The role of the Russian government in the development of Caspian Sea trade with Persia in the second half of the 19th - early 20th century

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Abstract


This article based on a large body of published and unpublished documents from the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Empire (AVPRI). The author analyzes the policy of the tsarist government regarding the development of merchant shipping on the Caspian Sea, and determines its eff ectiveness in the framework of Russian-Persian economic ties in the second half of the 19th and the early 20th centuries. Special attention is paid to the public discourse on the need for borrowing the Western European model for the development of maritime navigation, as well as to the conditions of navigation in the Caspian area in accordance with the natural characteristics and the available port facilities. Also examined are the volume of trade between Russia and Persia, the activities of Russian shipping enterprises, their interaction among themselves, and the state’s intervention in these aff airs. The author concludes that the government´s policy yielded ambiguous results. After pushing for the introduction of steamboats and Liner Service on the Caspian Sea, the tsarist government decided to support only one transport company, the ‘Kavkaz i Merkuriy’, which then swallowed its competitors. Ultimately, the authorities’ investment strategy led to the monopoly and domination of one company, which played a negative role in the development of merchant shipping on the Caspian Sea.


About the authors

Gadilya G. Kornoukhova

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (RUDN University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: kornoukhova-gg@rudn.ru
6 Miklukho-Maklaya St., Moscow, 117198, Russia

Kandidat Istoricheskikh Nauk [PhD in History], Associate Psor at the Department of Russian History, RUDN University.

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