Agriculture and the Economy Back

• Many countries in Europe industrialized their economy and liberalized their political structure at the end of the 19th century
• Russia was held back by conservative tsarist regime.
• The economy was in a bad state with a few rich people and many many poor people.
• The Minister of Finance, Sergei Witte, then, drove Russia’s modernization.
• Increase in the production of coal in the Ukraine and oil in the Caucasus promoted massive economic growth.
• He also created a stable currency, the gold ruble.
• He used foreign loans to build railways, that sped up transportation and industry.
• The length and severity of the winter, together with the sharp fluctuations in the mean summer and winter temperatures.
Russian grown wheat

• Meant special requirements on many branches of the economy.
• In regions of permafrost, buildings must be constructed on pilings, machinery must be made of specially tempered steel, and transportation systems must be engineered to perform reliably in extremely low and extremely high temperatures.
• This makes agriculture and the economy hard to deal with.
• During extended periods of darkness and cold, there are increased demands for energy, health care, and textiles.
• It affects where and how long people live and work, what kinds of crops are grown, and where they are grown (no part of the country has a year-round growing season).
• Russia was the world's largest wheat exporter during this period.
• Russian grain trade was significantly influenced by international prices and was well integrated with the international commercial wheat trade.
• After 1880 regional wheat markets in Russia were linked and that a strong connection had been established between Russian ports and cities at the center of the world wheat trade.
• Grain trade was positively influenced by the development of the rail system.