To What Extent Did Witte Achieve Economic Modernisation in Russia?

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History Essay – Russia To what extent did Witte achieve economic modernisation in Russia? Russia saw a lot of changes in the years 1881-1903. A lot of these were due to Witte. The Russian empire wasn’t strong as it seemed and it was certainly not modern. Witte tried to change this with a series of projects, to help the economy and industry of Russia. He tried many different things such as building a huge railway system called the Trans-Siberian Railway across Russia (7000km). This helped Russia modernize by greatly improving infrastructure in the country. He also exploited Russia’s vast quantities of natural resources to sell them/use them in their own economy. These ideas seemed great but they did work much as Russia’s economy only grew by 50%, compared to other countries this was nothing. 80% of the country’s population were still peasants farming for themselves and having problems with land hunger, so they were generally unhappy. Because they were peasants and not workers in the cites, this shows that Russia was STILL not very modernized. The Trans-Siberian Railway was an ambitious project. It was a railway that started in the west of Russia, going through all of the major cities and then ending up in the east near the Pacific sea. Because this railway was so far, it allowed for many peasants to get on it. This helped them because it was generally very hard to move from where they were into a major city because of the bad infrastructure in the city. However it was still very hard for the peasants to move due to the redemption dues. This meant that the peasants still owed money to the government which stopped them from moving at all. Because the railway was such a large and ambitious project, it cost lots of money. Money that Russia simply did not have. Witte paid for this though foreign loans with western powers. The Trans-Siberian Railway made by Witte was a
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