Lenin's economic policies


Lenin's economic policies: War Communism 

War Communism 1918-21: 

Change to the economy in order to win the civil war, every aspect of life in Bolshevik society had to be subordinated to winning the Civil War. 

- The decree on Nationalisation in 1918 gave the government complete control over Russian industry, this was helped by the infiltration of workers' committees by political commissars. 

- Military needs were given priority and so resources were denied to those industries not considered essential. This situation was made worse by a lack of manpower due to conscription into the Red Army and people just fleeing the cities in general. The populations of Petrograd and Moscow dropped by half between 1918-21.   

- These industry problems were deepened by hyper-inflation, which effectively destroyed the value of money. By 1920 the rouble had fallen to 1% of its worth in 1917.

Impact on agriculture:

- Lenin's main purpose of War communism was to tighten government control over agriculture and force the peasants to provide more food.

- Lenin blamed the resistance to this on the kulaks who Lenin claimed were hoarding their grain stocks to keep prices high.

Grain requisitioning:

Lenin became exasperated by the peasant's refusal to cooperate and so began to resort to coercion.

- 1918 Cheka requisition units were sent to the countryside to take grain by force.

- This, however, did not have the desired effect as the peasants began to produce only the bare minimum to feed themselves and their families, knowing that any surplus would be confiscated. 


By 1921…


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