How Successful Were The Russian Governments In Promoting Economic Change And Modernisation Between 1881 and 1904?
When Alexander III came into power, he made sure that industrialization was at the forefront of his plans. So under Vyshnedgradsky and Witte, various measures were imposed to help kick start industrialization, which led to significant economic change
The improved transport system, which resulted from government investment in infrastructure like the railways, helped to vastly improve Russia’s economic situation. This is evident through the clear positive correlation between railway improvements and increases in Russia’s industrial output. The length of railway tracks in Russia increased form 31219 miles in 1891 to 58392 miles by 1904. In the same time period, Russia’s coal production increased from 6.01 million tonnes to 18.67 million tonnes. This shows how the government’s investment in expanding and modernizing the country’s railways resulted in significant economic gains. This was a result of an increased ability to transport raw materials to areas with the greatest population, such as the area surrounding St Petersburg. The railways, particularly the Trans-Siberian railway, also gave Eastern Russia a link to Europe and Western Russia a link to the Pacific Ocean, which made it easier to export Russian goods. Therefore the Russian governments’ investment in railways was extremely successful in promoting economic growth.
The Russian government was also successful in improving Russia’s heavy industry through the introduction of tariffs on imports. This clearly helped Russian heavy industry to expand as steel production increase eightfold from 1880 to 1905 and petroleum production increased over 2500% during the same time period. These tariffs, introduced by Vyshnedgradsky and continued by Witte, both increased revenue for the government and made goods produced inside Russia cheaper than outsourced products, thus allowing fledgling Russian...