History Of Russia (1855–1892)
Russia's population growth rate from 1850 to 1910 was the fastest of all the major powers except for the United States. Between 1850 and 1900, Russia's population doubled, but it remained chiefly rural well into the twentieth century.
The emancipation law of 1861 freed the peasants from dependence on the landowners and granted them all the land, previously worked by the peasants for their own use. Agriculture remained in the hands of peasants, who together constituted about four-fifths of the rural population, and former landowners. By the end of 19th century, Russia was largest producer and exporter of cereals in the world. Owing to the development of agriculture, Russia gradually assumed a more important position in the world trade.
Industrial growth was significant, although unsteady, and in absolute terms it was not extensive. Russia's industrial regions included Moscow, the central regions of European Russia, St. Petersburg, the Baltic cities, Russian Poland, some areas along the lower Don and Dnepr rivers, and the southern Ural Mountains. By 1890 Russia had about 32,000 kilometers of railroads and 1.4 million factory workers, most of whom worked in the textile industry. Between 1860 and 1890, annual coal production had grown about 1,200 percent to over 6.6 million tons, and iron and steel production had more than doubled to 2 million tons per year. The state budget had more than doubled, however, and debt expenditures had quadrupled, constituting 28 percent of official expenditures in 1891.
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