Economic Considerations

Economic considerations

  • Created by: keisha_
  • Created on: 13-01-15 17:26
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  • Economic Considerations.
    • There were many economic reasons why reform was necessary but it was above all Russia's need to catch up with the West in order to regain its great power status that persuaded men within internal affairs as well as some landowners that serfdom was acting as blockage.
    • Serfdom was widely seen as the main problem because it stopped workers moving from the country to factories and kept internal demand low.
    • The removal of serfdom was also essential for the agricultural industry because there was no incentive for the serfs to work hard because the landowners could just take profit off them.
    • It was recognised that in places where peasants were able to do paid work or like in Siberia where free peasant labour was the norm peasants were more productive.
    • It was not just a question of incentive.
    • Russias population had almost doubled in the first part of the nineteenth century and so it was becoming harder and harder for peasants to produce enough for themselves and the landowners.
    • Productivity levels remained stagnant causing a crisis of supply.
    • Serfs who were forced to hand over their grain at harvest time were left unable to feed their families which led to recurrent bouts of famine.
    • The system wasn't effective for state or landowners either.
    • In serf dominated areas, landowners were becoming indebted as they were living the same lifestyle as always on half the income.
    • Changes in agricultural practice in Western Europe had increased the competition of the European markets, making it harder for the nobles to sell grain and make profit.
    • Nobles were being forced to take out mortgages on property that their family already owned.
    • by 1859, 66% of serfs had been mortgaged as security for nobles' loans  from the state bank while peasants were also unable to pay their taxes - The poll tax and Obrok
    • By 1855 the government had a debt of 54 million roubles.


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