Start your review of An Economic History of the USSR Write a review Shelves: 20th-century , russia-and-soviet-union , modern-history , economic-history Long ago I heard a lecturer tell us that The Financial Times was the best newspaper in the UK at least , but it had an angle on the world that was particular to itself - the day after a school bus crashed on the motorway their headline was that the share-price of the company which had manufactured the brakes on that bus had dipped, rather than tragedy of dead children common to the rest of the media. Imperial Russia had a period of rapid economic growth down to WWI but the country was nonetheless overwhelmingly agricultural and dependant on the sale of raw materials view spoiler [ primarily wheat hide spoiler ] for foreign currency. Some industrial enterprises were very large, but technically unsophisticated view spoiler [ of which the Putilov later Kirov works in St. However coming from a very low base naturally the percentage of growth had been very fast.
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This period began with high economic growth and soaring prosperity, but ended with a much weaker Soviet Union facing social, political, and economic stagnation. The average annual income stagnated, because needed economic reforms were never fully carried out. The collective leadership first set out to stabilize the Soviet Union and calm Soviet society , a task which they were able to accomplish.
In Kosygin initiated several reforms to decentralize the Soviet economy. No other radical economic reforms were carried out during the Brezhnev era, and economic growth began to stagnate in the early-to-mids. Brezhnev, however, never initiated any large-scale anti-corruption campaigns.
While all modernized economies were rapidly moving to computerization after , the USSR fell further and further behind. They had enormous difficulties in manufacturing the necessary chips reliably and in quantity, in programming workable and efficient programs, in coordinating entirely separate operations, and in providing support to computer users. At one point, Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin told the head of oil and gas production, "things are bad with bread.
Give me 3 million tons [of oil] over the plan. Due to the years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth stagnated. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in and profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership. Several Soviet Socialist Republics began resisting central control, and increasing democratization led to a weakening of the central government.
The Soviet Union finally collapsed in when Boris Yeltsin seized power in the aftermath of a failed coup that had attempted to topple reform-minded Gorbachev.
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An Economic History of the USSR