The readings for this weekend were all three on very different topics. The first one Manifesto Freeing the Nobility was a brief piece of legislation published by Peter III before his assassination by his wife Catherine. In it he sets the nobles free, in other words he allows them to resume completely independent action and free migration. The next two readings were discussions of Catherine the greats reign. The first one by Isabel De Madariaga revolves around the legislation she writes, specifically the Nakaz and The Statute of Local Administration. Brenda Meehan takes a different tact when examining Catherine the Great. She discuses both the effect of Catherine’s gender on the international stage and the possibility that Catherine may not have had as much power as we assume.
In reading these texts one overarching theme comes to mind, that the nobility of Russia may have had a very complex relationship with the Russian thrown. In 1762 Peter the third sets the nobles free. He did this because he wanted to improve the quality of the serving class. He specifically mentions that any nobles that are not serving their purpose should be cast out. In the next text more support is found in Catherine’s actions, she creates The Statute of Local Administration to separate the nobles a bit from their power and stabilize the populace. All of this implies that the Russian nobles were under the crowns authority. But the last text questions this by asking weather in actuality she was the pawn of a greater scheme.