Russian Industry and the Making of a Russian Industrial Bourgeoisie

  • Lewis H. Siegelbaum
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


For much of the nineteenth century, Russian industrial development was shaped by the experience of serfdom and then, after Emancipation, by the persistence of feudal relations between landlords and peasants. The state, by allowing the nobility to mortgage serfs for non-productive as well as productive expenditure, by generously compensating it for the loss of serf ownership and by embarking on the construction of railways designed to expedite the grain trade, limited access to capital by industrial entrepreneurs. At the same time, the reinforcement of communal ties through collective responsibility for redemption payments favoured a cottage industry as opposed to a wage labour force. The existence of numerous state-owned enterprises including the State Bank, legal restrictions against national and religious minorities, and the perpetuation of the guild system defining the rights and obligations of the merchant estate, the kupechestvo, reinforced these limitations on private entrepreneurial activity and the development of a well-defined or even self-defined bourgeoisie in Russia.


Donets Basin Factory Owner Russian Industry Export Company Heavy Industrial Enterprise 
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Copyright information

© Lewis H. Siegelbaum 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lewis H. Siegelbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityAustralia

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