Capitalism and Politics in Russia: A Social History of the Moscow Merchants, 1855-1905 (Paperback)
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This monograph - based largely on memoirs, diaries, archival documents and other primary sources - represents a comprehensive social history of the Moscow merchants in the period between 1855 and 1905. The author first examines the essential aspects of traditional merchant culture in the early nineteenth century. He then discusses the emergence of 'capitalist' manufacturers and traders, a group who implemented modern business techniques in the 1840s without however, adopting the political liberalism of the western bourgeoisie. Committed to economic modernisation as a means of redressing Russia's humiliation in the Crimean War, these merchants cooperated with sympathetic intellectuals in railroad management, banking, journalism and the struggle to gain tariff protection. The study concludes with an analysis of the 'bourgeois' class consciousness that resulted from the Moscow commercial-industrial leaders' conflicts with both the tsarist government and the militant labour movement during the Revolution of 1905. Owen contributes to discussions about the distinctive features of Russian social and economic development in the final years of the Russian Empire.