RUSSIA HER STRENGTH AND HER WEAKNESS A STUDY OF THE PRESENT CONDITIONS OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE, WITH AN ANALYSIS OF ITS RESOURCES AND A FORECAST OF ITS FUTURE BY WOLF VON SCHIERBRAND, PH. D. AUTHOR OF quot GERMANY THE WELWNG OF A WORLD POWER quot 41 THE KAISER S SPEECHES, quot etc., etc. PUBUSHED FOR THE BAY VIEW READING CLUB GENERAL OFFICE 165 BOSTON BOULEVARD DETROIT, MICH. BY G. P. PUTNAM S SONS NEW YORK LONDON PREFACE WITH the considerable number of books on Russia extant, it may well be asked why the present work was written. The answer to that must be be cause, so far as the author knows, no previous mono graph is in existence either covering the same ground or dealing in the same spirit with the subjects discussed. It has been the author s main object in this book to lay bare, without bias either way, the sources and ex tent of both Russia s strength and weakness, and to do so on the most reliable and most recent data and au thorities. How far he has been successful in this must be left to the reader s own judgment. In the book it self it is pointed out that the searcher after truth is labouring under peculiar difficulties in dealing with facts concerning Russia. These difficulties have been overcome so far as that seemed humanly possible. But no claim for infallibility has been set up here. Indeed, on many minor points the author is open to correction . It is not believed, however, that any indulgence is necessary in the case of the main contention made in this book, namely, that by pursuing for another con siderable length of time the present policy of foreign aggression and utter disregard of internal needs, Russia is 011 the road to national perdition. 6 2 2 i O iv Preface The chief factors standing on the one side for Rus sia s territorial expansion, and on the other for the present state of calamitous decay of internal resources, have been carefully and calmly considered one by one. It seems to the writer certain that the conclusion which he has arrived at, being based on premises which in the main are unshakable, cannot be far from the truth. Indeed, to any impartial mind once in posses sion of the chain of cohesive facts, the conclusion seems inevitable. Two all-important facts strike the observer of the Russia of to-day. For one, we see a steady and rapid territorial expan sion, adding constantly to the empire vast lands which are ever farther and farther from the centre of power and which are inhabited by races having neither com munity of blood nor of sympathies with the main body of the population. This expansion has for many years been inordinately straining all the resources of the em pire, to the complete neglect of pressing internal re forms. And all along the rate of this territorial growth has been so fast as to leave the body politic no time for assimilating the new accretions. The enormous ag grandisement of Russia under these circumstances forms one of the great causes of its intrinsic weakness all this irrespective of the consideration that the huge and increasing bulk of the empire has added to its prestige and to the fear in which it is generally held, The second ruling fact is found in the peculiar in Preface V ternal conditions of Russia, the latter term in this in stance being confined in the main to the European portion, that is, the one which ultimately must infuse the vaster Asiatic part with population, capital, and a new moral standard. As the determining elements in these conditions must be mentioned the increasing exhaustion of Russia s amp lt black-earth belt that is, that region with the final redemption or total impoverish ment of which Russia must stand or fall the present financial policy, based on a hothouse industry fore doomed from the start to eventual failure, and to an enforced large excess of exports over imports and, finally, the prevailing system of centralisation and of alienating all non-Russian elements, which form fully one-third of the total population...
Number Of Pages: 328
Published: 15th March 2007
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97 x 1.85
Weight (kg): 0.42