Northern Illinois University Press

The Politics of Industrialization in Tsarist Russia

The Association of Southern Coal and Steel Producers, 1874–1914

Susan P. McCaffray

"The first comprehensive analysis of the most important regional industrial organization in late tsarist Russia.... A major contribution."—Thomas C. Owen

"Charts the evolution of an industry and a region, and the perspective of a key segment of the industrial community, over a significant period of time."—Heather Hogan

"Well-researched, clearly written.... The author's expert treatment is enhanced by many tables, maps, appendixes, and an impressive bibliography."—Choice

Four decades prior to World War I, coal and steel managers working in the Donbass region formed Russia's first major industrial advocacy group, the Association of Southern Coal and Steel Producers. Founded by southern industrializers who ran the country's most important coal and steel industry, the organization quickly grew to become one of the most powerful in the empire, influencing government policy from its inception in the 1870s until the Revolution of 1917. The members who made up this important group as well as their collective effort to modernize Russia are the focus of The Politics of Industrialization in Tsarist Russia.

McCaffray draws from a wide array of sources to reveal the intellectual, cultural, and social underpinnings of Russia's early industrialization. Representing nearly sixty firms responsible for most of the south's coal and steel production, the middle-class men who ran tsarist Russia's coal and steel industry composed a substantial portion of Russia's technical intelligentsia. What emerges is a portrait of self-conscious modernizers, motivated in part by professional and class considerations, in part by their shared faith that modern, large-scale industry would elevate not only themselves but also their country and compatriots.

McCaffray shows how the engineer-managers of the Donbass became enmeshed in the grand project of creating industrial capitalism with a Russian face, in particular, how they were involved in all aspects of the workers' welfare question in the early twentieth century. In illuminating their ultimately frustrated efforts, she sheds light on the difficulties in establishing West European–style capitalism in tsarist Russia and offers insights into the crisis and collapse of the Russian old regime. She further suggests that the economic ideas of Russia's middle class as well as other segments of Russian society made it unlikely that Russia would build a system of capitalism resembling that of the West.

(1996) 321 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-204-6
cloth $38.50

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
1 The Dawn of the Donbass
2 The Association of Southern Coal and Steel Producers
3 The Boom Years: Foreign Money and Russian Steel
4 Engineer-Managers at the Helm
5 The Workers' Question
6 The Welfare Web
7 From Boom to Bust
8 Engineer-Managers and the Revolution of 1905
9 The Battle for Industrial Russia

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-204-6
cloth $38.50