48%
      • Led to death of 20 million through famine and disease through out the 1920s.
    • Unpopularity:
      • Rationing detested as it was linked to social position. 
      • The return of managers caused resentment. 
      • Workers resented loss of control over industry. 
    • Tambov Rising:
      • Grain requisitioning caused conflict in the countryside.
      • The uprising took place in a key grain production area in Central Russia.
      • It took an army of 50,000 to crush the uprising.
    • Kronstadt Mutiny:
      • Serious military challenge to the Bolsheviks.
      • They were previously the most loyal group of Communists.
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