Russian economic situation before 1917 and nowadays.

Essay by teleccopit February 2006

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During all its rich history, Russia has always been a complex society with many paradoxes. Economically speaking, it took more especially its signification at the early of 20th century.

At this time, industrial growth of the country was outpacing the world whereas agricultural performances were at a really poor level, as well in terms of profitability as in terms of peasant's way of life.

Russia was also a land of newly liberated serfs, middle class revolutionaries, enlightened millionaires and reactionary nobles, under the absolute power of the last imperial family in Russia (belonging to Romanov dynasty), Tsar and Tsarina, Nicholas II and Alexandra.

It became then obvious that such an economic situation should lead to a global revolution, what happened in 1917 with Bolsheviks.

This crucial year in the Russian history meant the beginning of the very long tragic period that Soviets had to endure: Communism, which will strongly affect the Russian economy of the post-USSR.

Consequently, it will be interesting in this report to compare the Russian economic situation of nowadays (after 1991) with the one of before 1917 (end of 19th century and beginning of 20th century). This will allow us to show how Russia succeeded (or not) his industrial development through different periods of its history, and how it managed to solve disrupts caused by the soviet period. So, after having described the economic period of Russia before communism with its pros and cons, we will speak about the new Russian capitalism and the differences or similarities with the past.

Economic situation before 1917

Following economic history of precedent centuries, the 19th century was still reducing Russia to a strong state protectionism and low economic performances.

Although efforts were made in favor of merchants, entrepreneurs, the state power and the consequent absence of competition...