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Private Business and Revolution (on the Economic Reasons of the Events of February 1917 in Russia)

Частный бизнес и революция (к вопросу об экономических причинах февраля 1917 года в России)

Bessolitsyn, Alexander A. (Бессолицын, Александр) ()
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Bessolitsyn, Alexander A. (Бессолицын, Александр): Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, The Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IRH RAS)

Economic Policy, 2018, vol. 1, 234-251

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to analyze the results of work of private joint-stock companies during the industry restructuring during the First World War and the influence of this process on the economic condition of Russia on the eve of the February revolution of 1917. At the turn of the 20th century, joint-stock companies succeed among other forms of business set-up, mostly because of their organizational, legal and economic features. The process of industrialization in Russia increased the importance of these companies, which were capable of making large investments in such capital-intensive branches as banking, extraction of new types of natural resources (coal mining, oil extraction etc.), and creation of innovative industries. An overview of the condition of joint-stock companies during the First World War and on the eve of the February revolution is presented by the issue “Joint-Stock Companies in Russia According to the Official Data of the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Finance”. It was the only reference book in Russia which contained systematized data about the joint-stock companies active in Russia. The reference book was printed annually as of 1912; the latest issue is dated 1917. As a result of the analysis, the author makes a conclusion that in spite of the difficulties associated with the transfer of the county’s economy to war regime, generally, the work of joint-stock companies was successful up to February 1917 inclusive; at that it is applicable not only to those firms which received military orders from the state, but also those which worked on a free market. The evidence of this is the growth of the main capital and payment of per cent on dividends, which, starting from 1915, demonstrated a stable tendency for growth.

Keywords: Joint-stock companies; First World War; military orders; dividend; main capital; military-industrial committees. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: N4 N5 N6 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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