The NEP represented a more market-oriented economic policy (deemed necessary after the Russian Civil War of 1918 to 1922) to foster the economy of the country, which had suffered severely since 1914. The Soviet authorities partially revoked the complete nationalization of industry (established during the period of War Communism of 1918 to 1921) and introduced a system of mixed economy which allowed private individuals to own small enterprises, while the state continued to control banks, foreign trade, and large industries. In addition, the NEP abolished prodrazvyorstka (forced grain-requisition) and introduced prodnalog: a tax on farmers, payable in the form of raw agricultural product. The Bolshevik government adopted the NEP in the course of the 10th Congress of the All-Russian Communist Party (March 1921) and promulgated it by a decree on 21 March 1921: "On the Replacement of Prodrazvyorstka by Prodnalog". Further decrees refined the policy.
Joseph Stalin abolished the New Economic Policy in 1928.
In November 1917 the Bolsheviks seized control of key centres in Russia. This led to the Russian Civil War of 1917–1922, which pitted the Bolsheviks and their allies against the Whites and other counter-revolutionary forces. During this period the Bolsheviks attempted to administer Russia's economy purely by decree, a policy dubbed War Communism. Farmers and factory workers were ordered to produce, and food and goods were seized and issued by decree.