Catherine the Great was known as an "Enlightened Despot," because she reigned during the Age of the Enlightenment along with other monarchs such as Frederick the Great and Joseph II, began to understand the concepts of reason, natural law and other ideas being developed at the time by various philosophers. An enlightened despot realized that even though she or he had absolute powers, they had an obligation to use those powers for the good of their subjects rather than just for themselves.
She had accomplished many different things as an enlightened despot .She read the works of Montesquieu and Voltaire and accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge of the theory of government and politics. She established the Free Economic Society to encourage the modernization of agriculture and industry. She encouraged foreign investment in economically underdeveloped areas. She relaxed the censorship law and encouraged education for the nobles and middle class. She provided for the protection of the rights of serfs and of nobles, disapproved of censorship, and created many intellectual institutions.. She also wrote educational books and supported the standardization of the Russian language and promoted secular learning and believed in reason. She formed a Legislative Commission to serve as her advisory body, and protected many of the rights such as habeus corpus, protection from false imprisonment, and protection from torture. She also attempted to reform the state. She proposed "The Instruction" - a new code of laws for Russia, aiming at replacing the old one. The Instruction was considered very modern across Europe, because it enforced two principles that would only start to become widespread as a consequence of the French Revolution. - The ideas that everybody is equal before the law;
- The idea that preventing crime was better than repressing it. But later on, most of the proposed reforms were never put into effective use.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document