Contemporary Economic Systems: A Regional and Country Approach

By Nicholas V. Gianaris | Go to book overview

9 The Soviet System and Its Collapse

A BRIEF HISTORICAL REVIEW

As described by Greek and Roman writers, the vast territory of Russia was sparsely inhabited by nomadic tribes in ancient times. In the north, there were the Slavs. In the Crimean peninsula of the south, known as Scythia, there were Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and other Asiatic peoples. Many settlements and trade posts were established in the Crimea and other Black Sea areas by the Greek merchants, remains of which exist even today.

Migrations and successive invasions occurred mainly by the Goths of Scandinavia, who established the Ostrogothic Kingdom, the Huns of Mongolia ( fourth century A. D.), the Avars (or Tatar people), the Magyars (a Hungarian people), and the Khazars (until the eleventh century). During that time, the Slavic tribes dwelled in the northeastern Carpathian mountains. The western Slavic groups eventually evolved as Poles and Czechs, those of the south as Serbs and Bulgars, and those of the east as Russians.

The first linkage of Russian city-states occurred in the tenth century around Kiev, which became the capital and the commercial center of the country. The adoption of the Eastern Orthodox religion and the schism from the Catholic Church, as well as the development of new commercial routes of western Europe via Constantinople and Venice, made Kiev a less important trade and cultural center, especially after the Fourth Crusade ( 1204).

On the other hand, the occupation of Russia and the destruction of Kiev and other cities by the Mongols ( 1237-1452) cut ties with the west, forced people back to agriculture, and made them subservient to the autocratic Mongol rulers. As a result, the economic development of the country was held back. With the independence of the country ( 1452), the capital was moved from Kiev to Moscow.

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Contemporary Economic Systems: A Regional and Country Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - The Economics of Capitalism: History and Theory 12
  • 3 - Socialism and Economic Planning 26
  • 4 - Employee Ownership and Share Economy as Alternatives 39
  • 5 - The United States 53
  • 6 - The European Community 68
  • 7 - Japan: A Miracle Economy 89
  • 8 - Swedish Democratic Socialism 100
  • 9 - The Soviet System and Its Collapse 110
  • 10 Reforms of the Eastern European Economies 126
  • 11 - The Chinese Experience 144
  • 12 - Development Strategies, Convergence, and Integration 160
  • Notes 176
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index 193
  • About the Author 196
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