The Priorities of Peter I and Catherine II for the Russian Government

From our reading on Monday we discussed Peter I’s Twelve Colleges; Peter’s new way to form the Russian government, among other things. From which, we decided that his priorities centered around: law, religion, economics, war, and international relations. In reading Catherine the Great: A Short History, it quickly becomes apparent that she is focused on a different set of priorities for Russia. As such, her considerations are delt with in The Instruction, a document she wrote about how the government and other areas of Russia will function under her rule. Isabel de Madariaga, the author of the book, states, “The Instruction thus deals with political, judicial, social, and economic issues” (28). While some matters are similar, a decent difference comes with the additive of social issues and the negation of the issue of war. As Peter I seemed to ignore social issues altogether, besides maybe the priority of religion. As both monarchs are staunchly absolutist in thought, it seems that they would prioritize in a similar way; especially within the context of two very important factors that very well shape nations. Why do you think Catherine’s The Instruction and considerations are more so focused on social issues as opposed to the issue of war? Do you feel that Catherine’s priorities were “better” than Peter’s, or were they both correct in context for which they respectively ruled? Why?

Welcome, Revolutionaries!

Welcome to HIS 315: Russian Revolution(s) from Peter to Putin! We will use this website to create our course blog and share our thoughts, ideas, and questions as we explore the theme of Revolutionary change over the past 300 years of Russian history. Here you can find everything you need: the syllabus, the materials for reading and viewing, our Revolutions Timeline, and all assignments. This will be our primary online home, rather than Sakai. If you have any questions, please email me at Let the revolution commence!