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.
This, along with collectivisation, was a turning point that made Russian economy one of the largest and fastest growing in the world at the time. As the abolition of the NEP meant a move towards Socialism, it would make sense that the agricultural policy would also change. Collectivisation was therefore pursued; it was the combining of all the farms in a region into one, state-controlled farm. This had the effect of pushing Russia forward in the ‘Communist’ direction as well as the more important consequence of increasing agricultural output in order to support the industrial growth. Generally, the agriculture production in this period saw a rise from the 74.5 million tonnes of grain harvested in 1913 (while Russia still operated under the Tsarist regime) to 97.1 million in 1940  .
The key to economic power in Russia was agriculture. When Russia’s agriculture was turning out to look like a disaster, Alexander III as the Tsar made a difference by introducing new laws. He created Peasant Land Banks where peasants were given loans to increase their land size and grow more grain. Therefore Russia was able to sell more grain and gain more money. This suggests that Russia’s economy was improving very early on and this method of increasing their economic power panned out to be successful in the long term, however this would only be successful if the peasants buying the land were productive.
How far do you agree that the First World War was mainly responsible for the February Revolution of 1917? Some people may argue that World War I was the cause of the February Revolution, however, others may claim that there were many causes for the Revolution, as it was going to happen, regardless, if World War I occurred or not. In 1905, 20% of peasants had ownership of their own land, but by 1915, this had risen to 50%. Also, agriculture production rose from 45.9 million tonnes in 1906 to 61.7 million tonnes in 1913. Russian agriculture was clearly improving.
Stalin's reasons for launching the First Five-Year Plan were ideological, political and economic. Stalin believed that socialism was key if he wanted a highly advanced industrialised nation. The Communist revolution had taken place in an economically backward country which was perhaps a hundred years behind the advanced economies in the West. Therefore, in order to make the dream of socialism a reality, Stalin set an agenda - 'in ten years at most we must make good the distance which separates us from the advanced capitalist countries. Stalin had full control of the media in the Soviet Union.
To what extent did collectivisation improve Soviet agriculture in the years 1928-41? Along with Stalin’s policy of industrialisation came widespread changes in agriculture. It was seen by Stalin as necessary to improve Russia’s agriculture, modernising it in order to create food surpluses that could be exported, therefore fuelling his Five Year plan. The policy of Collectivisation, in which larger agricultural units were created ensuring peasants would farm collectively rather than on individual farms, was seen as the solution to improving Russia’s agriculture, which had been left largely unchanged since the 1917 revolution. However, it proved deeply unpopular with the peasants, and although it allowed Stalin and the party to finally gain control over the workers in the countryside, it had devastating effects on this section of the Russian population.
Finally, the ‘Witte System’ enforced extra taxes to the over taxed peasants, creating more funds. Already Witte was making major progress for the ‘economically backward’ Russia and he would go on to make further progress, as industrialisation was finally starting to emerge in Russia, which modernised income greatly in comparison to the grain export industry that they so heavily relied on. The Witte system made continued progress for the Russian economy by the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway line, which ran 7000km across the Russia Empire, from St Petersburg in the West to Vladivostok in the East. Due to the Trans-Siberian railway, communication was vastly improved as it connected the whole of the vast size of Russia. Also, as it reached the Pacific Ocean, it meant Russia could trade with Asian countries such as China and Japan, due to shipping ports, and could reach back to St Petersburg.
It is apparent that he achieved this as 50% of peasants owned their own land by 1915 due to the introduction of the Peasant Land Bank on 15th November 1906. Also, agricultural output rose by 20 million tonnes between the years 1906-1913 meaning that Stolypin’s agricultural policies made a significant difference. Therefore, this suggests that Russia had moved in the direction of economic reform as this is all evidence towards an improvement in Russian economy between the years 1906 and 1914. Stolypin directly targeted the economy as a way to improve the Tsarist position as he believed that a more stable peasantry would lead to a more stable Russia. Consequently, it is accurate to say that Russia had moved in a large way towards economic reform in the years 1906-1914.
China, and as people tend to get more disposable income, in terms of food they will tend to consume more meat. This means a lot more wheat and grain is demanded in order to feed these animals, this causes the demand curve to shift to the right causing prices to rise. As indicated in the diagram on the right where P1 moves up to P2 as a result of a shift in demand. Another reason for an increase in the prices of grain and wheat is a rising demand for bio-fuels of which grain and corn are vital components. This combined with the current fuel climate and oil prices result in a lot of demand for bio-fuels which is why 20% of American grown corn goes on bio-fuels.
Size and number of farming land increased tremendously. New farming techniques were used to increase food production. Changes in textile machinery, large population of workers, and changes in agriculture contribute to why the revolution began in England. Previous to the inventions to improve fabric work, production was extremely slow and tedious. This cloth, material, yarn goods, etc.