Page:The Russian Review Volume 1.djvu/50

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Industry, Commerce, Finance.

The Immediate Future of the Russian-American Trade Relations.

The recent abrogation of the Russian-American commercial treaty would never, of itself, have exerted any marked influence upon the commercial relations between the two countries. Russia has always been, and still is, for the United States, a land of almost unlimited economic possibilities. American capital, energy, and business methods can work miracles in this young country, rich in productive forces and natural resources. And if the commerce between the United States and Russia has not as yet reached its proper degree of development, this is due to the fact that American capital has never been sufficiently interested in Russia. If American capitalists were sufficiently possessed of constructive imagination, they would study the country and realize that they are face to face with an opportunity for the peaceful economic conquest of a vast country, with a population of over 180,000,000. Such a conquest would mean, as far as Russia is concerned, the maximum development of her enormous productive forces, while, for the United States, it would mean an unparalleled opportunity for the application of American capital, skill, and genius for organization.

A peaceful economic conquest of Russia by the United States would work as little harm to Russia as the United States have suffered because of the fact that foreign capital is even now dominant in the economic life of America. When one studies the industrial history of the United States, one is struck by the fact that, despite their enormous productive resources, the United States have more foreign capital than any other country of the world. The whole industrial and financial history of the United States is one continuous story of how streams of foreign capital from time to time poured into the country. During the first sixty years of the country's history this money came in the form of government loans. But, beginning with 1845, when the rairoads opened new and wonderful possibilities for economic expansion, foreign capital came unceasingly in the form of private loans and investments. Later on, after this