Sergei Witte and Economic Reform in Russia

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  • Sergei Witte and Economic Reform in Russia
    • Successes
      • Heavy Industry
        • Concentrated industries together and developed large factories of over 1,000 workers
        • Coal production trebled
        • Oil production increased from 4 million tons to over 10 million tons between 1890 and 1900
      • Railways
        • Miles of railways increased from 19,000 to 33,000 between 1890 and 1900
        • Trans-Siberian railway  "unlocked" the resources of Siberia
        • Acted as a catalyst, encouraging and helping growth in other industries
      • Massive increase in foreign investment- clear sign that other countries recognised Russian economic growth
    • Limitations/ Failures
      • Industrial Problems
        • Statistics are misleading- Russia started from a very low point, so rate of economic growth was impressive
        • Emphasis on heavy industry neglected other parts of economy e.g. light engineering
        • Railway network still very small- only a sixth of the land surface
        • Large parts of Trans-Siberian railways still incomplete by 1914
        • Russia was too dependent on foreign loans- foundations of the economy were unstable and Russia burdened with debt
      • Agricultural Problems
        • Witte (like Vyshengradsky) neglected Russian peasants and agriculture
        • Peasants were burdened with high indirect taxation and were forced to sell grain to the government- contributed to famine
        • Strip farming methods remained inefficient compared to other countries
        • Agriculture appointed for 85% of people's livelihoods and yet it was sacrificed to fuel industrial growth
      • Social Problems
        • Urban population increased- 1.3 million factory workers in 1887, 2.6 million in 1908
        • No effective trade unions meant workers' rights weren't represented
        • Dangerous working conditions and long hours
        • Overcrowding in major cities
        • Workers' wages didn't increase with inflation
        • Increase in strike activity
        • Industrial towns became hotbeds of radical opposition to the Tsar
    • Aims
      • Achieve rapid industrialisation
        • emphasis on developing heavy industry and railways
      • Use the economic growth to preserve Great Power status
        • In particular, by strengthening the military
      • Improve living standards and reduce opposition to the Tsar
      • TO STRENGTHEN AUTOCRACY
        • Use the economic growth to preserve Great Power status
          • In particular, by strengthening the military
        • Improve living standards and reduce opposition to the Tsar
        • Achieve rapid industrialisation
          • emphasis on developing heavy industry and railways

Comments

Susan

so helpful!


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