Bessarabia - Economic History

Historic Encyclopedias on Bessarabia's Economy : Brockhaus 1809-1811, Pierer 1857-1865, Anskjaer 1858-1863, Meyer 1885-1892, Meyer 1902-1908

Historic Encyclopedias on Bessarabia's Economy

Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon 1809-1811, Article : Bessarabien (excerpts)
Population over 400,000, mostly nomadic Tatars. A plain and fertile country, more used for livestock keeping than for agriculture.
source in German, posted by Zeno

Pierer's Universal-Lexikon 1857-1865, Article : Bessarabien (excerpts)
c. 700-800,000 inhabitants, Moldavians, Jews, Armenians, Gypsies, Russians, Greeks, who for the most part engage in agriculture and livestock keeping, but agriculture is still of a very low level, and the industry is still in its infancy. .. Natural products : vegetables (cucumbers, pumpkins, melons etc.), fruit, grain (millet, barley, maize), flax, hemp, tobacco, dye weeds, poppyseed, wine, especially on the Dnestr-Liman, in xcellent quality, venison, bears, lynxes, wolves, horses, buffalo, sheep, hogs, a lot of waterfowl and fish (sturgeon); the mountains are rich in salt, coal, saltpetre and marble.
source in German, posted by Zeno

Anskjaer, Geografisk-Statistisk Haandbog 1858-1863, Article : Bessarabien (excerpts)
[The part of Bessarabia ceded to Moldavia] has a population of 180,000. The part of B. which remained with Russia .. has a population of 720,000. Bessarabia belongs o those countries blessed by nature, its soil is fertile and its climate, in general, is mild and healthy. Since it came under Russian administration, a lot of progress has been made, and numerous colonies, mainly of Germans, have been established. But there are still large stretches of fertile land unplowed or only used as pastorage. The most important grains are wheat, barley, millet and maize. The cultivation of vineyards in recent years has been greatly extended, especially near Akkjerman, where it has been introduced by a colony of Swiss immigrants. Oats, hemp, tobacco and poppyseeds are grown in large areas, as are all kinds of fruits. The forests in the north consist mainly of oaks and beeches; some districts produce timber for shipbuilding. The most important source of revenue still is the breeding of cattle, horses and sheep. The most important mineral product is salt, which is found in quantity on the steppe lakes, but without a doubt the northern part of the province contains other minerals which have not been exploited yet.
source in Danish, posted by Project Runeberg

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article : Bessarabien. (excerpts)
Population 1,397,842 (1881). .. The climate is very hot in the summer, in the winter evere; sometimes frost lasts from September to March. Despite of frequent drought and excessive summer heat, after the rain the harvests are vry productive; only the wine harvest, not rarely, is spoiled by lasting fall rain. .. The main sources of income of the population are griculture and livestock keeping; most cultivated products are wheat, millet, maize, further flax, tobacco (1883 : 9 million kg), melons and pumpkins, wild growing safran and madder etc. The grain harvest in 1877 was 5,953,000 hl. Also fruit and mulberry trees, beets and wine are successfully cultivated. The bst wine grows near Akjerman and on the left bank of the Dnestr-Liman; in good years 22 million hl are produced. In 1876 there were 158,000 horses, 351,000 head of cattle, in 1882 1,895,852 sheep, of them 265,369 with fine wool. Further there are hogs, goats, a lot of game, buffalo, wild fowl, f.ex. bustards, cranes etc., many fish, bees. Produced minerals : salt (annual production 820,000 metric tons), saltpetre, coal, marble etc. The industry, still in its beginnings, distlills spirits (1883 production 51 million grades), oil (163 oil mills), flour (in 1883 6948 mills, of which only 1 steam-powered), woolwares (especially jackets and carpets), linen cloth, pottery, beer (6 breweries), sugar (1 factory). The industry produces for local demand. In 1879 only 130 factories with 894 workers and a production value of 2 million roubles were counted. Trade is not much more important, but facilitated by good ports, f.ex. Kilia and Akjerman, and almost exclusively in the hands of Jews and Armenians.
source in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek

Meyer's Konversationslexikon 1902-1908, Article : Bessarabien (excerpts)
Population 1897 1,936,403 .. In the northern part, agriculture is well-developed; the southern part mainly is used as pastorage; the central part is covered by extensive forests. The population's main sources of income are agriculture and livestock keeping. The most cultivated products are wheat and maize; further the soil produces linseed, barley, tobacco, melons and pumpkins, wild safran and madder. Also fruit and mulberry trees, beets grow well, wine excellently. Livestock counts are 311,822 horses, 794,20 head of catle, c. 2 million sheep, among these 180,000 with fine wool. Further hogs, goats, a lot of game, buffalos, wild fowl, for instance bustards, cranes etc., many fish, bees etc. Mineral products some salt (1894 : 6.4 million kg), saltpetre, marble etc. Lately successful experiments with sericulture have been made. Industry only produces for local demand. In 1889 801 factories with 3392 workers and a production value of just over 1 million roubles were counted. source in German, posted by Zeno


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First posted on March 9th 2009

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