War Communism


War Communism
(1918–21) Soviet economic policy applied by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War.

Its chief features were the expropriation of private business and the nationalization of industry, as well as the forced requisition of surplus grain and other food products from the peasantry. These measures caused a rapid decline in agricultural production, labour productivity, and industrial output. Real wages declined by two-thirds, and uncontrolled inflation made paper currency worthless. By 1921 public discontent resulted in strikes and protests, culminating in the Kronshtadt Rebellion. In response, the Bolsheviks adopted the less-radical New Economic Policy.

* * *

▪ Soviet history
      in the history of the Soviet Union, economic policy applied by the Bolsheviks during the period of the Russian Civil War (1918–20). More exactly, the policy of War Communism lasted from June 1918 to March 1921. The policy's chief features were the expropriation of private business and the nationalization of industry throughout Soviet Russia, and the forced requisition of surplus grain and other food products from the peasantry by the state.

      These measures negatively affected both agricultural and industrial production. With no incentives to grow surplus grain (since it would just be confiscated), the peasants' production of it and other crops plummeted, with the result that starvation came to threaten many city dwellers. In the cities, a large and untrained bureaucracy was hastily created to supervise the newly centralized, state-owned economy, with the result that labour productivity and industrial output plummeted. By 1921 industrial production had dropped to one-fifth of its prewar levels (i.e., in 1913), and the real wages of urban workers had declined by an estimated two-thirds in just three years. Uncontrolled inflation rendered paper currency worthless, and so the government had to resort to the exchange and distribution of goods and services without the use of money.

      By early 1921 public discontent with the state of the economy had spread from the countryside to the cities, resulting in numerous strikes and protests that culminated in March of that year in the Kronshtadt Rebellion. In response, the Bolsheviks had to adopt the New Economic Policy and thus temporarily abandon their attempts to achieve a socialist economic system by government decree.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • War communism — Part of the series on Communism …   Wikipedia

  • Communism — For the form of government in which a state is controlled by a communist party, see Communist state. Part of the series on …   Wikipedia

  • communism — /kom yeuh niz euhm/, n. 1. a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state. 2. (often cap.) a system of social organization in… …   Universalium

  • war — war1 /wawr/, n., v., warred, warring, adj. n. 1. a conflict carried on by force of arms, as between nations or between parties within a nation; warfare, as by land, sea, or air. 2. a state or period of armed hostility or active military… …   Universalium

  • COMMUNISM — COMMUNISM, the international revolutionary Marxist movement that evolved under lenin s leadership from the Bolshevik faction (created in 1903 in the Russian Social Democratic Party) to become the ruling party of Russia after the October… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Communism — • In its more general signification communism refers to any social system in which all property, or at least all productive property, is owned by the group, or community, instead of by individuals Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Communism in Kerala — Communism in India Communist Party of India AITUC AIKS AIYF AISF NFIW BKMU Communist Party of India (Marxist) …   Wikipedia

  • War in Vietnam (1945–1946) — War in Vietnam (1945 1946) Part of the Indochina Wars and the Cold War A Japanese off …   Wikipedia

  • Communism —    Communism as well as anarchism, socialism, and other variants of the left has had a long tradition in South America, closely connected with the rise of trade unions. The traditional left in Chile, dominated by the Partido Comunista (PC,… …   Historical Dictionary of the “Dirty Wars”

  • War crime — War crimes are violations of the laws or customs of war , including but not limited to murder, the ill treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied territory to slave labor camps , the murder or ill treatment of prisoners of war …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.