The economical policy of Alexander III was aimed to solve two most important tasks: acceleration of the economical development of the country and consolidation of the gentry's position. To solve the first task, the head of the Ministry of Finance N.K.Bunge was oriented to expansion of the home market, the rise of the agriculture and industry, and consolidation of positions of the middle class.
On the 9th of May 1881 was passed a law of reduction of the redemption-fee and writing down of arrears for last years. Damage of the treasury was supposed to cover the growth of the land-tax by one and a half, the urban realty tax and also the rates of excise tax on tobacco, spirit and sugar.
Gradual abolition of the capitation (1882-1886) was followed by the development of other forms of taxation: incomes from money on deposit and excise increased, the commercial and industrial taxation were also seriously transformed, and the customs were considerably raised (almost twice as much).
The system of state insurance arrangements on incomes from private railways was onerous for the country. Under Bunge, appeared the control over railways and started the purchase of private railways by government and construction of state railways.
In 1883 was renewed the creation of private joint-stock banks. In 1885 was created the Nobleman's land-bank, which purpose was to support lords' landownership (N.K.Bunge was against it).In January 1887 under pressure of conservative deputies, accusing him of incompetence and incapability to overcome the budgeted deficit, Bunge resigned.
He was replaced by Vyshnegradsky I.V. (1887-1892), a known mathematician and a big speculator, who kept the general course of the economical and financial policy of the predecessor, but his basic emphasis was the fund accumulation and improvement in exchange of the ruble through financial and exchange transactions. Vyshnegradsky strengthened protectionism in the custom policy.
On the whole for the years of 1880-1890 the growth of duty on import increased the incomes almost by 50 %. In 1891 the general revision of the customs-tariff was made with the purpose of its centralization and abolition of local tariffs. Due to the protectionism in the customs policy, import to Russia of foreign capitals increased. At the end of 80s it became possible to overcome the budgeted deficit.
The industrial development of Russia in the 80s and the beginning of the 90s.
In the majority of branches of the Russian large-scale industry the industrial revolution finished by the 80s of XIX century. The economic policy of Ministers of Finance Bunge and Vyshnegradsky contributed to the accelerated development of the industrial production.Russia was already at the first place according to the rate of growth of oil and coal production.
The 90s were distinguished by active construction of industrial enterprises.
Despite the rapid growth of the Russian industry, its lagging from the developed countries of the West (USA, England, Germany, etc.) both in technical equipment and installed power, and the production volume of coal and oil, metal and machines per head, remained rather significant.
The total volume of production of the heavy industry of Russia by 1896 was less than 1/4 of the whole production. The leading place in economy belonged to the light industry. The textile manufacture gave yield one and a half times more than the coal mining, production of oil, minerals, the metal-working and metallurgy industry taken together.
From 1881 in Russia burst out an industrial crisis. The consequences of the Russian-Turkish War of 1877-1878, landslide of prices on grain, the general reduction of the development of the home market because of sharp decrease of purchasing capacity of peasantry adversely affected the economy. In 1883-1887 the crisis was replaced by a long depression, but the end of 1887 was marked by the revival of the heavy and then the light industries.
The government paid great attention to the development of railway transport, which had not only the economic and but the strategic value. From the 80s increased construction of new railroads and purchase of private railways by the government. By the middle of the 90s 60 % of the whole railway system already belonged to the state. The general length of the state railway in 1894 made up 18 776 versts, and in 1896 were constructed 34 088 versts. In the 80s the railroad system developed at the western frontiers of Russia.
The river and sea navigation developed too. By 1895 the number of river steamships was estimated at 2539, having increased 6 times more in comparison with 1860 (before the reform).
The development of home and foreign trade was connected with the development of transport. The number of shops and commodity exchanges (especially near railway stations) increased. The home commodity circulation in Russia (without small-scale commerce) in 1895 totaled 8,2 billion rubles, having increased 3.5 times more in comparison with the year of 1873.
The foreign market developed rapidly too. At the beginning of the 90s export surpassed import in 150-230 million rubles annually. The favorable foreign trade balance was achieved due to the protectionist tariff policy of the state. In the 80s import duty on coal increased three times, in 1885 they were increased on iron, in 1887 on cast-iron. In the second half of the 80s between Germany and Russia began a tariff war: in reply to restriction of import to Germany of Russian agricultural production, Russia increasing the import rates on German manufacture.
The first place in export was taken by bread.
Wood was the second, having superseded wool.
Export of manufactured goods increased at the double-quick, and reached 25 % of all export. In the middle of 90s machines were the first of Russian imports, and the second place was occupied by raw cotton. Then were metal, coal, tea and petroleum.
The main foreign trade partner of Russia was Germany (25 % of Russian exports, 32 % of imports). England was moved to the second position (20 % of exports and 20 % of imports). The third place in the Russian export was occupied by Holland (11 %), in the import - the USA (9 %).