- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
285

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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COLONIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT
285
Japanese War, great efforts have been made on the part
of the Government to encourage the colonization of the
Asiatic provinces. The sums that have been devoted
by the Government to this end in the course of years
afford a good illustration of the increase of the work.
While previous to 1896 only a million roubles a year
or less were applied to this colonization, this sum in
creased between 1896 and 1905 to about 2,900,000
roubles a year ; in 1906 it had become about five
millions, in 1907 thirteen and a half millions, in 1908
nineteen millions and in 1909 twenty-two and a half
millions. It has thus steadily risen, until this year,
1914, over thirty millions have been voted for this pur
pose. In other words between 1905 and the present
time the amount has increased more than tenfold.
Immigration to Siberia from Russia has increased
on a somewhat similar scale in recent years. While,
as I have said, in the 300 years previous to 1896
altogether some three millions of people immigrated
from Russia, in the period between 1896 and 1905 the
immigrants numbered 1,370,000 and between 1905
and 1913, including the latter year—that is since
the colonization of the Asiatic lands was placed under
the direction of the Department of Agriculture—at
least three millions of colonists have settled in Siberia.
In the words of the official report, "it is obvious that
such an addition of new forces is already of great im
portance to Siberia and will become of even greater
importance in the future." The population of govern
ments like those of Tomsk and Yeniseisk has doubled
during the ten years from 1902 to 1912. New towns
have grown up with American rapidity. The area
of land under cultivation has in many places increased
by two or three times, and the quantity of new produce
thrown upon the market has in some cases been so great

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