The economic development of Siberia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

in Sibirica

Many earlier studies of the economic development of Siberia at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries presented an oversimplified view of the reality, and did not take account of the multifarious types of economic relationships or modes of production. Two collective works on the history of the Siberian peasantry and working class, published in the 1980s, demonstrate the complex and highly varied nature of the Siberian economy during the period studied. This included both small- and large-scale enterprises, concentration of capital, rapid expansion of the agricultural sector, huge population growth, significant foreign investment, co-operative associations and private artisan workshops, and the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway. Economic relationships comprised not only capitalist, but also small-scale commodity and even feudal structures. These were to some extent inter-active and inter-dependent, but the basic direction of development was towards capitalism, though at a slower pace than in European Russia.