To What Extent Was the Russian Economy Transformed in the Period of 1881-1914 Essay

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To what extent was the Russian economy transformed in the period of 1881-1914 Russia’s economy in 1881 was in a rather detrimental state, they seemed to be so many years behind the rest of the European superpowers, especially in terms of industrial progress. A famous historian Murphy referred to Russia as the “most economically underdeveloped superpower.” Many reforms were attempted to improve the economic state of Russia, but just how successful were they? In this essay I am going to be writing from the point of view that Russia economy was changed, however there are some flaws in this statement, which I will discuss further on… Firstly, the first indication of major change for me was the reforms applying to the rural areas of Russia. At the start of this period peasants were in heavy debt and struggling to survive, agriculturally, the country wasn’t producing enough crops to supply the country with food, let alone sell for a profit. (Only 50% of Russian farms produced surplus crops.) In 1883, Nikolai Bunge introduced the “Peasant Land Bank”. It was a scheme set up to loan peasants resources such as land and equipment, this was arguably to make them more inclined to make surplus crops, which would be in turn given back to the government. Alexander II also removed all the debts that had been imposed on the peasants due to the increasingly high taxes that were simply ludicrous for the peasants to pay off. Not only did this mean that the peasants were now living without worry, but statistically, makes Russia’s economy better as a whole as the majority of the country was no longer in massive debt. They were also encouraged to ‘break free’ of their owners and become independents, also known as ‘kulaks’ Another indication that shows that the Russian economy was improving was the fact the cities were slowly but steadily beginning to make real progress. A good

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