Catherine II: A New Law Code: Catherine The Great

analytical Essay
1460 words
1460 words

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…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how catherine ii, or more commonly known as catherine the great, reigned over russia with the ideas of enlightenment. the creation of the nakaz served as a way for catherine to incorporate an enlightened view into her ruling
  • Describes catherine's spirited and enlightened reign in 1762. she wished to rework russia’s law code, which had not been changed since 1649.
  • Describes catherine's new law code, the nakaz, which consisted of 22 chapters and 655 articles covering government, criminal and civil law, and general living procedures.
  • Analyzes how catherine used the nakaz to show her view on the role of government in pursuing liberty for a country.
  • Explains that the political liberty of a citizen is the piece of mind arising from the consciousness that every individual enjoys his peculiar safety.
  • Analyzes how catherine wanted to create a government based on enlightenment ideals and still have autocratic power.
  • Analyzes how catherine's nakaz focused on the role and responsibility of the ruler. she saw the rules as responsible for recognizing and preserving the "liberty" of people and society.
  • Explains that the legislative commission failed at outlining a new code of law and the nakaz never went outside of moscow and st. petersburg.
  • Analyzes how catherine's nakaz faced many problems, including her expectations and the men who made up the legislative commission.
  • Analyzes how catherine's instruction was enlightened, but the call for absolutism was still evident. catherine used some of what she learned from the time of the commission to help with her reforms in 1775 and 1785.

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

Get Access