Russia's Foreign Trade and Economic Expansion in the Seventeenth Century

Windows on the World


This study is the first comprehensive assessment of Russia's commercial relations with the outside world in the seventeenth century and of the relationship between trade and economic growth. Based on exhaustive research in some thirty archival repositories, it represents the first systematic quantification of commodity flows across the range of Russia's trade partners. The book reveals late Muscovy to have been an increasingly open economy, experiencing remarkable commercial expansion driven in large part by its interaction with the outside world. It fundamentally debunks the notion of pre-Petrine Russia as a closed and stagnant, essentially mediaeval, society and established a clear link between seventeenth-century economic policy and Russia's subsequent rise to become one of the great powers of the world.


EUR €206.00USD $249.00

Biographical Note

J.T. Kotilaine Ph.D. in Economic History, Harvard University, is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard and an Economic Researcher based in Oxford. He has published on several aspects of Russian and North-East European economic history.

Review Quote

' ...Kotilaine must be applauded for this Herculan scholastic achievement. All scholars interested in the economic, diplomatic, military, or political development of Muscovy and its neighboors will find some material of interest here.' Matthew P. Romaniello, The Russian Review, 2006. ' ...well argued and documented...Recommended.' A. Ezergailis, Choice, 2005.

Table of contents

Preface List of maps and illustrations 1. Introduction: The rise of Russian foreign trade in teh 17th century 2. Points of encounter: Russia's Outlets to the World Markets 3. Demand-Driven Trade 4. The Russian Supply Response 5. The Evolution of the Arctic Route 6. The changing fortunes of the Baltic route 7. On teh significance of cross-border trade 8. New horizons: Russian trade with Asia 9. Conclusions: Midwives of an empire Bibliography Index


Historians of Russia and Eurasia more generally. Primarily those with an interest in economic issues and the institutional and policy antecedents of the Russian Empire.