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The Russian Empire 1450-1801$
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Nancy Shields Kollmann

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280513

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280513.001.0001

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Fiscal Policy and Trade

Fiscal Policy and Trade

(p.316) 15 Fiscal Policy and Trade
The Russian Empire 1450-1801

Nancy Shields Kollmann

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the empire’s fiscal institutions and policies in the eighteenth century. Given the diversity of Russia’s economy, its policies were flexible and expedient, reflecting mercantilist, protectionist, and Physiocratic tendencies as appropriate. The century witnessed vigorous economic growth, linked with a demographic boom, expansion into the fertile black earth steppe, and growing investment in productivity by private individuals and the state. Mining and metallurgy in the Urals and Siberia, export trade through St. Petersburg and the newly acquired Baltic and eventually even Black Sea ports produced wealth and economic growth. The state’s tariffs and taxation policies are surveyed, contrasting the capitation tax obligation on East Slavic peasantry with the different types and rates of direct taxation on non-Slavic subject peoples (iasak and other forms). The chapter concludes with the state’s indiscriminate use of assignats, mounting state debt, and economic stress by the end of century.

Keywords:   Physiocracy, mercantilism, taxation, tariffs, state debt, bureaucracy, industry, trade, St. Petersburg, Orenburg

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