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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.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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