Socio-Economic Situation in Russia in the 19th-Early 20th Centuries

Socio-Economic Situation in Russia in the 19th-Early 20th Centuries

Bogdan Ershov (Voronezh State Technical University, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9985-2.ch003
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This chapter discusses the processes of capitalization of Russia in the 19th century. It is shown that during the period of imperialism, quantitative and qualitative changes occurred in the composition and position of the Russian bourgeoisie. The economic face of the Russian bourgeoisie, as well as the bourgeoisie of other developed capitalist countries, revealed the most advanced forms of capital organization. But the structure of the upper strata of the Russian bourgeoisie was different from the Western European segment. Before the First World War, two types of Russian capitalists were distinguished, both in origin and in the form of exploitation and organization of capital. During the period of imperialism, Moscow gradually became monopolistic. The Moscow capitalist elite has not yet become a financial oligarchy, it has not created large corporations, and financial and industrial groups.
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The modern period of development of all spheres of life of the Russian state - economic, social, political, cultural - is characterized by active efforts to transform the institutional environment. However, the results of the reforms of the last decade do not correspond to the expected expectations.

The past market reforms radically changed the country's economic potential, Russia's position in the international arena, and destabilized its social climate. Market reforms were accompanied by a decrease in the efficiency of the national economy, a sharp decline in production volumes, a decrease in the level and quality of life of the population, environmental degradation, that is, a sharp degradation of the political and socio-economic situation in the country.

This situation has caused and sharpened attention as a general, the study of the features of the economic system and economic development of Russia and, as a particular, the analysis of the reasons that contributed to the failure of institutional reforms that accompanied the reform processes in Russia. Discussions about the further development of the country are becoming more intense. Should Russia use the Western European or East Asian model, is it possible to transform the foreign institutional structures into Russian soil without any pain?

Any model of development of the national economy is not only a peculiar combination of internal and external factors determined by national or geopolitical features, but also has specific features related to different historical stages and associated with the basic conditions at each of them. Therefore, in the process of any reforms, the key issue is the issue of the compliance of the chosen model of economic development and the institutions adequate to it to the national traditional institutional forms developed over the centuries, among which the national economic mentality is one of the main ones. That is, it is a question about the relationship between the traditions of society and the processes of renewal.

Scientifically, the problems of opportunities and ways of transforming and implanting economic institutions, and, most importantly, their consequences, are under development. Ignoring the factors influencing these processes, among which one of the important places is occupied by the national mentality, leads to the strengthening of economic and social imbalances, to the many negative consequences that are observed in Russian reality. The aim of the study is to analyze the current stage of the reform of the Russian socio-economic system; determination of the dependence of the results of the reformation processes in the history of Russia, consisting in transplantation into the socio-economic sphere of foreign institutional forms, on their compliance with traditional informal institutions, first of all, the economic mentality that influences the choice and formation of the type of economic system that has a narrow national identity; determining the characteristics of the national economic mentality, which is based on tradition as a component of the institutional environment, based on the study and evaluation of its natural and institutional factors.

The theoretical and methodological basis of the chapters of the book are the works of modern foreign and domestic scientists - both economists and sociologists - specialists in the theory of the economic development of Russia.

In developing this problem, the following research methods were used: the study of scientific and methodical literature, dialectical cognition and institutional analysis. The range of tasks to be analyzed determined the need to use appropriate methodological tools, namely, civilizational, historical and institutional approaches. The informational basis of the study was domestic and foreign monographic and periodicals. The book takes into account the most important provisions of the theory of modernization, especially concerning the demographic and social problems of the formation of Russian cities as industrial centers, which are among the important processes of transition from an agrarian society to an industrial one.

The study used the method of analysis and processing of documentary data, which allowed to identify the total and particular in the study period. A comparative historical approach to the characterization of the socio-economic situation in Russia made it possible to identify objective regularities of demographic processes. Problem-chronological method allowed us to trace the dynamics of the studied socio-economic phenomena. Based on the statistical method, quantitative indicators of the formation of the urban population and the economy of urban centers, the budgetary capacity of cities and the urban economy are analyzed.

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