Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 86.djvu/26

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you to me? You do not pull my hair and you do not strike me," one now hears the complaint of the old-fashioned: "God only knows what is getting into our women these days: You can not lay a finger on them without their shouting and making an ado, saying they will go away and not come back." That the amelioration of the lot of woman in Russia has been so long delayed is a matter of surprise, because if Russian writers are fair to their men, the Russian woman is in every respect more practical, energetic and effective; "the incarnation of singleness of purpose" and possessed of a driving force that is only equalled by the irresolution of the male sex. In Finland she sits in the Diet of the nation, in Poland the women more than the men keep alive the fires of Polish patriotism, and in Russia proper they are an important element in the progressive movement.

For several decades an industrial transformation has been in progress in Russia that has largely changed the character of the chief centers of population. While still predominantly agricultural, Russia is rapidly becoming an industrial state as well. There has been a tremendous growth of manufactures in recent years. Hand in hand with the growth of factories, especially those of the iron and textile industries in the cities, there is also a very extensive system of manufacturing on the large estates where the work is done by peasants. With this has come of late an extensive system of encouragement of domestic manufacture, or cottage industry among the peasantry, still prevalent everywhere throughout the central provinces of European Russia. In the textile industry the hand manufacture often cooperates as a direct auxiliary with the great mills of Moscow and Petersburg. An enlightened effort is also being made to perpetuate native or home industry by patriotic societies; stores and agencies are maintained for the woodwork, bric-a-brac, toys, wicker-work, leather goods, pottery, lace, embroidery, etc., made by the peasants during the long winter.

Perhaps the most important factor in this transformation of Russia is the modernization of the transportation of the country. Unfortunately too much emphasis is laid on military interest as opposed to economic needs in the construction of Russian railroads. The foremost English authority on Russia writing ten years ago said.

When a great enterprise is projected, the first question is—"How will the new scheme affect the interests of the state?" When the course of a new railway has to be determined, the military authorities are among the first to be consulted, and their opinion has great influence on the ultimate decision. The natural consequence is that the railway-map of Russia presents to the eye of the strategist much that is quite unintelligible to the ordinary observer—a fact that will become apparent even to the uninitiated as soon as a war breaks out in eastern Europe.

At the time of the Crimean War, Russia had 750 miles of railroad; in 1913 the Minister of Ways and Communications gave the total