Trans-Siberian Railway
   A railroad across Russia, between Moscow and Vladivostok, part of Russia’s industrialization plan at the end of the nineteenth century. Officially begun on May 31, 1891, the project received financial and administrative support from Minister of Finance Sergei Witte. Moreover, a special committee was created to oversee the project that included the heir to the throne, Nicholas II. Nevertheless, the project was plagued by labor and material shortages, as well as the constant threat of disease and attacks by mosquitoes and tigers. Moreover, the harsh weather and difficult terrain regularly slowed construction. The work force on this enormous project included Turks, Italians, Chinese, and Russians, some of whom were convicts. This railroad promoted Russia’s penetration of northern China, thus heightening tensions with Japan. Although there are technically three routes, the most common, from Moscow to Vladivostok, runs 5,810 miles and takes about a week to travel.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Marks, Steven G. Road to Power: The Trans-Siberian Railroad and the Colonization of Asian Russia, 1850–1917 . London: I. B. Tauris, 1991;
    Von Laue, Theodore. Sergei Witte and the Industrialization of Russia . New York: Columbia University Press, 1963.
   LEE A. FARROW

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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