How fur helped to forge Russian economic growth
Russia is, without doubt, one of the most interesting nations in the world. Deeply polarising in many ways as society there does not mimic the typical European ideal of society, Russia is a nation that shows there are many ways of doing things. However, Russia is a nation that has had its success driven by many industries over the years. One of the most important industries to Russian development over the years, though, stems from the fur trade.
While today you can buy products made from genuine fur from companies such as Aria Moda, it was not always easy to get access to fur. Fur trading had slowly but surely become a part of the world in the 16th Century, as England made major moves into the fur industry thanks to their communications with the New World and France. However, Russia was also a nation with a passion for fur – and no shortage of means to get the fur they needed.
As the 18th Century came around, the fur trade had been in swing for many years and was a dominant part of the worlds trading scene. However, Russian merchants were keen to get involved in the action and began to peddle in the trading of sea otter pelts. They often traded with the Chinese, who had an aristocratic class that found the seal pelts to be fantastic value and quality. This meant that the Russians were all to happy to enter into the trade, keen to sate the demands and the desires of the Chinese.
However, this meant that domestic Chinese competition came along alongside American and British competition. This led to some disputes, and the Russian-American Company was formed in 1824 as a means to settle the dispute.
How did fur play a role in making Russia a modern power?
Through the deal with America and then the deal between the Russia-America Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1839, there was an agreement among all major parties. Russia had helped to play a major role in making fur a more popular commodity worldwide, and it was beginning to pay dividends in many ways.
Indeed, come the early 20th Century the use of fur was becoming more and more commonplace – and more grandiose. In the past, fur was used in small doses to help make a garment more unique, or to line the garment for warmth. Now, it became common for the entire garment to be made from fur – inside and out. This meant more resources being needed and thus higher demand – something that modern powers are all too happy to oblige.
It was thanks to Russia helping to push and further popularise the use of fur that, as time went on, fur became a more and more important part of society. It became one of the largest industries in Russia, and even to this day still plays some role in their economy. If it were not for fur, though, we might never have seen the development that has taken place across Eastern Europe – at least, not at the same pace.