An Enlightened Monarch

Catherine establishes many new reforms for establishing the bureaucracy as well as containing the power of the nobility. With the military commanders set up by Peter the Great removed after his death, Catherine establishes a new system for governing the massive expansion of land that is Russia. She appoints the leaders for these provinces, so they are loyal to her and thereby she centralizes her power. What makes these reforms Enlightened however are the responsibilities she gives to these governors, as well as the fact that she is writing all of these, taking an active role in her governance.… Read the rest here

Catherine II and Enlightenment Reforms

In Catherine’s Statute on Provincial Administration, she hoped to strengthen provincial governments and create a more efficient system than seen before. In the statute, there is a clear desire for a separation and distinction of powers between upper land courts and district courts, followed by a concern for those who are struggling, as evident in the Noble Wardship, which must house noble widows and children.  The Bureaus of Public Welfare’s concern for the establishment of public schools reflects the Enlightenment support of secular education as well.There is also evidence of gentry political participation as the town mayors and officials are elected by ballot every three years.… Read the rest here

Cynthia Whittaker and the Reforming Tsar

In her article “The Reforming Tsar: The Redefinition of Autocratic Duty in Eighteenth Century Russia” published in Slavic Review in 1992, Cynthia Whittaker claims that the reign of Peter the Great and his reforms led to an era of new rulers with a new mentality and aim of becoming a “reforming tsar” instead a “good tsar.”

Overall, this is a reflection of how Peter’s reign changed rule in Russia.  Firstly, the transition from “good tsar” to “reforming tsar” marks how Peter transitioned Russia from a medieval era to a modern one.  … Read the rest here