Why did Witte promote industrialisation in Russia?
- Witte knew the key to Russia's future greatness lay in industrialisation
- He began a coherent programme of state capitalism to promote economic growth through private enterprise
- He invited foreign investors to participate in the Russian economy, this provided the vital capital for investment
- Witte realised industrial growth could safeguard the government again social unrest by providing higher wages and cheaper goods
- The industry would fuel the economy and therefore the tsar would be pleased, having more money to improve the strength of the armed forces
- An effective railway system would help develop the rest of the economy by transporting stock and the armed forces
- Trans-Siberian railway, constructed between 1891 and 1902, 3750 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok
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RSD Party- Bolsheviks/Mensheviks 1903
- This split had the huge consequences for the future of Russia
- Mensheviks awaited the bourgeois revolution while the Bolsheviks believed that it could occur simultaneously with the proletarian revolution
- Bolsheviks wanted to educate and lead workers through the revolution
- Mensheviks felt the need to revolution had to come from the workers themselves
- Bolsheviks were a restricted group avoiding police notice
- Mensheviks insisted that membership was open to all and worked with trade unions to spread the word
- Mensheviks wanted to follow democratic procedures and feared the Bolsheviks way of doing things would lead to a dictatorship
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Economic reform - 1894-1904
- Vyshnegradsky finance minister 1887-1892- Raised import duties to 33%, put pressure on the peasants, grain exports increased by 18% = worst famine of the nineteenth century. "We ourselves shall not eat, but we shall export,"
- Witte took over 1892-1903- indentified three main issues = insufficient capital, lack of technical and managerial expertise and insufficient manpower in the right places.
- Without economic reform Russia would have failed to catch up with the rest of europe and no longer be known as one of europe's 'great powers'
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Alexander III reactionary measures
- Alexander III began his reign with the public hanging of his fathers assassins - there was little or no activity among opposition groups throughout his reign
- Alexander's manifesto 'reassert the principles of autocracy' confirmed fears that he was no where near a constitution like his father may have been
- Konstantin Pobedonostev advised Alexander III, "A third of all Jews in Russia must die, a third emigrate and a third assimilate." - incredibly anti-semantic
- Also suggested - freedom of the press = 'among the falsest institutions of our time'
- And - democracy = 'among the falsest of political principles'
- In 1889 Land Captains were introduced with the power to overturn Zemstva elections and impose their own punishments
- Peasants votes were reduced after ammendments to the zemstva
- Policies of reform were refused but things but Vyshnegradsky and Witte were still allowed to promoste industrilisation and modernisation (as long as it didn't affect tsarist power)
- Policy of Russification introduced - russia in language, culture, religion, legal system and ruling elite
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