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Catherine the Great: A Short History by Isabel De Madariaga

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By Isabel De Madariaga

An eminent student of Russian historical past the following provides the main informative, balanced, and up to date brief research of Catherine the good and her reign. This version contains a new preface facing lately came upon resources and revised interpretations of the period.  
Praise for the sooner edition:
“A panoramic view of Russia’s social, political, financial, and cultural improvement and of its emergence as an impressive strength within the overseas area in the course of the thirty-four years of [Catherine’s] reign.”—Anthony go, New York occasions ebook Review
“De Madariaga’s e-book may be the normal and a necessary consultant for all scholars and students of Russian and ecu heritage of the second one half the eighteenth century.”—Marc Raeff, Journal of recent History

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Under the Old Regime parliamentary bodies often lacked systematically worked-out regulations for calling them together and electing their members. If they were composed of more than one chamber, the members of the upper or noble chamber might be elected by all the nobles, or by noble heads of families only, or all nobles might be summoned to attend in person. Towns would be represented by heads of guilds or corporations; or the corporations not the inhabitants - might elect deputies to represent them.

In common with all her predecessors in the eighteenth century, she was fully aware of the chaotic state of Russian law. The last codification had taken place in 1649. The Code was drafted by the Assembly of the Land (see p. 16), but it had to be approved by the tsar before it could be enforced. Since the Code of 1649 had been issued thousands of new laws had been promulgated, often without any clear reference to previous laws on the same subject. The result was that neither the courts nor the Russian subjects knew what the law in force actually was.

In these circumstances Catherine was finally induced by Frederick II's pressure to sign a treaty of alliance with Prussia in 1764 by which the two powers undertook to come to each other's assistance with subsidies in the event of attack by one power, with armed force in the event of attack by two powers. This treaty laid down the broad framework of Catherine's foreign policy for the next sixteen years. As developed by Nikita Panin, it was an essentially defensive policy, THE FIRST TURKISH WAR 41 and he hoped to extend it into a 'northern system' which Britain, Sweden, Poland and Denmark would be invited to join, thus counterbalancing the Family Compact of France and Spain, allied to Austria, the so-called Catholic bloc.

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