The Industrial Revolution in Russia Essay

The Industrial Revolution in Russia Essay

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The Industrial Revolution in Russia
Russia, which began its industrial revolution at least a half century
behind most of the West European countries, had to meet a number of
special challenges. Russia moved to industrialisation in stages. An
uncertain experimental phase – which Russia had already experienced to
an extent before 1870 – included larger reforms that helped free up
economic change. This preliminary period was followed by more rapid
growth in a society still overwhelming agricultural. Russia had
well-developed industrial sectors by the early 20th century, but
paused well behind the West. Russia became the only society to
experience full-fledged political and social revolution after the
industrialisation process was well under way.

The reform period in the 1860s that brought limited freedom for the
serfs also produced a host of other political changes, some of which
involved economic policy. The Abolition of Serfdom in 1861, had slowed
down the creation of a large workforce, and, as such, the Russian
economy had been almost completely agrarian. Also, Russia’s previously
untouched deposits of coal and other raw materials began to be

Government budget procedures were regularized and state bank was
created in 1866 to centralize credit and finance. Government policy
also encouraged more foreign investment.

Russia’s reform ended in 1881 with the assassination of Alexander II,
after which highly cruel policies went into effect in most quarters.
The Ministry of Finance, however, maintained a commitment to change.
The minister of finance during the 1890s, Serge Witte, dedicated his
great talents to ...

... middle of paper ...

...a traditional agriculture
and impoverished peasantry, an autocratic state and an inactive
economy, which could only be pulled into the modern age during the
1890s by a state-induced industrial boom. From 1894-1900, with state
support, heavy industry grew rapidly until the financial crisis of
1901 weakened government credit and ended the boom. During the years
1894-1900, however, backward linkages from the industrial sector were
formed with the rest of the economy. Thereby, an infra-structure was
created which, in the aftermath of the crisis of 1901-1905 and in the
context of reforms initiated in 1906, allowed the Russian economy, for
the first time to experience a phase of natural, balanced economic
growth. By 1914, Russia, thanks to the state help of the 1890s, was
well on the way to join the western European nations.

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