Why Was It Important for Russia to Modernise and Why Did That Pose a Threat to Tsardom?

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For a long time, Russia had been considered backward, both in its political methods and its ways of life. 80% of the population were peasants and Russia itself was a very large country to govern. Modernisation was a way for the country to keep up with its European neighbours. There were two key areas that Sergei Witte, Finance Minister for Russia, was focused upon: Industry and Transport. He felt these areas would help to solve Russia's three biggest problems; Communication, Size and Social Divide. Witte's industrial policy covered many areas. The first was huge investments from France. Witte used this money to kick-start various economic plans he had. This money was important because the economy in Russia was poor at the time; bearing in mind there was a huge number of peasants and very few working class people at the time may suggest a reason for this. Russia's biggest produce was grain. This was the most important factor in my opinion, as without this money, Witte wouldn't have been able to implement any of his ideas. The second area was state sponsored development of heavy industry. Witte believed that heavy industry was the way forward, because he thought that light industry and agriculture could both benefit from this boost. It was important for this change to occur because Russia had massive resources of iron, coal, timber etc. but was not exploiting them. By encouraging heavy industries to tap into Russian resources, Witte was stimulating the Russian economy using Russian resources; self sufficiency. This can be seen in statistics that show Russian production of coal and iron multiply three and eightfold respectively. This was the next most important area in my opinion because it was the products that these industries created that allowed money to flow into the economy, by being sold on the foreign market. Thirdly, Witte imposed high foreign
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