/ / New Economic Policy

New economic policy

The 1920s are unique in Soviet historyperiod. At this time, the Bolsheviks were forced to resolve the existence of market relations and carry out reforms that were included in history under the name of the new economic policy (or NEP). What was the reason for such changes?

Beginning and premises

By the beginning of 1921 the power was actually in the hands of the Bolsheviks. Foreign interventionists were expelled, the white movement and the national armies were routed. But until the complete tranquility in the country was far away. In different regions, anti-Soviet uprisings, which threatened the existence of the Soviet regime, flared up every now and then. One of them, the Kronstadt, occurred in March 1921, right at the Tenth Congress of the RCP (B.). The policy of military communism, which was convenient for the Bolsheviks themselves, led to the impoverishment of the rest of the population.

To think about the changes to the Soviet leadershipwas also due to the fact that hopes for a world revolution melted like last year's snow. It was not possible to get the world proletariat to rise with arms in hand, moreover, it was even necessary to give up part of the territory of pre-revolutionary Russia, recognizing the independence of the Baltic republics, Poland and Finland. Therefore, it was necessary to strengthen power in its own territory, not hoping for new revolutionary campaigns.

All these factors led to the adoption of XCongress of the RCP (b) to move to a new economic policy. The Bolsheviks had to soften the tax policy and allow private entrepreneurship. The work of state enterprises was also restructured, which should have been oriented not on planned indicators, but on profit. Thus, the essence of NEP was that in the economy there began to exist, albeit very limited, but still market relations.

The essence of reforms

Now, briefly about what constituted itselfall these reforms. In agriculture, a surplus-appropriation was canceled, more like extortion, rather than tax. Instead, it introduced a food tax levied on a particular peasant farm. Its size was much smaller. Later the peasants were allowed to rent land and use hired labor. But the new economic policy in the village did not immediately bear fruit. This was hampered by the mass famine of 1921-1923 in the Volga region and in the south of Ukraine, and a large number of taxes levied on the peasants. In March 1922, taxation in the country was streamlined, introducing a single natural tax, calculated in poods of rye.

In cities, a new economic policy, toobrought a lot of changes. In particular, free trade was allowed. There were numerous commodity exchanges and fairs. It became possible to create private enterprises - handicraft or handicraft production. Small and partly medium-sized industrial enterprises were returned to their former owners. Also, it was allowed to lease state factories and factories. The right to lease enterprises was received not only by Soviet citizens, but also by foreign entrepreneurs. As for the public sector, there have been established associations of state enterprises - trusts. But in the cities the reforms did not go smoothly either. After all, along with market relations, money, price growth, and unemployment also came. Therefore strikes in enterprises began to occur in the cities of the USSR, as well as in the countries of capitalism. The first serious crisis erupted in the spring of 1923 because of the so-called price scissors when the cost of manufactured goods was higher than agricultural products. As a result, peasants began to hide their products, so as not to give it away for a song. To prevent unrest in the country, the Bolshevik leadership decided to lower prices for manufactured goods.

Successes and contradictions

And yet, despite a number of contradictions, the neweconomic policy has borne fruit. By 1925, large-scale industry was able to achieve pre-war production rates. The rate of production of agricultural products also increased. The introduction of a stable currency - gold-backed chervonets - contributed to the strengthening of the economy.

At the same time, throughout its entireexistence of a new policy characterized by contradictions and limitations. The political structure of the state remained unchanged: power, as before, remained in the hands of the Bolsheviks. Entrepreneurs who appeared during the NEP, did not have any political rights. And their activities were very limited: all large enterprises, foreign trade, banks, transport remained under government control. It became increasingly obvious that the NEP was just a temporary measure of the Bolsheviks, and not a stable and long-term policy.

Read more: