Witte's Benefit to Russia

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Witte's Benefit to Russia

Witte was a revolutionary in the sense that he was the first man in a

tsarist government that stood up for the working classes. His ideas

were mainly built on the work of such writers as Vyshnegradsky, and

much of what he achieved can be attributed to his predecessors and

their work. Throughout his career as Minister Of Finance he

consistently surprised the opposition with his reforms and although he

fought to protect tsarism, he was like nothing any one had seen


He was an enlightened man who realised that if Russia was to grow

economically it had to come to terms with the many problems that faced

the tsarist regime.

His plan was to aid Russia’s development through industrialisation,

but he was not going to make the mistakes made by other nations. His

vision was to rapidly industrialise with force, and cut out the

impoverished instability that came with the 1st phase of

industrialisation. He felt if this dangerous phase could be

controllably rushed then Russia’s powers would increase dramatically

and efficiency could be reached sooner.

Probably the most important development to occur under his Ministry

was the construction of the 9600km Trans Siberian Railway. Work, which

began in 1891 was finally finished in1903 (some sources suggest 1905).

When it was complete it stretched for 5,785 miles, and increased

Russia’s total miles of track from 13,270 in 1881 to 43,850 miles in

1913. Connecting the remotest parts of Russia to the west was

imperative and had many knock on effects. For example it meant that

infrastructure had to be improved, if not only slightly, so workers

and aristocrats...

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2000 million Roubles of foreign money had been invested into the


In conclusion it is safe to say that for a certain period of time,

Witte did more for the modernisation of Russia than any one before

him. He provided a new perspective on how to govern and dramatically

increased efficiency within the country. From 1893 to 1903 iron steel

and oil productions tripled and industrial growth was respectable when

compared with other European nations. It was even higher than

Germany’s growth rate, where theirs was 84.2% and Russia’s was 96.8%.

It is unquestionable in my mind that without Witte’s vital

contribution the switch from backward, medieval Russia to modern

industrialising Russia would have taken years more to come, if at all.

Witte had his down sides, but what he did for the people was

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