Russia's Financial Reforms

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  • Economy- Finance
    • Indirect Taxes
      • Peter taxed items like beards, salt and tobacco
        • Previously, these accounted for 33% of revenue raised via taxation.
          • Now, they accounted for 53%
            • Increased revenue, tapping into the wealth of the nobles
    • Debasement of Currency
      • A reduction in silver content substituted with base metals
      • A shortage of bullion = set right by order preventing the export of silver on pain of death
        • Reducing the coinage tidied the government during the war with Sweden
          • Between 1701 and 1709, it produced 4.4 million roubles
          • A reduction means a possibility of inflation occuring
    • Direct Taxes
      • Peasants were seen as a key to wealth for Russia
        • Thousands forced to march vast distances to work on canals and shipyards
          • Peters conscription of 25 years service
            • 300,000 peasants conscipted
          • 1718 Poll tax
            • Peasants on private land = 74 kopecks. Peasanta on state land = 144 kopecks
              • Produced half of revenue needed
              • The peasants couldn't afford this. They were being impoverished
                • 1724, 18% of poll tax couldn't be collected due to peasants being unable to pay
          • 1722 = Peasants couldn't leave their estates without permission written by their owners
            • Reinforcing power of nobles over the serfs
          • Peasants were now numbered either state peasant or private peasant
          • 1719 Ukaz = If a landowner caused undue hardships to his serfs , he could lose his estate
            • often ignored
    • Aims for increased Revenue
      • The GNW- "money is the artillery of war"
      • The navy
      • Industry
      • St Petersburg, Canal building
  • Overall Judgement
    • Peter managed to raise enough revenue that he didn't have to gain loans fron foreign countries
      • would the foreign countries even given him loans?
        • Does this mean he had no choice but to effect the peasants as he desperately needed revenue for war
          • How can we blame Peter?
    • He balanced his budget and raised all funds
    • Serfs were ruined
    • Long Term Success = NO. When Peter died, Russia moved into a period of financial turmoil


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