• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

After October 1917 had the position of the peasantry improved? When the Bolsheviks took control of Russia in October 1917, they inherited huge economic problems in Russia.

Extracts from this document...


Michael Javens 7/11/2002 After October 1917 had the position of the peasantry improved? When the Bolsheviks took control of Russia in October 1917, they inherited huge economic problems in Russia. There were massive food shortages and many peasants were starving. In this essay, I am going to look at the policies introduced by the peasants and assess whether their position had improved. When Lenin first came to power, he realized he could not make his desired improvements to Russia unless he was able to provide food for the country. However, he also had to pull out of the war as part of his party's policies, and this meant losing Russia's most rich soils for grain producing to Germany. This worsened the position of the peasants, putting more people into starvation and causing more famine. Early policies by the Bolsheviks were part of state capitalism. ...read more.


Lenin decided to send squads to forcefully requisition the grain from the peasants. This policy further downgraded the position of the peasants. They were now being forced to give up the grain that they had made for nothing. This caused many peasants to burn their surplus grain just to stop the requisitioning squads taking it off them. This just further forced the peasants into starvation, as the requisitioning squads took the grain they needed to survive. The result of this for the peasants was a big fall in the production of grain in Russia, which caused many peasants to die during the civil war. Overall, the position of the peasants decreased greatly during the years that the war communism policy was adopted. After the civil war was over in 1921, Lenin realized that war communism was not the solution to Russia's food problem, so he introduced the new economic policy (NEP). ...read more.


Overall, the NEP did higher the position of peasantry in Russian society. They were allowed to sell their surplus grain instead of it being requisitioned, and able to buy manufactured goods with their profits. The scissors crisis did lower their position a little, but the peasants were still in a better position than they were during the war communism period. Overall, I believe that the position of the peasantry did not improve during the period between 1917 and 1924. Although the NEP did higher their position in society, the production of grain still did not match pre-war levels. Before the Bolsheviks gained power, the peasants had seized land and cultivated it as their own anyway, keeping the surplus for themselves. This is almost the same position the peasants had in 1924. Although the NEP was a success for the peasants, it only undid the suffering endured during war communism, and did not improve on their position in 1917. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why was there a revolution in Feburary 1917?

    In addition to long-term reasons for the revolution there were also short-term reasons, which developed in the years preceding 1917. One of them was distrust of people towards the Tsar. Nicholas II kept dismissing the Duma and changing its organisation.

  2. Disadvantages of Capitalism.

    This theory was put forward by Karl Marx who said that the proletariat will take control of the factories. This means the down trodden working class in the Capitalist society will revolt against their employers and form a Communist state, where people will work for each other to provide equality.

  1. The Economic "Miracle".

    TV programming based on attraction of advertisers. Many shows were written and produced by the company itself. TV new replaced radio, newspapers and magazines as the major news source. Professional sports and college sports became very popular and largest businesses in the country. TV shows reinforced concept of Gender roles in family.

  2. Communist Russia

    When Lenin arrived, an excited crowd waited for him at the station where he was politely greeted by the Menshevik chairman but firmly told by him that the revolution was going good and they did not him. But Lenin did not pay attention; he brushed Chkheidze aside and immediately made his welcoming speech.

  1. Assess the impact of War Communism and the New Economic Policy (NEP) on both ...

    Workers were told when and where to work, often working up to ten hours a day, and strikes became illegal. The impact of War Communism was great on both the peasantry and the proletariat. Most peasants were prepared to burn their crops and kill their livestock rather than hand them

  2. How secure was the USSR’s control over E.Europe,1948-89?

    They also start a free trade union called solidarity. 30 Aug.1980 The government agrees to all 21 of Solidarity's demands. Sept. 1980 Solidarity's membership grows to 3.5 million Oct. 1980 Solidarity membership is 7 million. Solidarity is officially recognised by the Government. Jan. 1981 Membership of solidarity reaches its peak at 9.4 million - more than a third of all the workers in Poland.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work