Russia had to overcome a huge obstacles in order to industrialize, its immature transportation system. The poor system slowed down the spread of ideas, people, and materials thus barring Russian development. With the advancements made to the transportation system, Russia prevailed and began the road to industrialization (Ellis). Due to Russia's large land area, transportation had been a major problem for its people (Fink). The government built a system of waterways hoping to link the country together (Ellis). The waterways were an efficient mode for the transportation of heavy goods and faster travel for people, but because they were inaccessible during the winter when they would freeze. In southern Russia, the rivers froze from three to four months per year, and in northern Russia, the rivers froze from six to seven months per year. The systems were only usable from four to six months per year. If goods did not reach their destinations before the waterways froze, they would either spoil or have to be stockpiled until next season (Fink). A voyage from Astrakhan to St. Petersburg often took two years to complete. Originally, the waterways seemed like a good idea but due to the harsh conditions of Russia’s winters they proved themselves an inefficient form of reliable transportation.
The road system utilized during this time period was even worse. The few roads were too muddy to use throughout the year (Fink). They were composed of sand on top of dirt, making them almost impossible to travel on. The roads became muddy when it rained and the sand formed drifts in dry, windy weather (Fink). Transportation on the roads was possible on wheels during the summer and on runners during the winter (Lalor). Alexander I saw the problem and decided to build real, hard-surfaced roads. The first one was constructed from 1817 to1834 (Fink). Due to these new, hard-surfaced roads, distances that used to take months to travel were now reduced to days.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document