Was the NEP a success?


In some ways the NEP was a success:

  1. It helped the Bolshevik government survive the problems of 1921 there were no new revolts, and the government was able to establish itself securely in power.


  2. It made the peasants and small traders happy gave them a little more money in their pockets.


  3. It stimulated production, which went back to 1913 levels.


  4. It helped the country recover from the Civil War.


  5. It produced more food in 1921 there had been a famine; by 1923 there was enough food going into the towns.


In other ways it was a huge failure:

  1. It caused splits in the Communist Party many Bolsheviks resigned.   In his leadership struggle with Trotsky, Stalin was able to use these splits to seize power.


  2. It was a massive ideological retreat.   During War Communism Russia had been governed by pure Communist ideals.   The NEP allowed free enterprise and personal profit it was almost an admission that Communism did not work.


  3. It fed the existing population, but it did not provide the agricultural revolution that was needed to support a huge growth in Russia s population, industry and power.


  4. It did not produce extra food for sale abroad and Russia needed to generate income to spend on investment in industry.


  5. The did not stimulate the investment and modernisation that was needed the Russian economy remained poor and backward compared with western countries.


  6. The kulaks grew rich and they resisted strenuously when Stalin tried to collectivise the farms.

  7. Conditions for the proletariat (working class in the towns) did not improve.



by 1927 there was growth in the economy compared with 1921 but:


the NEP was not pure Communism and


it did not provide the basis for the rapid developments that were needed if Russia was to defeat Nazi Germany.