The economic development of pre-war Russia was always marked by certain traits which were not found in Western Europe. The economic development of Russia along modern capitalist lines came, therefore, somewhat late; and not until the ‘nineties did Count Witte’s vigorous transport development do for the economic unification of Russia on a more attenuated scale what Bismarck had done for the unification of Germany. The real burden of a war consists in the need to divert economic resources into the “unproductive” channels of military expenditure. By the end of the third winter of the war the economic disorganisation in Russia had reached its breaking-point. The economic decline was hardly arrested by the events of March 1917, as the middle-class politicians who supported the overthrow of Tsardom had doubtless hoped.