How successful were the Russian governments in promoting economic change and modernisation between 1881-1904?
After the Crimean War (1854-56) the econmoy in Russia slowly begun to develop. Alexander II set the development of a railwail bulding programm and a limited spread of factories. But Russia's economy was still not as well-developed as that in western Europe. So a real industrialisation took of in the reign of Alexander III and the help of Nicholas II's finance minsters Ivan Vyshnegradsky and Sergei Witte.
The main point of those developments, was imporoving Russia's finances and buliding up the gold reserves. For doing this Vyshnegradsky decided to increase the indirect taxes and mount a drive to swell grain exports.. By 1891 the duties were increased so that Russian iron,industrial machinery and raw cotton were protected against outisde competition.This was very successful. The grain export increased by 18 percent between 1881 and 1891. After Vyshnegradsky ,Sergei Witte took over as minster of finance in 1892. For him the only way of keeping the "great power status" of Russia was economic modernisation. He also believed that economic development would stop people thinking about riots and a revolution. The three key problems he wanted to solve were - insufficient capital - lack of technical and managerial expertise - insufficient manpower in the right places His way of thinking is known as "state capitalism". He wanted to continue the way ,Vyshnegradsky had gone.By heavy taxation and forcing exports to generate capital the government got more money for investing in e.g. railways. But Witte still needed to get loans from abroad due to the lack of capital. This helped to increase foreign investments and business confidence. In addition it helped the currency fo not having ups and downs.Finally a new rouble was...
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