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Category: History


C.I. Golotik, S.V. Karpenko, T.Yu. Krasovitskaya, V.V. Minayev


At a boundary of the XIX-XX centuries Russia was included into group of the moderately developed countries of Europe and America. Major factors of slowing down of its development, the lag reasons from the USA, Great Britain and France were the autocratic form of government, landowner land tenure and also class, national and religious inequality.

_lavno capitalist modernization - liquidation of the remaining economic, social and political institutes of a feudal era, introduction in the country of representative institution (parliament) as regulatory authority and the adoption of domination of capitalist property in the city and the village became a historical problem of the country which solution would allow to overcome this lag.

S.Yu. Witte

At the beginning of the 20th century the problem of capitalist modernization of Russia became aggravated excessively as any of the progressive reforms begun in the 19th century was not finished. Resistance of conservative forces led to the fact that each new generation of reformers inherited incomplete reforms. As a result carrying out reforms considerably lagged behind real needs of Russia. The existing contradictions and the problems peculiar old, feudal, an era, began to intertwine with the arising contradictions and problems of capitalism. And this interlacing is irreversible led all problems to aggravation, and the country - on the brink of revolution.

As a result by the beginning of the 20th century there was a situation when in the near-term outlook the modernization of Russia could result or

the radical reforms undertaken by the government or - national revolution.

Power and bureaucracy

In new, 20th century, Russia entered absolute, autocratic monarchy what it became at Peter I.

From the Set of the basic state laws of 1892:

Section I. About the rights of supreme authority.

"1. The emperor Vserossiysky is a Monarch autocratic and unlimited. To obey its Supreme Authority not only for fear, but also for conscience God rules...

47. The Russian Empire copes on the firm bases of positive laws, institutions and charters, from the Autocratic power of outgoing...
50. All outlines of laws are considered in the State Council, then ascend on the Highest discretion and not otherwise arrive to the intended commission as action of the Autocratic power...
80. In flippers of management in all its space belongs to the Sovereign. In management Supreme its power works directly, in affairs of management of the subordinate a certain degree of the power is entrusted from It to the places and persons acting with his name and on its command".

(Code of laws of the Russian Empire. T. 1. SPb., 1892.)

On October 20, 1894 the telegraph carried a message that in the Crimea, in the Livadia palace, the emperor Alexander III died of an acute inflammation of kidneys. This

* _/ * _/ /гр I 1 * _ /

the huge and clumsy man (Toptygin the Third, as called it the writer M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin) ruling Russia thirteen and a half years had powerful force, and for many, even relatives, his death was unexpected.

To a throne, at the age of 26 years, there ascended his son. Nicholas II (1894 - 1917) became the last emperor of a dynasty of Romanov. Historians still argue on its personal qualities and a role in the history of Russia.

Strokes to a portrait:

Nicholas II was well educated in the field of military and jurisprudence, was fluent in four languages, not bad knew the Russian history.

In November, 1894 he married the daughter of the German duke Alice Gessenskaya. In a marriage she accepted Orthodoxy and began to be called as Alexandra Fiodorovna.

The first meeting of representatives of the nobility, zemstvoes and the cities with the new emperor took place on January 17, 1895. In solemn silence of brightly lit hall before the stiffened deputies Nicholas II delivered the first public speech: "I trust sincerity of vernopoddanneyshy feelings, from time immemorial inherent in each Russian, but I know that recently were heard in some territorial meetings of a voice of the people who were fond of senseless dreams about participation of representatives of zemstvoes in affairs of internal management. Let all know that I, devoting all the forces to the benefit national, will protect the beginnings of autocracy also firmly and steadily as my unforgettable late parent protected it".

He participated in affairs of public administration. Without having personal secretaries, checked a set of documents and well knew situation in the country.

Convinced that autocracy - the form of government sent Russia by God and therefore unique he believed that she is equitable to the interests of the Russian people. On the other hand, he sincerely considered that the autocratic power in Russia is a family business of Romanov, and therefore saw the debt in transferring her to the successor without any changes.

He did not understand the valid reasons of economic and social problems of the country, did not understand an essence of the happening social and economic processes, did not feel history course, did not expect distant consequences of the decisions, and therefore did not wish to undertake reforms. Without having strong character and political will, it trusted in opinion of people conservative and short-sighted which considerably prevailed in its environment. On the other hand, he concerned reformers S.Yu. Witte and P.A. Stolypin with mistrust and felt jealousy of their growing popularity.

Therefore it went for transformations, as a rule, only when it was compelled to it by fear of the growing revolutionary movement. But also all reforms begun at it were not finished. Result his politicians became defeats of Russia in two wars and two national revolutions, the second of which - February - liquidated 1917 the autocratic power in Russia.

Appeared, in general, incapable to run the empire during the crisis period of its history, it bears a considerable share of responsibility for disintegration of the country caused by loss of management and the turned-back February revolution of 1917

It put the interests of the family above state. Was under the influence of the spouse. The serious illness (hemophilia) of the heir to the throne Alexey left a mark on his behavior. Otrekshis from the autocratic power on March 2, 1917, made this act and for the son Alexey that had no right to do.

Being already a citizen Romanov, together with family and several confidants it was shot on July 17, 1918 by Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg.

Remains of the last emperor and members of his family who managed to be identified in July, 1998 were buried in St. Petersburg. In 2000 it is canonized as accepted martyrdom Russian Orthodox Church.

The autocracy played an exclusive role in the history of Russia. First, it owned huge property: at the turn of the century it possessed 40% of all territory of the country, 60% of the woods, up to 75% of the railroads and also the means of communication, the enterprise for coal mining, oil and metals, steel and engineering plants which worked first of all for supply of army. Secondly, it strictly regulated not only economic life of the country, but also social, political and spiritual.

In this situation on activity of the state, on its management of society decisive impact is had, on the one hand, the identity of the carrier of supreme authority, with another - officials in which hands there were real control levers.

To half a million officials of all ranks kept the huge country called the Russian Empire in obedience. Between the people and the emperor there was a set of institutions and officials. Being located strictly hierarchically, they separated the specific Russian from the emperor All-Russian. These are country class bodies - a village assembly, the rural head, a volost descent, volost board, the local landowner appointed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the position of the local territorial chief. In the county - a congress of territorial chiefs, police ranks - stanovy the police officer, the village constable, the district police officer. In the province - provincial presence from officials under the chairmanship of the governor and different structural units of the office of the capital ministries.

In Russia the orders of management called bureaucratic worked. Bureaucracy - a word compound: French "bureau" - office, office and Greek "кратос" - the power. The bureaucracy means the omnipotent power of offices, institutions and the serving officials in them. With development of officials also the bureaucratic hierarchy appeared. The scale of ranks of ranks was fixed at Peter I on January 24, 1722 well-known "Tabelyyu about ranks of all ranks, military, state and court...", who established a new order of relationship of ranks not on eminence degree, and taking into account first of all office merits, experience and abilities.

The service of officials was paid very generously. It were different types of a salary: according to the official sheet the official monthly (the 20th) received an ordinary salary. Besides, it was relied room

money (on hiring of the apartment), dining rooms (on purchase of food), traveling, progonny, fodder. The officials serving on the outskirts got additional rise, grants to "rise and acquisition". Departments paid the special departmental sums. In case of performance by the official of a responsible mission he received the strengthened salary. In general the salary of any, even small, the official considerably exceeded earnings of the worker and the income of the peasant.


On official inspection of 1910, the worker on average received 246 rubles, that is 20 rub 50 kopeks a month a year. The income of peasants - poor people and middling persons

>- were even lower.

With low wages - on average 30 - 40 rub a month - belonged to group national teachers of elementary schools, the lowest employees of mail and telegraph, the railroad, the serving medical staff.

Persons with income in 50 - 150 rub a month belonged to the category of average income: teachers of state gymnasiums, officials of average categories, junior officers.

To persons with high income - 160 - 180 rub a month (more than 2,000 rub a year) - belonged professors, most of engineers, the high-ranking officials and officers, successful lawyers, private medical practitioners, journalists.

The Russian bureaucracy, both in the center, and on places, had dual social shape. A lower class was replenished mainly from commoners, average and the highest - from the nobility. In process of development of the capitalist market relations the bureaucracy gravitated to business more and stronger; it is more and more officials of a high rank, especially those who on service were related to economic questions, established the "business" relations with businessmen: patronized them for a reward (in the form of bribes) or even became shareholders (shareholders) of firms and companies. At the same time the mass of officials kept strong communications with noblemen-landowners and took for them strong liking.

The government carefully cared for the qualitative structure and political reliability of officials. The officials noticed in hobby for the liberal or revolutionary-democratic ideas were expelled. In 1850 the law which Paragraph 3rd granted the right to fire officials not only incapable and compromised themselves, but also politically unreliable was issued. "Official, - the Russia newspaper, publication of the Ministry of Internal Affairs explained in 1906, - the agent of that power which appointed him to a position. Who does not answer tasks, it with this power assigned, has to have courage to leave".

Far more tolerantly the government treated the red tape prospering in the official environment, a formalism and bribery. Not prosperity of the country and wellbeing of the population, but gaining arrangement of the administration, formally faultless "otpisaniye" on incoming documents and ensuring inflow of bribes to own pockets was the main care of mass of officials.

The bureaucracy was structured in public institutions. Each establishment had the tasks (functions), the state, the budget and conducted office-work. All institutions were subdivided into three unequal groups. The smallest, but the most important were made by the highest state authorities subordinated to the emperor: The State Council, Committee of ministers, the Ruling senate, the Holy synod and personal office of the emperor. The second group was made by the central institutions: the ministries and head departments as the ministries which submitted to the tsar and the supreme bodies of the state. At the beginning of the 20th century in Russia 11 ministries worked: internal affairs, justice, finance,

state control, agriculture and state imushchestvo, means of communication, imperial yard, national education, sea, military, foreign affairs. Each ministry had the extensive local device.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs was the major: all local administration (governor generals, governors, city's mayors), police, secret political investigation, censorship, mail, telegraph was under its authority. The ministry conducted supervision of bodies territorial (since 1864) and city (since 1870) self-government and also electoral country class bodies.

The Ministry of Justice which managed all vessels and prosecutor's office was other important body; since 1895 in its maintaining also prisons departed. 895 prisons of different function submitted to the head prison department of the ministry: for especially important state criminals (Peter and Paul and Shlisselburg fortresses), a centrala, landmark, transit, unbearable, provincial "locks" and jails, prisons at police stations, etc. In 1900 in the Russian prisons nearly 700 thousand people visited.

Eyes of the eyewitness:

"Kandalna is called on Sakhalin the prison for the heaviest criminals - officially "prison of the category of examinees" whereas "prison of the category improving" -for less heavy or ended term

"ispytuyemost" - is called free prison because its inhabitants go to work without convoy, under supervision of one supervisor... Damp and stuffy; began to smell the fir-tree which is hanged out on the walls, a little bit refreshes this dead air. Any ventilation. Smells of emptiness, bezdomovy. People on everything waved a hand, - and on themselves. Any signs though the slightest, though

prisoner thriftiness. Any aspiration to arrange the

existence is more tolerable. Even usual prisoner chests - it is very rare at whom. The naked plank beds curtailed by a lump straw dirty mattresses in the heads... The wheelbarrow - weighing two poods - is chained by a long chain to foot shackles... Where there was a prisoner, he leads a wheelbarrow everywhere. Also sleeps with it, on a special bed, in a corner, putting it under a bed".

(V.A. Doroshevich. Chosen stories and essays. M, 1962. Page 380 - 381.)

All territory of Russia was subdivided into 20 judicial districts. In each of them the trial chamber - final instance for the cases considered in district courts worked (district court worked in 2 - 3 counties). The criminal cases investigated in district courts with jurors were solved finally. Small criminal and civil cases were considered by elective magistrates. This system of vessels was created by judicial reform of 1864. The same reform entered also the new principles of legal proceedings: independence of court of administration, irremovability of judges, publicity and publicity of meetings, competitive process and others. As the highest judicial authority for consideration of complaints and protests on sentences of local courts in case of violation of forms of legal proceedings served cassation departments of the Senate.

An enormous role in life of the country was played by the Russian imperial army. Even in peace years it reached 1 million people. The power spent huge amounts of money for its contents: in 1903 these expenses made nearly 21% of the Russian budget and reached more than 466 million rubles

The special Ministry of the imperial yard in which more than one thousand officials served managed complex economy of an imperial surname. By the beginning of a new century the royal surname strongly expanded and totaled up to 60 people. From 12 to 17 million rubles a year were allocated for the maintenance of this department from the government budget. The ministry held special position in government: the minister of the yard was a member of the State Council, Committee of ministers and reported only to the emperor. In combination he was also the chancellor of all Russian awards, managed the supreme body on their delivery - Kapitul of awards. One of structural parts of the ministry called the Office knew personal property of the emperor - kabinetsky lands, the woods, the plants. Nicholas P personally possessed 713.5 thousand of land and forest territories and also the mountain enterprises in Altai, to Transbaikalia, the porcelain and glass plants in the neighborhood of St. Petersburg, lapidary factory in Yekaterinburg and others.

Questions and tasks for independent work:

1. How the large state ownership and big bureaucracy are connected among themselves?
2. Characterize factors which caused an exclusive role of the state in life of Russia.
3. List factors which defined influence of personal qualities of the emperor Nicholas II on work of government.

Modernization of the Russian economy

Agriculture remained fundamentals of domestic economy at the turn of the century.

First of all - agriculture. Despite thousand-year experience of agriculture, its culture was low. The plow, a wooden harrow, a sickle, a braid and tsep remained the main instruments of labor in country economy. Mineral fertilizers were applied only for 3% of cultivated area.

Even at the beginning of a new century the peasants of the European Russia had 6.5 million dried and only 4.6 million steel plows. The average yield of bread was 39 poods from earth tithe. It was 10 poods more in comparison with the second half of the last century, but is 1.6 times lower, than in the USA and 4 times below, than in Great Britain. The low productivity was compensated by involvement in an agricultural turn of new land spaces. As a result gross collecting grain by the end of C1C of century reached a little more than 54 million tons. On the grain output Russia came out on top in the world and was the main grain-producting country. 25% of world gathering wheat, 53% - a rye, 38% - barley, 27% - oats fell to the share of Russia.

Up to the beginning of World War I the country was the largest exporter of bread. Income from sale of grain in the world market was about a half of all receipts from foreign trade. Germany and Great Britain were the main buyers of the Russian grain. At the same time increase in grain export did not testify to a safe condition of the country. The slogan "Let's Not Eat Up, but We Will Take Out" worked. The Ministry of Finance increased taxes, and to pay them, peasants were forced to sell the most part of a harvest to hlebotorgovets.

Despite low profitability of traditional grain field husbandry and the related weakening of interest in agriculture, at the beginning of a new century, tendencies to market transformation of country economy were outlined. The growing demand of the cities for some types of agricultural products stimulated peasants to increase in their production for the purpose of sale. In turn, it promoted active search of ways of an intensification and the rationalization of agricultural production promising benefit even under unfavourable conditions (to a malozemelya, low fertility, rainy or droughty year, etc.).

The most convincing indicator of agrotechnical progress was

rather fast development by the peasantry of the advanced mnogopolny crop rotations. The Mnogopolny system of economy with a travoseyaniye on next-to-skin lands allowed in a complex and without essential costs to solve key problems on rational distribution of grounds, overcoming fodder deficiency in livestock production, to enrichment of the soil. The fact is that the tithe of the root remains of a clover, rotting through, fertilizes the earth the same as 1,500 poods of manure. On country Wednesday, rumors about benefit of a travoseyaniye got. As a powerful argument served the example of privately owned economiya in which crops of a clover practiced long ago. In turn, peasants, working in landowner manors or renting clover mowings at the barin, had an opportunity, having looked narrowly at a travopolny system, to estimate the prospects of its introduction.


Early frosts and snow cover excessively narrowed the period suitable for agricultural works in Russia. The Russian peasant had at the order no more than 130 working days within a year. 30 days left them for a haymaking. Thus, from crops till a harvest the peasant had only 100 working days. It meant that the farmer had to work almost without dream and rest, using work of all family members - women, old men, children. The norm of export of manure as organic fertilizer (1500 poods on tithe) practically was not observed anywhere. Conditions of keeping of the cattle and its quantity were the reason of it. Because of the shortage of hay the cattle fed on norms which provided only physical survival of animals. The deficiency led Sena to the fact that straw was the main food supply of livestock production of the Russian village. But also there was not enough straw as it was used on a laying to the cattle as construction material for a roof of log huts, sheds, etc. As a result the murrain was big, and the wintered animals differed in low-tallness and low efficiency.

In historical literature there was a steady belief that the community slowed down agriculture cultural development. However so was not in all cases. Communal orders not only did not disturb, and, on the contrary, promoted introduction of regular field crops of herbs: when most of members of society supported a sentence about establishment of a travopolny crop rotation, the minority was obliged to it to obey. At the same time the tradition to work with "world" helped out in cases of lack of funds on the clover seeds which were costing expensive: if purchase on the public capitals nevertheless did not turn out, then "malomochny" got off in artel and bought by sharing the cost or borrowed money for seeds under circular (collective) responsibility.

Travoseyaniye, having begun with single experiments of separate communities and householders on vnenadelny and farmstead lands, at the turn of the century pretty fast extended also to next-to-skin sites. First for him the place or on the special fourth field, or on plot corners was allocated. In process of refusal of a trekhpolny system, crop rotations with inclusion of fodder herbs appeared. With

growth of duration of application of such crops observed revival of land and reefficient functions of community, especially in the conditions of the increased migration activity of country people and scope of a long-term otkhodnichestvo. Only according to the official statistics, in the Moscow province which is "absent" every fifth country family was registered. The community, as we know, sought to exclude the absent members from repartition if rural society needed the additional earth for expansion of number of sevooborotny fields. By means of territorial agronomics, and often and without it, in villages begin to extend, along with chetyrekhpolny, six-and vosmipolny crop rotations. The last were especially effective as provided to country economy the largest fodder area and a long cycle of alternation of crops which not only increased productivity, but also did it stable.

At the beginning of the 20th century the production of commercial crops increased. The areas under crops of potatoes, sugar beet, linen and hemp were expanded. Actively cotton breeding in Central Asia in connection with increase in demand for raw materials from the Russian textile industry developed. Cotton-mills of Moscow, Tver, Nut Zuev, Ivanovo-Voznesensk became leaders of the Russian industry. Textiles took the second place in export. Domestic sitets, cotton velvets, muslins successfully competed with the European products in east market. The industry processing agricultural products was aimed at production of commodities, the need for which first of all was felt by domestic market.

At the end of the 19th century the turn to production of means of production - machines, machines and the industrial equipment was outlined in the industry. There are new industries: oil processing, chemical,

machine-building. Large enterprises are under construction: Kolomna

engine-building, Sormovsky ship-building and other plants.

Besides former - Central industrial, Northwest and Ural

>- there are new industrial regions. Especially violently the country South developed: leaning on steel works of Novorossiya and coal mines of Donbass, it overtook the Urals. In 1871 there took place the first melting of cast iron, and in 1897 40% of all cast iron of Russia in the south were melted. Here the most powerful furnaces were under construction, the most modern was installed for those times the equipment, there was highest performance of work.

New and quickly growing, except the Southern industrial region, became Caucasian. Near Baku the petroindustry, in Georgia - extraction of manganese and coal developed.

In domestic market demand for coal and metal substantially satisfied now the domestic enterprises, and in the field of oil production Russia

became one of the largest exporters.

Along with the large enterprises belonging to individual owners or joint-stock companies in the industry monopolistic associations began to arise. At the beginning it were the agreements of syndicate type concluded for ensuring monopoly prices. They were very fragile and often broke up.


An initial form of monopolistic association is the cartel (ital. Certello is the contractual document). Its participants conclude the agreement on regulation of the output, conditions of product sales and employment, keeping at the same time production and commercial independence. Following, more developed, a form - syndicate (association). Members of syndicate keep production

independence, but lose commercial: they agree about distribution among themselves of orders, acquisition of raw materials and selling of the products made by them through uniform marketing office. The most advanced form of monopolistic association is the trust (English trust is trust). His members lose any independence. The enterprises turn into links of a chain of the joint production operated from the uniform center - board of trust. Trusts monopolize production and sale in a certain industry therefore they unite the enterprises which are turning out uniform products. And, at last, concern (English concern) - diversified merging of the enterprises of the industry, transport, trade, banks, etc. Participants of concern keep independence in management, but are in complete financial dependence from the dominating group of monopolists.

Such is. For these years the production in large-scale industry in general doubled, and in primary branches trebled. On industrial output Russia still lagged behind the advanced countries of the West, but on rates of the industrial development it was ahead of them.

Russia overtook the advanced countries and on concentration of production: on a share of large enterprises with a large number working for them.

Along with large-scale industry the further development was gained also small country, so-called dofabrichny, by the industry. About 600 thousand independent handicraftsmen were engaged in it. Besides, 4 million peasants handicraftsmen combined the production with agriculture. In trade villages of the Central Russia the manufactory stage of production at which a half of handicraftsmen represented semi-independent producers, and another - hired workers-home-workers dominated. In western

provinces the "dofabrichny" industry concentrated generally in the cities and places and represented an industrial form of small-scale industrial production. Beyond the Urals the house industry was developed.

The handicraftsman sustained the competition to large production due to increase in the working day, reduction of the requirements, involvement in trade of the members of household. It could compete also thanks to connection of trade with agriculture which gave it an additional source of livelihood.

Thus, during the considered period in the country the multistructure economic system at which large enterprises, the latest organizational forms adjoined to domestic production where the relations between employers and workers, journeymen and pupils were often characterized by receptions operation, inherent remained

to pre-capitalistic and early capitalist times.

Railway construction is closely connected with industrial upsurge of the 90th. This communication was a double sort. First, construction and operation of roads in itself demanded development of the industries necessary for this purpose - metallurgy and transport mechanical engineering, and the state caring for railway business gave to these industries support. Secondly, the railroads - "blood vessels of economy" - broadened and rallied domestic market, strengthened relations of the major economic region of Russia with foreign markets.

The Great Siberian highway became the most considerable of the roads constructed during this period. The begun with construction in 1891, Trans-Siberian railroad was completely built only in fifteen years, but its certain sites were ended and put into operation in 1900. Builders achieved the record speed of laying of rails - 642 versts a year. Despite enormous expenses (the initial estimate was exceeded three times and reached nearly one billion rubles), the Trans-Siberian Railway met the most courageous expectations. Siberia and the Far East approached the European Russia and were involved in rough development of capitalism. Siberia, however, still remained the agricultural region. As for the industry, only the industries connected with processing of agricultural products developed. Mining industry was poorly developed and came down generally to gold mines.

The same way the situation and in Central Asia was. Despite construction of the railroad Orenburg-Tashkent, the cotton-processing plants resolutely prevailed among the enterprises of industrial type, and in agriculture cotton was a monoculture.

Monopolistic associations also got into the transport sphere, as well as into the industry. The most part (up to 75%) the railroads belonged to the state because they were under construction on budgetary funds not so much for commercial how many for military use - for shift of troops and supply on strategically important directions. Owing to this fact it became the largest railway monopolist managing the railroads through Ministry of Railways. The state railroads of strategic appointment absorbed huge amounts of money from the budget and, as a rule, were unprofitable.

But it was more and more laid the private commercial railroads for which construction and operation joint-stock companies were created. The grains constructed, as a rule, of areas of large production to ports (for example, to Novorossiysk), they promoted sharp increase in volumes of export and import and also made for their owners big profit.

The message on the large rivers of the country - to Volga, Kama, Dnieper and others - syndicate societies "Samolet", Took "The Caucasus and Mercury",

"Dnieper". Sea navigation, transportations of passengers and cargoes across the seas was monopolized by the Russian society of shipping company and trade and other similar societies.

In parallel there was also a concentration of banking capital. One by one consisted of small banks large: Moscow commercial,

The St. Petersburg international, Azov and Don, Volga and Kama, Russian commerce and industry. Each of them created from 50 to 100 branches in the country and abroad, improved the correspondent relations with foreign banks. There was a process of concentration of the capital in the most successful banks and association of the last to monopolies further. So, in 1900. Russian-Chinese and Russian Northern banks formed powerful Russian-Asian bank.

Active intervention of the state in economy was the most important feature of the Russian modernization. Its main direction was financial support of private business from means of treasury for the sake of consolidation of an economic basis of an autocratic system, strengthening of military power of Russia and its role in world politics.

In this sense the state activity of S.Yu. Witte, Minister of Finance in 1892 - 1903 is especially characteristic

Strokes to a portrait:

Sergey Yulyevich Witte (1849 - 1915) - one of active initiators of policy of industrial modernization of Russia at the turn of the century. Was born in the family of the Dutch origin which received the Russian nobility in the middle of the 19th century. Well educated, it had undoubted talents

administrator, politician and business executive. Abilities and

Witte's administrative ability were noticed by Alexander III who appointed him in 1889 the director of the department of railway affairs of the Ministry of Finance. In February, 1892 headed Ministry of Railways, and in August of the same year its appointment as the Minister of Finance took place. Headed Committee of ministers since 1903 and Council of ministers (October, 1905 - April, 1906).

Witte considered the main task of the government the help to private business and development of the industry, first of all - the heavy industry. By its calculations, industry development, increase in number of the bourgeoisie and its economic power has to lead Russia to constitutional monarchy at which the power of the monarch will be limited to the constitution and parliament, and, therefore, will lose autocratic character. Its main support, he considered, there have to be an upper bourgeoisie and landowners who will pass to maintaining capitalist economy.

Witte undertook a number of reforms in this direction.

Industrialization demanded huge expenses, and the Ministry of Finance run by it showed remarkable fiscal ingenuity.

First, indirect taxes on consumer goods were considerably increased and increased by 42.7%.

Secondly, at the initiative of Witte in 1895 the wine monopoly, that is the exclusive right of the state to production and sale of alcoholic drinks was entered.

However, distillation and production of vodka was allowed also to individuals, but only by orders of treasury and under observation of excise supervision. The state monopoly did not extend to production and sale of beer, home brew and grape wine. Time and the place of trade in alcohol was regulated. Control of carrying out in life of this reform was imposed on Head department of neokladny collecting and sale pity the Ministries of Finance.

Right after introduction the wine monopoly daily brought to treasury one million rubles, having become the main income item of the budget. At Witte's successors of receipt in the government budget from sale of strong drinks reached more than 540 million rubles a year.

Accustoming to drinking of the population became the back of introduction of wine monopoly. On weekdays state benches traded in vodka from 7 o'clock in the morning till 10 in the evening. On the weekend, trade opened at once after church service. Meanwhile Witte claimed: "I tried to go every year on those provinces in which this new reform was entered, and at all my detours inspired in excise department that reform this the Eastern Military District?

Lily Posy
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