Which of the following is a factor that, according to the article, should have favored economic development in prerevolutionary Russia?
Prerevolutionary Russia was an economically backward country. It was . . . a land of the sledgehammer and the wheelbarrow, the wooden plow and the spinning wheel. Despite its rich mineral deposits, the country was acutely short of metal. Its numerous villages were illuminated at night by the miserable flame of a smoky splinter. The people lived in want and overwhelming ignorance . . .
From the time of this report, just five decades had passed since the day the October Revolution of 1917 was won in Russia, and the Bolsheviks (later called Communists) took power into their own hands. In 1922 the United Soviet Socialists Republic (U.S.S.R., or Soviet Union) was established. By 1966 the face of the country had changed beyond recognition. It was no longer the underdeveloped country it used to be, but a much stronger and more prosperous land, yet the people were controlled by the dictates of the Communist Party. In time, the people demanded greater freedom from the central government. In 1991 Communist rule ended. The Soviet Union was dissolved, and the Soviet republics declared their independence. Power was in the hands of the people.
The first paragraph mentions that prerevolutionary Russia had rich mineral deposits. This should have helped Russia's economic development more than any of the other options.