Economic Policy in the Field of Forest Exploitation in the Baltic States of the First Half of the XVIII Century
Bulletin of Kemerovo State University
The research featured the economic policy in the sphere of forest exploitation led by St. Petersburg government in the Baltic region. The paper describes the policy and reveals the mechanisms of its elaboration and change. The study is based on the fundamental principles of historical research, such as historicism and consistency. The basic ideas involve multifactority of historical process, problematic and chronological principals of the narrative, as well as the instrumental and technological
... l and technological approach to the theory of modernization. When Peter the Great's set up the Russian Navy, it stimulated the development of trade and mobilized all kinds of recourses, including timber logging. The dilemma "trade development vs. rational recourse usage" from the very beginning became an acute problem of state policy and remained urgent for many decades to follow. Forest exploitation in the Baltic region in the XVIII century was the zone of various conflicts: private interests vs. those of the state, local businessmen vs. Russians, traditional technologies vs. modernization, Admiralty vs. Commerce-College, local administration vs. central power, etc. The research focuses on the dynamics of economic policy and social communication with the power. The study is based on a number of published and archival sources. The mainstreams of the process were: complains about overuse of forests; revisions that followed the complains; limitations and bans of export, as well as confiscations; merchants' complains about personal bankrupts and general trade-fall. Throughout the whole century, these activities determined the general situation in the Baltic region, thus keeping the problem of resource saving in the focus of the attention of the central government, which had to edit new local and imperial laws. This stability was especially remarkable in the circumstances of constant palace coups that were often followed by policy-course changes. The research increases the historiography experience of economic policy studies. The Baltic region, which had strong contacts with the western culture, was one of the leading ones in Russia. There the processes of modernization were faster and easier adapted, if compared with other regions; they sometimes even stimulated the central government for further improvements. The main factors that determine the development of the policy included: active communication between the central power and the local society, which was bound with strong corporative relations; modernization processes, displayed in the consolidation of central power and state hierarchy, regulatory activity, bureaucratization, development of goods / money relations, and the development of modern technologies.