‘Backwardness in industry severely weakened the Russian economy in the years between 1894 and 1914’ Assess the validity of this view.

‘Backwardness in industry severely weakened the Russian economy in the years between 1894 and 1914’ Assess the validity of this view.

  • Backwardness in industry
    • Very low starting point: the “wasteland beyond Europe’s back yard” Grinevsky or “pre-modern world” Christian…
    • 9m tonnes of coal to 35.9m 1890-1913
    • Some growth: 8.5% between 1903 1913
      • During this period 25% gov income was from industrial investment
    • Germany attacks Russia because worried about economic development
  • Railway expansion
    • “Transport revolution” Lynch
    • 1866-81: 3000 to 13,000 MILES
    • Tran Siberian Railway: Connects remote regions: Moscow to Vladivostok. (Encourages workers to migrate to areas with demand for labour. Fell through…basically a status symbol)
    • However 1908-1913 growth slowed down…although still 2nd largest in world. But c.f to USA 411,000 vs 62,000
  • Foreign aid and investment
    • Vysh: 98m to 215m roubles. 1880-90 French loan 1888
    • Witte: 215m to 280m roubles. 1890-5
    • 1895-1914: 280m to 2000m roubles.
    • Vulnerable to international recession: 1900-8
      • 1902-4 usa collapses: 2400 firms collapsed in Russia
    • Labour
      • Adam Smith argument about free labour
      • Emancipation 1861: doesn’t free/up create the industrial labour required
        • 15% still temp obligated in 1881
      • Some movement of peasants into cities for work: from ¾ of st p pop by birth 1914 to 1/3 peasants by birth 50 years earlier
      • 50% pop growth to 121.7m: so expected to produce more.
    • Uneven industrial development
      • “Russia was the least developed European power” Nove. Goes on to say how most of the rest of the country had its highest level of industry as handicrafts
      • Lack of imput/control of gov further away from capitals
      • ESP IN CENTRAL RUSSIA: where peasant/ ex master relationship was most traditional
      • Meanwhile: BEET FARM UKRAINE, BALTIC CAPITALIST FARMS
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