Catherine the Great: A Profile by Marc Raeff

By Marc Raeff

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In 1766 Catherine ordered the election of deputies (from among all free classes) who met in 1767 in Moscow to draft a new code of laws (the last code dated from r649). To guide the work of this "Great Commission" Catherine wrote an Instruction (Nakaz) setting forth her basic principles of social, political, and economic organization. The commission was adjourned sine die in 1768 after the outbreak of the war with Turkey. x8 ALEKSANDR A. KIZEVETTER said to them: 'These are my principles; now state your grievances; say where the shoe pinches you.

LUPPOL tionship with his own king, but the Empress of the land of barbarians must have found it pleasant to appear to French educated circles as the patroness of a thinker who was not altogether trusted in his own country. 5 "All her unpleasantness came to her from Versailles, and all her consolations-from Paris. There are two Frances, one is her enemy, the other her ally. " After she became Empress, Catherine retained the same sincere and trustful tone in her letters. She carried on a witty, sophisticated causerie as an equal with equals, now entering into serious discussions, thereby emphasizing her respect for her correspondents' superior judgment, now reporting with her authority as Empress that there were more freedoms in Russia than in France, that Russia had complete religious freedom, and that the peasants in that prosperous land ate chicken whenever they wished and had lately begun to prefer turkey for dinner.

He set up a kennel next to his bedroom and carried on in the bedroom itself with masked servants and chambermaids. He unashamedly told his bride about his amorous experiences and did not hide his relations with court ladies from his wife. This was a case of arrested development, a depraved child-he loved to eavesdrop, to spy, to beat his dogs with sticks for hours, and to hang mice in his room for days on end. This was the milieu in which Catherine was to live. Soon after her arrival at the Russian court she already felt alone, without a Intellectual Formation of Catherine II guide or a friend.

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