Russia's Economy

Russia 1725-1762 : the Economy

Russia's iron industry, founded in the 1630es and restructured/promoted by Peter the Great who wanted to estrablish a Russian arms industry, mainly concentrated in the Ural mountains, around 1750 had become the world's no.1 iron producer, removing Sweden from that position. Silver mining in Siberia (Kolyvan) boomed between 1747 and the 1770es. Russia had a textile industry of considerable size; yet most of Russia's cities still depended to a large degree on agriculture. Russian export, handled mainly through the ports of Riga and St. Petersburg, included iron, grain and traditional export products such as flax and hemp; until c. 1730, the Dutch Republic was the most important trading partner, then replaced by England. The fur trade with China, significant in the 1720es, imploded toward the end of the decade, as Russian hunters had all but exterminated species such as the sable in the newly acquired Kamchatka peninsula; the acquisition of Alaska (1741) thus being motivated to provide new fur supplying regions; the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska, however, was established only in 1784.

DOCUMENTS Coins issued 1725-1740, 1740-1762, from S. Sekine's Collection
Russian Medals - Elizabeth, from Medal web, Collection Benjamin Weiss
REFERENCE Simon Dixon, The Modernisation of Russia 1676-1825, Cambridge : UP 1999

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 24th 2006

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