Tsar Nicholas II and Industry
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Tsar Nicholas II and Industry

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An overview of industrial development in the reign of Nicholas II

An overview of industrial development in the reign of Nicholas II

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Tsar Nicholas II and Industry Presentation Transcript

  • 1. INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT UNDER NICHOLAS II The role of Witte RJ Tarr
  • 2. (a) Raising Money - The Gold Standard
  • 3. Policies / Positive Assessment
    • Immediately upon taking office Witte raised a massive amount of capital – he secured a loan from the French government, raised taxes , tariffs and interest rates
    • Put Russia on the Gold Standard in 1897. This tripled foreign currency investment during his period in power (because it could now be exchanged for Gold, investors were more confident in the currency). Gold Standard meant currency was valued according to the Gold reserves in the country’s banks
  • 4. Reservations
    • This meant a higher national debt – 20% of budget was just on servicing the debt (i.e. paying the interest off) by 1900.
    • Light industry and agriculture were pretty much ignored.
  • 5. (b) Investing Money – The Trans-Siberian Railway
  • 6. Policies / Positive Assessment
    • He then started investing in capital projects – in particular, railways , which offered military as well as economic advantages and therefore gained the support of the Tsar.
    • The Trans-Siberian Railway was the showpiece, stretching 9600 miles from Moscow to Vladivostok.
  • 7. Reservations
    • Its value was more symbolic than anything else – it was only single track and some sections were still incomplete in 1914.
    • An unfortunate consequence was that it encouraged Nicholas II to believe he could defeat Japan in the 1904-5 war.
  • 8. Overall Assessment
  • 9. Policies / Positive Assessment
    • He was aware that the long-term benefits of industrialisation was preceded by short-term social dislocation and political tension; so he aimed to leapfrog over this stage and “ Save Russia by rapid and forceful industrialisation ”
    • Massive growth 1893-1900
    • All this in the face of the suspicion and hostility of the conservative establishment (Milyutin had faced the same problem).
  • 10. Reservations
    • Growth was from a very low base.
    • Even if developments taken at face value, this does not mean that Tsarism would have adapted politically to the economic changes.
    • 4/5 of population in 1914 still peasants.