War Communism in Russia 1917-1921

  • Created by: jilly2272
  • Created on: 01-12-17 11:15

Corin and Fiehn Notes P141:

  • While Trotsky was dealing with the Civil War, Lenin was trying to consolidate the Bolshevik party's power.
  • The main challenge that Lenin faced was the deteriorating economy in the spring of 1918
  • This was caused by the peasants and workers as the Bolshevik's had given the workers the power to govern their own factories and the peasants more land that they could distribute themselves (the economy was affected by other factors as well, so they are not entirely to blame):
    • The workers/industry:
      • Couldn't govern themselves as they'd simply vote for higher wages
      • Industrial output decreased because the focus of industrial production was on providing the Reds with munition and weapons rather than products to be bought and sold
      • There were shortages of raw materials due to the control of some railways by the Whites
      • Inflation became worse with the lack of goods, thus making the value of the rouble collapse
    • The peasants/agriculture:
      • Refused to supply food to the cities as there was no point in exchanging it for money to buy goods
      • The price at which the Bolsheviks were willing to buy the grain (for the civil war) was so low that the peasants refused to sell
      • The rich wheat fields in Ukraine were now out of the Bolshevik's control, thus making the problems worse
  • By February of 1918, the ration of bread in Petrograd was just 50 grams per person per day
  • Eventually, workers began to flee into the countryside because of the lack of food, leaving factories with even less labour to create goods
  • Lenin was faced with two main problems:
    • Keeping the workers in the cities to make weapons and make essential goods
    • Feeding the workers/urban populations
  • To fix these problems, he introduced War Communism
  • The main features of War Communism were:
    • Grain Requisitioning
      • Sent units of Red Guards/Soldiers/Cheka to the countryside to retrieve grain…


No comments have yet been made