In investigations of the evolution of the corporation in Europe, North America, and the Far East, historians have illuminated variations in the structure of large enterprises in different times and places and investigated responses to legal environments. In tsarist Russia as well, the development of corporations on the national, regional, and sectoral levels was influenced by legal and economic institutions. Data on Russian corporations, however, have been inadequate for the complex statistical tests applied to the European and North American economies. This article offers a preliminary overview of trends in Russian corporate development from 1700 to 1914 in light of a new database and the recently articulated theory of organizational ecology. Although the theory provides stimulating approaches to the history of Russian corporations, it also appears unduly specific in some respects to the history of western Europe and the United States.