• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why was Russia such a backward country in the end of the 19th century?

Extracts from this document...


Luciana Machado 3.12.04 IB History - yr2 Why was Russia such a backward country in the end of the 19th century? The Tsarist state inherited by Nicholas II consisted of many weakenessesm, largely of political problems, social weaknesses and tensions, faults in the economy and other factors that all combined to make Russia a backward state. Russia's problems went as follow: The agrarian situation was a something that no matter how many changes acurred, yet they remained repressed and backward in several important aspects. The government in Russia had been bankrupt following the Crimean War and so transferred the large debt to the freed peasants. These debts were made worse by the inflated land values in the black soil and non-black soil provinces in Russia which also exacerbated the high interest payments on the peasants debts. The Emancipation Decrees of Alexander II also caused a stir as ex-serfs still bore a temporary obligation to their former masters until late 1881. ...read more.


The nobles however, were even more indebted despite the redemption payments. Many used the money they borrowed to subsidize their lifestyles rather than to invest in the productivity of the countryside. Nicholas II pursued a policy of low bread prices to feed the emerging industrial cities, but his efforts were in vain becuase of the repeated harvest failures of the 1890s. By1900, although agricultural productivity had increased by about 20% in Russia since 1860, it had more than doubled in Japan during the same period. Agriculture in Russia was bled dry in order to finance industrialization, but the move became counter-productive in that the lack of investment driven development in agriculture meant that it could not provide enough money to finance an effective industrialization. The reforms of Alexander II can be considered only half-filled as they had more virtual impact than actually a concrete one. Railway developement was not seriously undertaken until the 1870s to link the areas of industrial activity. ...read more.


There was a great problem of overcrowding as many workers lived in slum conditions and though modern machinery was imported from the west, in the steel industry, there were only wheelbarrows to move the finished steelaround the plant. The political backwardness of Russia was another factor that simply did not allow the country to move forward. Although Alexander II had modernized and strengthened local government with the creation of the Zemstvas, it was still not enough as it was not uniform throughout the Empire and did not have control over imperial finances. Alexander III made the Zemstvas a great target from his reactionary laws in 1890 and in 1892 the franchise was revised for rural and urban assembly elections order to restrict popular votes. The number of peasant delegates and westernized intellectuals was reduced from 21,000 people to 7,000 people. The representation of the nobles was markedly increased as the approval of the provincial governors was required for all zemstva employees, teachers, doctors, and lawyers. Zemstva's decisions were subject to review by the provincial governors and the minister of the interior. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Population & Settlement section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a good attempt, however it lacks a conclusion and could have incorporated more data to demonstrate Russia's position at the end of the 19th Century.
3 stars.

Marked by teacher Molly Reynolds 17/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Population & Settlement essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Urban problems are the same the world over and require the same solutions To ...

    3 star(s)

    Therefore, these MEDC's have to manage the space they do have very efficiently and exploit opportunities where housing for businessman and people who work in the city can be constructed.

  2. There are many problems facing rural areas in today's world.

    They are often seen as being out of touch with the young people of today and this can be summed up in one simple phrase, "when I was your age..." This in turn reminds me of the old saying that the oppressed become the oppressors.

  1. Case Study of Deprivation in a Rural Area - Cornwall

    Offers surfing, wave skiing and kite surfing. Owners also run Watergate Bay Hotel, overlooking academy and beach. Hotel has new restaurant, bar and accommodation. They are open all year, employing 50-60 people all year round in 2006, compared to 15-20 in 2003, as a result of increased trade.

  2. Case Study of Rural Rebranding of Blaenau Ffestiniog

    The exceptions were in the questions about work and business; education and lifelong skills; housing and also health and welfare. This is where the 50% or more of the people said that there had been no change, but also people said that there had been some improvement on those questions.

  1. Report on Characteristics and Consequences of an Ageing Population

    cities Swindon, an English town/city on the other hand, has a high % of young population, due to many old people migrating from Swindon to places such as Seaton and also to a relatively high birth rate. The population pyramid of Swindon is base and middle - heavy, with the top (where the older population is )

  2. Discuss the factors affecting fertility and mortality.

    In the early 1970's, after decades of encouragement to have large families the Chinese government told it's people that population growth was a danger and that each family should limit their family size to only one child. The Chinese government had previously told its people that 'a large population gives

  1. Explain why development is a complex term to measure and define

    Therefore, even if countries have the same GDP per capita, people in those countries will not be able to afford the same things. To try to account for the difference in purchasing parity, The Economist have developed the Big Mac Index, which shows the purchasing parity in different countries by

  2. Case Study: An Overpopulated Country - Bangladesh

    An increased dependency ratio is seen in an aging population, resulting in the young burdened by the need to support the aged. This reduces family disposable income, and thus causes standard of living to fall. Also, increases in tax reduce the disposable income of the young.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work