Essay about Russian Empire and Industrialisation Benefit Russia

Submitted By tinylobes
Words: 931
Pages: 4

How far did industrialisation benefit Russia between 1890&1914? In this essay I will be exploring how far industrialisation benefited turn of the century Russia; I will look at how minister of finance between 1892-1903 Sergei Witte effected the industrialisation in Russia and how the revolution effected Russia’s industrialisation. I will also consider how though it may have benefited Russia in the long term, in the short term Russia’s industrialisation was a time of struggle politically, economically and how the population struggled. Russia’s industrialisation was a landmark in Russia’s history with many shaping events occurring between 1890 & 1914, with ‘the great spurt’ of Sergei Witte, the Russo-Japanese war, the 1905 failed revolution and the revolution of 1917 which followed, it is hard to ignore Russia’s industrialisation as an important occurrence in history.
I think economically speaking industrialisation did benefit Russia to some extent as it increased trade opportunities due to the construction of the trans-Siberian railway, which ran through the length of Russia from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok, this allowed Russia to transport goods easier throughout the country and to surrounding areas. Although the trans-Siberian railway was beneficial in the long run it was a large hit to Russia’s finance at the time as it cost 1.4 billion roubles on top of the debt Russia was already in with France from loans taken out my Vyshnegradsky. In consideration of the costs of the trans-Siberian railway grain exports increased during Russia’s industrialization which may have been assisted by the construction of the trans-Siberian railway, the freedom of transport increased exports in grain meaning Russia was able to begin recovering financially. During the industrialisation, whilst Witte was in power, production of valuable resources such as coal, iron and oil rose dramatically this helped further the before mentioned building of the trans-Siberian railways to be built faster, this dramatically sped up Russia’s plan to exploit the large amounts of natural resource in Siberia at this time. Additionally with such convenient and useful source of transport the enlargement and reinforcement of Russia’s armies was capable due to the easy access of the resources needed for this. This was key for Russia to maintain its place as a great power in the world as around 1890 military forces began to be seen as a key aspect of any country with influence and economic power.
Though the Russia’s revolution did have some benefits such as those mention above, from the view of Russia’s people between 1890 & 1914 it was a difficult time and a hard place to live particularly if you were of working class. Working class civilians in Russia faced highly difficult and lowly living and working conditions; this was at due to overpopulation in large cities from where Witte’s policies had caused people from rural areas move to urban areas to work in factories as opposed to working on farms as they had previously. Cities became largely over-populated and this crowding caused difficult living conditions and rapid spread of disease due to the lack of medical care for the lower class. Adding to the struggle of such severe crowding and inner city poverty between 1890-1914 Russia populations increased by at least 50% and with 80% of Russia’s population being peasants this only worsened the issues of urban over population. In my opinion I think Russia’s industrialisation may have been one of the causes of the attempted 1905 revolution and a large cause of the fall of autocracy. Harvest failures which occurred between 1898-1901 caused wide spread famine which added to Russia’s poverty as a result of