The New Economic Policy

Small- scale private trade brought rural foodstuffs into city market places. Source: Marxists Internet Archive. 2000.


The Russian Civil War had lay ruin to the Russian economy and despite the Bolsheviks’ success in the revolution, many citizens were becoming disgruntled about the economic situation that was taking over society. In order to ease tensions among citizens, Lenin and the Tenth Congress introduced the New Economic Policy.


There were many aspects and problems that the new policy aimed to address. Measures undertaken in the civil war had come to upset many people and the policy tried to ease these tensions. Also as Freeze mentions, other aspects of the policy were meant to, “…regularize supply and production through a limited reintroduction of the market; to invigorate the grass-roots economy and generate investment capital for industrialization…” (p. 308). The New Economic policy was also meant to lay the framework for the slow transition to socialism Russia would undertake. A major aspect or “linchpin” of the policy was the introduction of a low tax that allowed peasants to sell extra food on the open market.


The NEP helped to reinvigorate and get the Russian economy back on track. However, the introduction of a small-scale market economy raised fears about the re-introduction of a capitalist class and the “loss of revolutionary dynamism”. The NEP was abandoned in 1929 after Stalin had taken power.


The New Economic Policy

“Russia: A History” Gregory L. Freeze

8 thoughts on “The New Economic Policy

  1. Overall good start. I would’ve wanted to see more about the NEP in greater detail, such as specific provisions and their consequences on the fragile Russian economy of the time

  2. I agree with Moustapha. Why was the NEP so important and what effect did it have on the Soviet people — city dwellers and peasants? Why was this topic interesting to you?

  3. The New Economic Policy is one my favorite topics we cover in this course. Like you pointed out, Lenin’s move to denationalize industry and permit private transactions between individuals did indirectly promote capitalism. In fact, the capitalists that took advantage of the policies quickly became problematic, and were subject to harsh media criticism. I encourage you to read this short subject essay on the Nepmen:

  4. One interesting point to add is that the Soviet economy did revive to post war levels in 1926-1927, however, it paradoxically created a market scheme that reintroduced capitalism, an ideal that Lenin despised. Through NEP, it was cited there was a loss of revolutionary dynamism, a creation of NEPmen and kulaks, unemployment among workers, and anxiety within the party.

  5. I liked this piece because it explains how Bolshevik rule affected the people and helps the reader understand certain aspects of Bolshevik rule and how they planned to change the structure of the Russian government.

  6. I thought this was a really interesting post. I wrote about the Kronstadt rebellion and its influence in the implementation of the NEP. I find the NEP interesting because it contradicts the War Communism Policy in some ways and would like to know how/ if this changed citizens view of the government. Good job!

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