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How Far Do You Agree That The Economy Of Tsarist Russia Was Transformed In The Years Up To 1914?

1089 words - 5 pages

How far do you agree that the economy of Tsarist Russia was transformed in the years up to 1914?
During Alexander III reign, the Country of Russia and its economy was in a very backward state. We saw the Country suffer with extremely low industrialisation, as many of their workforce focused on agriculture. They struggled to sell enough grain at export, in order to fund large scale industrialisation as the serfs were forced by lack of freedom to grow enough food simply to keep their families going. This way of farming meant there were few areas of industry, mainly Ukraine, Moscow and St Petersburg! As a result, they remained as the most economically undeveloped country in Europe.
However, ...view middle of the document...

There were in fact steady increases in both exports and imports, mainly through Germany and Great Britain, and the strong desire for agricultural produce was extremely beneficial to Russia. By 1900, half of the industrial workforces were based in factories which increased the levels of production, and in turn helped to transform Russia from an almost purely agricultural Country. By 1910, 40% of their industrial output was from the textiles industry, which was a promising turn from the farming side, however overall; only 30% of the output was industrial. Russia was still clinging on to the agricultural side of exportation which meant industrial transformation was still minimal. It also meant that Cities grew rapidly, and had a large impact on living conditions. With more workers, in a closer proximity to each other the social disruptions spread rapidly around the different Cities and caused many different strikes. For example, in St Petersburg thousands of workers in the Putilov engineering works began a series of strikes to improve their conditions.
These set off the sparks which lead to millions of strikes and disruption around the Country, these then had a major effect on the industrialisation as the workforce were unhappy. With an unhappy workforce to deal with, industrialisation remained slow, although trading carried on at a steady pace. Railway strikes, although effected the ability for troops to move around the country and stop other strikes, it also meant a large amount of produce would struggle to make it to the harbour to be exported to other Countries and be sold. So in turn, the “great spurt” resulted in an extremely steady increase in industrialisation but came with a series of strikes and disruption which added extra trouble.
Russia’s lack of funds meant that Wittes policies had to be funded from elsewhere, foreign investments and high taxes on the serfs was the way forward. Over half of foreign investment went into mining and metallurgical industries, which did help with the development of the coal and iron industries. Nevertheless, Agriculture remained the area that bought in the most money and help the Russian economy flourish; therefor the concentration of half of foreign investment should have been focused more on developing...

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