Sergei Witte and The Industrialization of Russia

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Sergei Witte and The Industrialization of Russia During the last decade of the 19th century, the autocracy of Russia was weakening considerably, and at the same time their economy was becoming industrialized. This process of industrialization was put forth by the government in an effort to modernize. The autocracy began to realize that their economy was falling behind the other industrialized nations. Rapid industrialization would prove to be very draining on the country, and would also establish an industrial working class, which would contribute to the revolutions of 1905 and 1917. The imperial government clearly did not foresee industrialization as an eventual catalyst to their demise. They saw it as the opportunity for Russia to become one of, if not the most, powerful country in the world. The height of industrialization in Russia occurred at the end of the 19th century. The man that the autocracy appointed Minister of Finance during this period was Segei Witte. He was appointed the position in 1892, and held it until 1903. Witte is regarded as the prominent figure in the industrialization of Russia. The tsar at the time, Nicholas II, had a great deal of faith in Witte’s ability to successfully modernize the Russian economy. In researching this topic, it seems advantageous to look at documents that Witte had written to the tsar during this time. This gives us insight into the economic and social aims of the government, that they sought to achieve through industrialization. One such document worth researching is a memorandum that Witte wrote that was addressed to Nicholas II. This memorandum has since been critiqued by historian T.H, Von Laue, in his article entitled, A Secret Memorandum Of Sergei Witte On The Industrilaization of Russia. In his article, Von Laue analyzes different plans, and is most importantly interested in how this memorandum reflects
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