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Outline and assess the effectiveness of Wittes economic reform When Sergei Witte became minister of finance in Russia in 1892 he recognised that the economy had to be modernised if Russia

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Outline and assess the effectiveness of Wittes economic reform When Sergei Witte became minister of finance in Russia in 1892 he recognised that the economy had to be modernised if Russia was to become a world power on a par with the west. The Industrial Revolution that had taken place in the west had led to its massive economic growth and an increase in power and Empire building. Being able to buy cheap, raw materials like oil and coal from Russia fuelled part of the west's industrial revolution. Witte decided that Russia needed state Capitalism to modernise. He borrowed capital and encouraged investment from the west and large factories began to produce heavy industry like steel. ...read more.


Change was resisted and Witte had no support for his vision of a richer, more powerful, modernised Russia. There was also conflict with the military commanders who pushed their needs for transport and military hardware to the top of the economic agenda. These conflicts interfered with Wittes plans and so by the time of the Great Trade Recession at the turn of the century, critics could identify three major weaknesses in his economic reform. Witte paid To drive his economic reform through without support or interest from the Tsarist court or the government Witte (who was German) brought in many experienced foreign industrialist and capital from the west to manage and finance his projects. This was not at all popular with the Tsar or Russia who did not trust him. ...read more.


Despite the success of improved transport across Russia, boosting exports and foreign trade, Wittes programme of reform was hampered by the unwillingness of the Tsarist regime to consider any changes in the social structures of the country. Feudal systems hampered the development of a strong middle class. The Tsar and his ministers only wanted economic expansion as a means of strengthening Russia's military capability. Because of the high import tariffs, Russian consumers had to pay higher prices because the trader had to keep pace with the increased value of the Rouble. The very strategies that Witte introduced to strengthen the nation and protect Tsardom against the disruptive forces in Russian society were unsupported and unappreciated by the Tsar and his ministers, these factors meant that it was difficult for Witte to realise his economic miracle and the Tsar asked him to retire in 1903. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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