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Russian Revolution Essay

2472 words - 10 pages

"...We are fifty to one hundred years behind advanced countries. We must cover this distance in ten years. Either we do this or they will crush us..." (Urals pg 270) This was a quote by Stalin in February 4, 1931. To accomplish this goal it almost seems impossible, but with the help of drastic ideas and policies there is a good chance it could be done. These policies seemed infallible when written down, but often time hindered the country toward the goal of socialism.The revolution was a success and the Bolsheviks finally won the Civil War. With Lenin in power during the early 1920's it was time to rebuild and change exactly what they were fighting for during he last decade. To the leaders dismay the economy and the society were in shambles. The past few years of "War Communism" or total war ideology took everything away from the country. Citizens were made to give up almost all of their money and luxuries and very often their necessities to help the war effort. With all of this whirling around there could be no progression of technology or much needed industry in Russia. Lenin had to do something to save his country.The formation of the NEP (New Economic Policy) was supposed to be the savior of the economy. For the most part it went completely against communism. It introduced a temporary mixed capitalist and socialist country until things could be stable again. There were three aspects of the economy to look at. These were the heavy industry, the agriculture, and the small private tradesmen. Even though still large industries, transportation, and foreign trade were still under the control of the countries leaders, it opened up to small public tradesmen called "nepman." These traders were looked very suspiciously by society, seeing that it almost appeared as they were going against exactly what almost everyone was fighting for in the pre-revolution era. These "nepman" helped out the economy from the beginning, but with capitalism poking its head through, the idea was overall destructive to the socialistic goal.The second part of the economy to look at is the agriculture. During Lenin's original proposal of the NEP, it stated that small farms throughout the country would give a certain amount of whatever they yielded. This policy was changed to just taxing each farmer and having them do whatever they want with their crops. This was the most destructive thing to do during this time of famine. The country needed food and they could not buy what was not there. If the countryside farmers had the option to sell half of their grain to the local towns for market prices and then the other half to the government for below market price, there would just not be enough to go around in the urban areas (even though urbanization was down in 1921 compared to 1897). So not only was the food not being rationed properly but the taxation of the peasants was another form of capitalism that no diehard communist likes to see. If the committee would have kept Lenin's...

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