One of the more interesting—& tragic—facts of history: In the years immediately preceding the Russian Revolution, Tsarist Russia was, in fact, improving—& on a grand scale.
While Russia had lagged behind much of Europe, the yrs before WWI saw it growing in leaps and bounds.
Russia’s industrial production had grown 3.5 percent *per year* from 1900-1910. And after 1910 it surged to 5 percent a year. If Russia had sustained that rate of growth, by 1950 it would easily dominate/dwarf Europe by 1950, as one French economist,Edmond Thery, noted in 1912
The country’s growth was matched by a surging birth rate, growing urbanization and declining rates of poverty. The booming industrialization and Russia’s abundance of natural resources boded well for her future—even if many of her archaic institutions didnt
Russia as a world superpower—which it would be when it competed w the US during the Cold War—had roots that predated the imposition of a Communist dictatorship that inarguably set that growth back and hindered her rise.
Russia’s rise, of course, was recognized and feared by her neighbors—and played a key role in military calculations by both the German and AH general staffs, as well as the Ottomans. But it seems often forgotten now
More broadly, I think that this is a theme of sorts before several other revolutions. Batista’s Cuba and the Shah’s Iran had also made considerable improvements when it came to modernization—only to see those washed away in rivers of blood
You can follow @SeanDurns.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: