An outstanding individual involved in Russia’s development was Sergei Witte. As minister of finance from 1892 to 1903 he set himself the huge task of modernising the Russian economy to compete with the advanced nations of the West. It was Witte’s belief that modernisation could be achieved only through state capitalism. He was impressed by the results of the industrial revolutions in the West, and argued that the same ideas could successfully modernise Russia. However, given the backwardness of the Russian economy particular difficulties were presented.
How Successful Were The Russian Governments In Promoting Economic Change And Modernisation Between 1881 and 1904? When Alexander III came into power, he made sure that industrialization was at the forefront of his plans. So under Vyshnedgradsky and Witte, various measures were imposed to help kick start industrialization, which led to significant economic change The improved transport system, which resulted from government investment in infrastructure like the railways, helped to vastly improve Russia’s economic situation. This is evident through the clear positive correlation between railway improvements and increases in Russia’s industrial output. The length of railway tracks in Russia increased form 31219 miles in 1891 to 58392 miles by 1904.
The reforms meant that the emphasis would be on the improvement of the agriculture industry, led by the serfs (usually agricultural labourers). The actions of Sergei Witte were also highly beneficial to the Russian Empire. Witte wanted the modernisation of the Russian empire and to do this he needed to industrialise like Britain and Germany who had industrialised long before Russia. As a result of this, Russia had started on the back foot as their economy was poor and therefore the currency, the Rubble, was almost worthless; this meant that securing loans would be difficult. To counteract this re-launched the Rouble in 1897 meant that loans could be acquired in order to invest in industrialisation.
Conversely, the higher-value rouble helped increase the prices of goods. Witte's main method for raising the capital and modernisation would be the Trans-Siberian Railway, which from 1881 to 1900 increased from 13,000 to 33,000 miles. It was hoped it would encourage east to West migration of workers, to feed in to industry, however this did not happen. Instead, it helped growth and exports of Russia by making transportation of materials far easier. On the other hand, the growth in population compared with national output shows less production per head, and therefore less efficient production.
His aim was to make Russia a super power. * But, he was faced with many problems; Russia had a very small business class, which was central to keeping up with Britain. Also the majority of peasants didn’t have complete freedom which limited migration. Plus, the Russian economy had insufficient funds to invest in industrialisation, as well as the rouble not being on the golden standard so not many people were willing to invest as the rouble wasn’t a safe investment. This was changed when the rouble was put on the golden standard, many people and countries invested such as; factory owners from Bradford as well as Belgium, France and Britain.
In addition, World War II introduced change through industrialisation, which was key to Russia’s success in the war. These key reforming leaders and other factors of change saw Russia grow from a very deprived country in 1856 to an industrial superpower in 1964. Alexander II became known as ‘Alexander the Great Reformer’ and ‘the Tsar Liberator’ which suggests that his work and reforms changed the nature of Russian government and society to a large extent. The emancipation of the Serfs in 1861 initially appeared to have major benefits for the serfs. As Alexander II said: “We vowed in our hearts to fulfil the mission which is entrusted to Us and to surround with Our affection and Our Imperial solicitude all Our faithful subjects of every rank and condition”2.
How successful were Stalin’s industrial policies in developing the Russian economy in the years 1928-41 ? During the first five year plans Stalin focuses on developing the countries economy as a means to turn the Soviet Union into a modern world power and to improve the living standards of all Soviet citizens. Later in the period Stalin focusses on establishing Russia as a world power through strengthening Russia’s military power. In order to achieve this, Stalin believed in collectivisation and industrialization. By collectivizing and industrializing the agriculture and industries.
He also increased industrial and agricultural production with his policy of collectivization. He carried out purges or the harsh movements against his enemies to make sure he kept total control of the U.S.S.R. Stalin made several changes in the Soviet Union. He did this by modernizing the economy by setting up the Five-Year Plan. In document 1, Stalin's speech uses nationalistic pride to motivate the people. Stalin was trying to push the people so they can be an advanced country.
He also stated that once we took them over, we could then educate them. He essentially wanted to do the country a right by taking control and politically righting a wrong. The second cause of Imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries were the economic forces involved. For example, in America, people were producing goods faster than people could end up using, creating an excessive surplus. They thought of the idea of taking over countries and placing trading posts everywhere to help get rid of this surplus (Document 2).
This city was known as Peter’s “window to the west” because it opened up many trading routes with other countries. Peter “The Great” died in St. Petersburg in 1725. He is buried at the Peter and Paul Cathedral. Peter “The Great” is the most responsible monarch for “westernizing” Russia. He made several different reforms to give more power to the central government and the Tsar, he promoted military, and he improved the Russian economy.