Catherine the great's Website
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The accomplishments and legacy

Catherine's internal politicy can be divided into two periods: before and after Pugachev's mutiny. During the first period she wanted to create an image of a philosopher on the throne. Enlighted absolutism, as the historians call it. The main steps of this period are: the church land secularization and the Code comission. The latter means that she gathered a comission to write a new code. She also wrote an instruction for the members of the comission. These instructions were based on the works of the enlighteners. But after Pugachev's peasant war Catherine dissollved the comission. The second period of her rule is marked by a number of measures to consolidate the State machinery and to make the nobility the most priviledged class in the country. The first direction of her reforms meant division of the country into provences with their governing bodies. The support of the nobility implied that they were released from taxes and corporal punishment. Foreign policy is the most brilliant side of Catherine's rule. She had to solve two problems: with Poland and Turkey. As a result of Russian-Turkish war Russia got a big part of Turkish territory and 4.5m roubles of war indemnity. Russia was interested in Poland as a "buffer" country between it and the stronger neighbours. Catherine wanted to make one of her friends Stanislav Ponyatovky the king of Poland, but she had to agree to Poland's partition between Russia, Prussia and Austria. She brought educational reform to russia, promoted women's rights and religious tolerance