Lenin, Trotsky and Voroshilov with Delegates of the 10th Congress of the Russian Communist Party in 1921.
“During the closing months of the civil war, the population increasingly demanded that the state produce tangible improvements to justify the sacrifices made in the name of revolution…Even the most ideological Bolshevik could not deny the gravity of the situation” (Freeze 308). This described the state of Russia leading up to the 10th Party of Congress in March 1921. A week before, there was a massive rebellion on the Kronstadt naval base caused by soldiers and sailors. This caused problems for the state and survival of the Communist party. The 10th Party Congress played a huge role in controlling and avoiding anti-Bolshevik uprising. The state knew that changes needed to be made and “the turning point came in 1921 when the Tenth Congress endorsed the controversial New Economic Policy (NEP),” (Freeze 308).
The changes and resolutions formed at the Congress had great impact politically and economically not only for the Party but the Soviet society as well. The NEP’s main goal was to create a new foundation that would allow for peaceful transition to socialism. This also included the integration of generated investment capital for industrialization and better system of regulating production and supply distribution. Congress also used Lenin’s stance on “The Substitution of a Tax in Kind for the Surplus Grain Appropriation System” which allowed peasants to participate in unrestricted trade which “paved the way of the New Economic Policy” (17 Moments).
When it came to political reforms , the Party faced “contradictory pressures” which led them to be slow to enforce and make changes. Lenin had strong opinions towards the formation of the Workers Opposition and other factions. “Lenin argued that factionalism and criticism from within was hurting the party, encouraging dissent and rebellion and providing ammunition for counter-revolutionaries and foreign enemies,”(Alpha History). Lenin instead wanted to have party unity where factionalism was forbidden.
The 10th Party Congress occurred during a critical time in the formation of the new Soviet Russia. It was the first congress after the Civil War. After the Kronstadt uprising, Lenin would do all he could economically to save the Party. The rebellion was when Lenin realized the need to help satisfy the middle class peasantry.
Freeze, Gregory L. Russia a History, 3rd Edition
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10th_Congress_of_the_Russian_Communist_Party_(Bolsheviks) (Image 1)
http://spartacus-educational.com/RUSkronstadt.htm (Image 2)
6 thoughts on “The 10th Party Congress”
Thanks for connecting the Tenth Party Congress to the adoption of the NEP and the Kronstadt Rebellion. You note that the adoption of the NEP was controversial. I can see why putting down the rebellion was a tough call, but what was so controversial about the NEP?
I really think that it was interesting that you addressed the “contradictory pressures” that the party had to deal with. That definitely seemed to be in issue for the party and more specifically the efficiency. I also really liked the very picture you included. It was cool to see the 10th congress delegates with Lenin, Trotsky, and Voroshilov!
Nice analysis of the 10th Party Congress. I find the NEP fascinating and controversial. Not only did it denationalize industry and allow a market system for individuals to make private transactions, it revived capitalism and created a brand of opportunists called “Nepmen.” Read more about them here: http://soviethistory.msu.edu/1924-2/nepmen/
I really like your use of quotes from Freeze’s book! They were well incorporated throughout, and you did a good job with explaining them and building upon them. I think it was important to note how the 10th Part Congress came at such a critical time, and how the new Soviet Russia needed a change in the government in order to run effectively. Good post overall!
Both of those photos are fantastic! I really like how you connected several events together- none of them existed in a vacuum so it’s good to highlight how they affected each other. The success of this Congress was vital to the Bolsheviks considering the volatile climate they were in. Very nice post!
You made some great points, especially connecting the 10th Party Congress to the NEP. You did a good job of showing how these different events affected each other. I also really enjoyed looking at the pictures you added. Nice post!