Witte Great Spurt

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How far do you agree that the most important development in the industrialisation of Russia from 1855 to 1965 was a result of Witte’s great spurt? After the defeat at Crimea, industrialisation the on became a key priority for each leader, sometimes at the expense of other sectors such agriculture and the general wellbeing of the peasantry. Some historians feel Witte was the figure who kick-started Russian industrialisation in the form of his ‘Great Spurt’. However others feel without Alexander II emancipation of the serfs all the progress made after him wouldn’t have been possible. Other than Witte the only Russian Leader to have made such a big of an impact on Russian industrialisation is Stalin and his five year plans. His time in power saw the narrowing of the gap between Russia and the west which surely was a sign that Russia was on the right path, but it’s important to remember the Wall Street crash of 1929 sparked a worldwide depression, which allowed Russia to catch up in a sense since the depression prevented the west from experiencing any type of growth. Since Industrialisation became a key focus point for each leader, a main issue which had to be dealt with was the creation of large population of inner city workers, who would primarily work in the cities. Before Witte’s Great Spurt the percentage of the population who were workers made up around 0.75% of the population, during and after his Great Spurt this figure rose to approximately 1.25%. This is in stark contrast to the west where the average percentage of the population in work was much higher. However when we compare Wittes statistics to Stalin’s its evident Stalin did more to stimulate a sizable working population. As statistics show the percentage of people who lived and worked in urban areas was 18%, a far greater value to the mere 1.25% achieved by Witte. Policies such as collectivisation and
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