Catherine II: A New Law Code: Catherine The Great

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Catherine II, or more commonly known as Catherine the Great, reigned over Russia with the ideas of Enlightenment. These ideas are best seen in her attempt at a new law code, the Nakaz. From reading the Nakaz, someone can see that Catherine saw the Enlightenment ideas of natural law, freedom, and liberty as the most important. The new law code was created not only to enforce the enlightenment ideas, but also to have a more concise law code for the people of Russia. Catherine argued that a trend towards Enlightenment of government would help connect Russia with the West. The creation of the Nakaz served as a way for Catherine to try and incorporate an enlightened view into her ruling.
Catherine was born in 1729 to a German prince and princess. She moved to Russia well before her husband’s, Peter III, reign. During the time before his reign she learned all about the Russian language and customs, even converting to Orthodoxy. Catherine started her spirited and enlightened reign in 1762. In an effort to help make a more absolute government, Catherine wished to rework Russia’s law code, which had not been changed since 1649. In July of 1767 she brought together the Legislative Commission. This was a body of elected deputies for her to consult with about her Instruction, or Nakaz. The Legislative Commission consisted of nobles, merchants and …show more content…

Catherine also did nothing to further advocate the new law. The Legislative Commission failed at outlining a new code of law and the Nakaz never went outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg. This is not a complete failure, but Catherine did intend of the new law code being enforced throughout Russia. The war with the Ottoman Empire also provided an opportunity for the Nakaz to be put on the backburners. Although it never became law, the legislative commission and Nakaz served as a reboot on Russian political

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