Count Witte's Convertible Rouble




Ivan Alekseevich Blagikh


Blagikh I. 2015. Count Witte's Convertible Rouble. Eastern European Business and Economics Journal 1(1): 46-63.


Full text



Valeriy GAMUKIN, Tyumen State University, Russia;

Jeffrey K. HASS, Princenton University, USA;

Cornel IONESCU, Institute of National Economy, Romania.



The article is timed to the 100th anniversary since the death of Sergei Witte, a prominent Russian statesman, economist, 1895 – 1906 years acting Minister of Finance and Prime Minister of Russia. In the article the analysis of the monetary reform carried out by S. Yu. in 1895 to 1897. Many researchers have displayed an interest in the vivid personality of Sergei Yul'evich Witte. Monographs and articles examine his life, record, political views, statesmanship, economic policies, and diplomatic achievements. Very few authors, however, have so far analyzed Sergei Witte's important role in the fate of our country. It was he who took steps to transform the rouble into a convertible currency. He managed to achieve his goal. This article shows how the reform was effected and looks into its consequences. This experience may prove useful to politicians and economists who are seeking to stabilize the economy in the same way. Although some of the author's appraisals differ from the generally accepted views, the believe that they might be of help to those who are interested in Russia's socioeconomic development from the late 19th to the early 20th century. It should also interest those who are concerned about this country's future. The author of the article proves that the Russian rouble model 1895 - 1914 years was gold the motto, well performing the functions of attraction of foreign investments in industry, but for the agricultural sector of the Russian economy he was too «expensive», what was the cause of extreme social tension in the village in 1905 and 1917.



Economic history of Russia, Sergei Witte, monetary reform of 1895-1897 years.






Tarle, E.V., Count S.Yu. Witte., An Attempt to Characterize Foreign Policy, In: Tarle, E.V., Sochineniya (Works), vol. 5, AN SSSR, Moscow, 1958;


Romanov, B.A., Witte as Diplomat, Vestnik LGU, 1946, no. 4 – 5,рр.78-132;


Dyakin, V.S., Appraisal of the Russian-German Trade Treaty of 1904 and the Role of Witte, In: Problemy Istorii Mezhdunarod-nykh Otnoshenii (Problems Bearing on the History of International Relations), Nauka, Leningrad, 1972;


Anan'ich, B.V. and Ganelin, R.Sh., Sergei Yul'yevich Witte (Historical Portraits), Voprosy Istorii, 1990, no. 8;


Ignat'ev, A.V., Witte - Diplomat (Witte, the Diplomat), Mezhdunarodnye Otnosheniya, Moscow, 1989;


Glagolev, A.I., "Second Emancipation" of the Russian Peasant (Social-Legal Preconditions for PA. Stolypin's Reform), Vestnik AN SSSR, 1991, no. 9, pp. 83 - 85.


Saltykov-Shchedrin, M.E., Sobranie Sochinenii (Collected Works), Pravda, Moscow, 1988, vol. 6, p. 369.


Bogomazov, G.G., Formirovanie Osnov Sotsialis-ticheskogo Khozyaistvennogo Mekhanizma v SSSR v 20 -30e Gody (Formation of the Foundations for the Socialist Economic Mechanism in the USSR in the 1920s - 1930s), Leningrad, 1983, pp. 91-98.


Lenin, V.I., Development of Capitalism in Russia, In: Polnoe Sobranie Sochinenii (Complete Collected Virorks), vol. 3, p. 148.


Yanson, Y.E., Opyt Statisticheskogo Issledovaniya о Krest'yanskikh Nadelakh i Platezhakh (An Experiment in Statistical Research in Peasant Allotments and Payments), St. Petersburg, 1877, pp. 70 - 71.


Dmitriev, M.A., Moskovskie Elegii (Moscow Elegies), Moskovskii Rabochii, Moscow, 1985, p. 13.


Finansovaya Entsiklopediya (Financial Encyclopedia), Narodnyi Kommissariat Finansov. Moscow - Leningrad, 1924, pp. 1069 - 1070.


Vestnik Finansov, Promyshlennosti i Torgovli. 1894, no. 1, pp. 10 - 11.


Witte, S.Y., Vospominaniya (Memoirs), vol. 2, Sotsekiz, Moscow, 1960, p. 89.


Most Devoted Memorandum of the Minister of Finance S.Y. Witte to Nikolas II on the Need to Outline and Then Persistently to Pursue a Definite Programme in the Empire's Trade-Industrial Policy, In: Materialy po Istorii SSSR (Materials on the History of the USSR), AN SSSR, Moscow, 1959, vol. 4, p. 183.


Central State Historical Archives of the St. Petersburg, st. 1152, f. 12, d. 78 (part I), sh. 782- 783.


Dnevnik P.A. Valueva, Ministra Vnutrennikh Del (1865 -1876) (Diaries of P.A. Valuev, Minister of the Interior, 1865 - 1876), AN SSSR, Moscow, 1961, vol. 2, p. 471.


Ekonomicheskaya Entsiklopediya (Encyclopedia of Economics), Entsiklopediya, Moscow, 1980, vol. 4, p. 415.


Central State Historical Archives of the St.Petersburg, st. 560, f. 26, sh. 270 - 272.


Reforma Denezhnogo Obrashcheniya v Rossii: Doklady i Preniya v III Otdelenii Imperatorskogo Vol'nogo Ekonomicheskogo Obshchestva, Stenograficheskii Otchet (Reform of Money Circulation in Russia: Papers and Discussions in Section III of the Free Imperial Economic Society, Verbatim Report), St. Petersburg, 1896, pp. 169 -171.


Vopros о Valyute na Orlovskom Oblastnom S'ezde Selskikh Khozyaev. Sbornik Materialov pod Redaktsiei S.F. Sharapova (Discussions on the Question of Currency at the Oryol Regional Convention of Agriculturalists. Collection of Materials, Ed. Sharapov, S.F.), Izdatel'stvo Orlovskogo Gub. Zemak. Kom-ta, Oryol, 1899, pp. 56 -58.


Pravda, July 1, 1928.


Nakayama, H., Tsarskaya Rossiya i Inostrannyi Kapital (Tsarist Russia and Foreign Capital), Ivanami-Setei, Tokyo, 1988, p. 30.


К Voprosu о Finansovoi Reforme v Rossii. Pod Redaktsiyei V.Y. Zheleznova (Apropos of the Financial Reform in Russia, Ed. Zheleznov, V.Y.), in three volumes (six issue), Petrograd - Moscow, 1915 - 1917.


 Sharapov, S.F., Bumazhnyi RubV (The Paper Rouble), St. Petersburg, 1895, pp. 22 - 30.