Economic Change in Russia (1855-1914)

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  • 1855
    • 1862-78
      • 1887
        • Ivan Vyshnegradsky
          • -Prohibitive tariff of 30% on the value of raw materials to boost home production
          • Negotiated loans e.g with the French
            • 1881-1891 grain exports increased by  18%
              • This was at the expense of the peasants- their grain requisitioned by the State.
                • "We ourselves shall not eat, but we shall export"
                  • Great Famine, 1891-1892. 17/39 provinces impacted. over 350,000 died due to diseases e.g. cholera and starvation
              • 1880: 3 million tons of coal, 1890: 6 million tons
        • 1892
          • Sergei Witte
            • 1895- 280 million roubles of foreign investment VS only 98 million in 1880.
            • Expansion of the railway network due to help from the West
              • Railway trackage virtually doubled.
            • By 1897 Russia was the world's 4th largest industrial economy.
            • Introduction of a new rouble, backed up by the value of gold in 1897 to increase foreign investment
            • By early 20th century, State controlled 70% of Russia's railways
              • 1903-1913- the government received more than 25% of its income from its industrial investments.
            • Railways
              • By 1905, Russia had 60,000 km of railways + 66% was state owned.
                • This helped to stimulate iron and coal industries. Gov. made money from passenger fares and freight charges.
                  • By 1913 Russia had the second largest railway network in the world with 62,000 km but USA had over 400,000 km.
              • Heavy Industry
                • Donbass region supplied 87% of Russian coal by 1913 (refer to textbook for stats.)
                • Expansion of the PUTILOV IRON WORKS.
          • 1906
            • Pyotr Stolypin
              • BEFORE
                • Farming was small-scale, peasants tied to their mirs, heavily taxed by the State.
                • Average holding fell from 35 acres in 1877 to 28 in 1905. The initiative from 1896 to sponsor emigration settlements to Siberia failed to alleviate pressure on resources.
                • Traditional agricultural practices still continued e.g. solcha was still use: wastefully left fallow land each year.
                  • Lack of husbandry deprived soil of manure.
                • Some kulaks emerged as a result of Emancipation
              • AFTER
                • Although in 1903 he initiated a programme where the mir's responsibility to pay taxes for the peasants was removed, it wasn't till after 1905 that this occurred.
                • By 1914, 90% of peasant holdings still in traditional strips
        • Overall increase in agricultural production due the kulaks responding positively to Vyshnegradsky's export drive.
          • The average peasant had less than 4 hectares.
            • Nobles Land Bank (1882) came BEFORE Peasant Land Banks (1885)
              • These helped facilitate land purchase but the loans often merely increased debts,
      • Mikhail von Reutern
        • -Treasury was reformed + new way of collecting taxes               -Tax farming was abolished         -STATE BANK established in 1860.
        • -Government subsidies offered to enable private entrepreneurs to develop railways          -Foreign investment in Russia was encouraged
          • Forced tax farmers to look elsewhere to invest + there was an encouraging of enterprise
            • -Treasury was reformed + new way of collecting taxes               -Tax farming was abolished         -STATE BANK established in 1860.
          • OVERALL: 6% annual growth during von Reutern's time in office.
            • BUT 1/3 of expediture went to paying debts and the Russian currency was subject to wild variations in its value.
              • 66% of gov. revenue came from indirect taxation which kept the peasants poor.
      • -Being a serf based economy LIMITED FORCES WHICH DROVE CHANGE  e.g. entrepreneurs
    • -Serfs were poor, managed to survive on the produce they grew and they starved in the winter.
    • Markets DID EXIST but business was small-scale.     -Vodka, tools and salt were what they mainly bought.
      • Money was not the main form of payment- EXCHANGES IN KIND
        • This meant there was NO INTERNAL MARKET DEMAND
    • -Landowners: they were uninterested in how efficiently their estates operated
      • No opportunity for CAPITAL ACCUMULATION and no use in seeking money because it was of little use anyway.


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