On the 6th of March (21st of February by the old style) 1917, the colour “bread” revolution was started, which heralded a great disaster, spanning a century…
In the years before Russia got drawn into WWI, it was displaying fabulous growth, both socially and economically. WWI, also known as the “War of 4 cousins” – as all heads of the warring states were blood relatives – was a disaster for Russia, and weakened it sufficiently to facilitate the second – internal – disaster of 1917, which all but destroyed it.
One of the contemporary writers said that “Pity that we have Nikolai the Second, and not the second Nikolai”, referring to the strong in the will Nikolai I. Nikolai II, while being praised by the Western (British) powers, delivered Russia on a platter, and then was dumped by the Brits to be executed by the followers of their agent – Lenin. There was only one other Russian ruler, who was praised as highly by the West – Yeltsin, who caused destruction of Russia almost to the point of no return in the “Wild 90s”.
In November 1914 the Austrian Foreign Minister Leopold Berchtold wrote: “Our main goal in this war lies in the long-term weakening of Russia.” Oh, how well they succeeded!
What did Russia lose? Marking the coming 100th anniversary of the two coup d’etats of 1917, Russian weekly “Argumenty and Fakty” publishes in 2016 a series of articles – “When Rouble was Golden” – showing some key points of Russian life before WWI. Here I want to present the translation of the entire series.
Publication of 03.02.2016, regarding the foundations of the Russian economics.
What was the country, that was lost forever? What was the foundation of its economy, when oil was not the main article of Russian exports nor the main source of state revenues? Argumenty i Fakty got at its disposal a unique booklet, first published in 1958 in New York City in 8 thousand copies. Edited by B. Brazol, it compiled statistics showing that over the last 15-20 years before the First World War, Russia made giant steps forward both in the economy, and in the development of the social and educational systems.
“AiF” starts a series of articles in which we will talk about how our country developed in the early twentieth century. In this edition we will focus on the golden rouble and gold reserves, revenues and expenditures of the state budget, taxes and savings.