The Serf Question in an Age of Enlightenment
THE POLITICAL COUP which brought Catherine II to the “All-Russian autocratic throne” ought to have affected, it would seem, not only high policy, but also the condition of the lower classes of society, for Catherine stated at the time of her accession that “natural law commanded her to work for the well-being of all people” and she had only “one aim—the happiness of all her subjects.” She expressed an interest both in the historical destinies of the Russian people and in their contemporary situation and could not ignore, therefore, the hard lot of the lowest classes of the population, whose vague expectations were manifested to some extent, in the peasant uprisings occurring in various parts of the country at the time.
KeywordsLower Class Landless Peasant Illegitimate Child Immovable Property Peasant Uprising
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