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

"Military needs were always the main reason for Russia's economic development" - To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Dhaval Shah U6NE 14/05/03 "Military needs were always the main reason for Russia's economic development." To what extent do you agree with this statement? Within the scope of Russian history, war has been shown to a factor in determining whether the status quo was maintained, or indeed whether change rapidly occurred as a reaction to the events of the time. Throughout the 100 year period it can be said that a framework exists where Russia is involved, directly or otherwise, in either warfare or in preparations for war. Whilst it can be argued that the drive for modernisation and the aims of the state were central to developing the economy of Russia, the emphasis placed on military needs can at no stage be understated. Indeed, the key to legitimacy and consent for governments of the period derived heavily from her performance in war and her capabilities to defend her people. This essay will argue that, despite the necessity to acknowledge the importance of the modernisation of Russia and the aims of the state, military needs took precedence and determined whether economic development took place, as the position of the government of the time hinged, in effect, the success of war and also helped to shape future policy. ...read more.

Middle

to support the belief that the sole reason to develop economically was to help cope with the demands of war; consumerism was forgotten, and, just as had been the case in the Tsarist era, the development of the economy derived from the necessity to response to the growing threat of war, or indeed defeat in war which signalled a change from the status quo of the time. Despite the skewed nature of the economy towards military needs, however, it would undoubtedly be flawed to suggest that military needs alone accounted for the drive to move Russia's weak economy forward. In social terms, Russia remained well behind her Western allies, and the drive for modernisation not only sought to bring Russia up to par on the military front, but it also attempted to redress the growing imbalance between the elite and the peasantry which existed throughout the 100 year period. The programme of reform embarked upon by Alexander II in the 1860s signalled his intentions to alleviate the growing discontent of his people, whilst also developing Russia economically so that the social structure of Russia could be maintained. ...read more.

Conclusion

The imbalance in caused by the skew towards heavy industry meant that the Russian people lived with little purpose; he sought to redress this quickly and firmly. Despite this, what the 100 year period has shown is that, whilst leaders under both the Tsarist and Communist era had differing aims and objectives, the effect of war as a catalyst for change economically has been a consistent theme that has recurred time after time. The belief that the effect of war provided the impetus for the need to develop economically can be qualified that, after several of the major wars that Russia was involved in within the 100 year period, there had been calls at the time to change and develop the infrastructure in the aftermath, most notably when Russia had fallen at the hands of the victors. Indeed, counterfactually speaking, there would have been no requisite need to develop had Russia's military capacity been sufficient enough to deal with the matters she faced at the time. The fact that the legitimacy of government hinged to such an extent on success in war meant that, in effect, Russia had no choice but to be biased economically towards the needs of the military; essentially, she was an isolated state with nothing to gain, but everything, as her leaders perceived, to lose. ...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 International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    More seriously, the topsoil of the Virgin Lands was soon eroded by over intensive farming and the dreadful drought of 1963 and a gigantic dust bowl was left behind. Khrushchev also personally backed the introduction of maize. It was planted in many areas of the Soviet Union, but was unsuited to the climate.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    of the conflicts that existed, FDR evidently hoped that his own political genius, plus the exigencies of postwar conditions, would pave the way for a mutual accommodation that would somehow satisfy both America's commitment to a world of free trade and democratic rule, and the Soviet Union's obsession with national security and safely defined spheres of influence.

  1. To what extent was the Civil War the main factor in the Bolshevik

    In addition to this point a collaboration of historians express that "Events of 1918-22...in Russian society were far more complex than the simple Red-White struggle...the Civil War began as a war between the Bolsheviks and their socialist opponents - the...Socialist Revolutionaries"8.

  2. The Economic "Miracle".

    As cotton economy became mechanized blacks moved into inner city ghettoes. Not all were poor, but it was harder due to historical patterns of racial discrimination towards them. 3 million blacks move from rural south to industrial north b/w 1940 -60.

  1. How Stable Was the Tsarist Autocracy in 1914?

    But Revisionist historians cast a doubt over the liberal interpretation and analysis of events. For the average peasant, due to a marked increase in the level of investment in food and consumer products within the countryside, the standard of living rose in the decades prior to even 1905, but the revolution still occurred.

  2. Japan: Post-Occupation Era 1952-80

    Peasants of this belt are loyal supporters of the LDP; so proposals of re-distributing the election districts are frequently turned down??. c. Given the trend?? of urbanization, problems like housing, education, social welfare, sewage disposal????, traffic jams?? and pollution grew serious.

  1. Communist Russia

    But the liberals in the provisional government did not want to simply hand over the land to the peasants, as they wanted it to be done within the framework of the law set down by the constituent assembly and they wanted that the landowners be compensated.

  2. In the context of the period 1905-2005, how far do you agree that Khrushchev ...

    Such tactics are similar to that of Witte and Stolypin; who both saw economic growth accompanied by social reform. We see here Khrushchev being the first (within communism), to create the basis for civil reformation; in order for it to accompany other reforms, which go hand-in-hand with overall prosperity.

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