Catherine The Great: The Idea Of Enlightened Absolutism

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The Enlightenment was a European intellectual movement of the late 17th and 18th centuries that emphasized the use of reason and individualism. It was mostly influenced by Descartes, Locke, and Newton. The idea of enlightened absolutism valued reason rather than faith. Enlightened monarchs had total control but embraced rationality. Being an enlightened ruler meant allowing religious tolerance, freedom of speech, and the right to hold private property. The so-called enlightened rulers of the 18th century included Catherine the Great, Joseph II, and Frederick the Great. Joseph II ruled with more enlightened ideas than the other too but he lacked to make a long lasting changes during his reign. But to what extent did these rulers actually rule with enlightened absolutism?…show more content…
During her reign she considered many French enlightened ideas. She hoped that by using these enlightened ideas she could rationalize and reform the Russian Empire. Her enlightened feats included developing some of the first schools for women, creating medical insurance for her people, abolishing torture and capital punishment, and allowing religious toleration. Since she supported many of the French writers, she gave her subjects the idea that literature was important. Although Catherine the Great used many enlightenment ideas to her advantage, it can still be argued that she was not an enlightened ruler. She did little for the serfs and was more concerned with having the nobility on her side to support her and she gave them more power over the serfs. She craved power like an absolute ruler
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