Economy in the Context of the Formation and Evolution of the Russian Empire (Historical and Theoretical Problems)
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Economy in the Context of the Formation and Evolution of the Russian Empire (Historical and Theoretical Problems)
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Alexandr Senyavsky 
Affiliation: Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The article describes the relationship of the imperial development of Russia in the 18th — early 20th centuries. with its economic development. It is shown that the military absolutist empire, which needed a technical, economic and financial base for waging wars, was the main economic agent in economic development, a customer and an in-vestor for key, especially new types of production, and had to carry out several rounds of modernization. . However, starting from the proto-industrial development on the basis of the Peter military-mobilization model, and generally maintaining economic competitiveness throughout the 18th — early 19th centuries, it turned out to be a hostage of its social base and social-serf relations, significantly lagging behind mid XIX century Russia did not have enough economic potential and technological level to oppose in the Crimean War the union of England and France, which advanced along the path of capitalism and early industrialization. Late, forced, controversial “Great reforms” did not give a quick economic result, and economic growth in the late 19th — early 20th century in Russia, which was in-volved in capitalist relations, alternated with crises and recessions. The unequivocal reforms of Witte partly stimulat-ed economic growth, high in the uptrend stages, but made the country dependent on Western capital. Stolypin's re-forms contributed to social destabilization, which was already aggravated by the unresolved peasant, worker and other issues. The economic underdevelopment of the country, combined with a complex of contradictions, turned the Russian empire, proud of its military power, into a “weak link” that could not stand the tests of two wars of the be-ginning of the twentieth century — the Russian-Japanese and the First World War — which did not create, but stim-ulated revolutionary explosions.

Russian Empire, economic development, modernization, transformation, military factor, estate society, serfdom
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