Peter the Great, 1689-1725
Domestic Policy
Catherine the Great, 1762-1796
Domestic Policy

Russia 1725-1762 : Domestic Policy

When Peter the Great died, succession was not clearly regulated. The Senate lost its authority and soon was outshadowed by the SUPREME PRIVY COUNCIL created 1726. For a new Czar, the approval of the HOLY SYNOD, created in 1721, was as necessary as that of the Imperial Guard (the STREL'TSY).
From 1725 to 1741 there was a succession of short-lived rulers. It was a period of intrigues and schemes; Prince MENSHIKOV, husband of Empress Catherine I. and father-in-law to Peter II., controlled Russian politics until he was banned in 1727, to be succeeded by Prince ALEXIS DOLGORUKY as the dominating figure behinf Peter II.
Empress ANNA (Duchess of Courland until the death of her husband Friedrich Wilhelm Kettler in 1711, Czarina 1730-1740) abolished the Supreme Privy Council (which had striven to turn Russia into an elective kingdom, as Poland was). She lead Russia into the WAR OF POLISH SUCCESSION (1733-1735) and the RUSSO-TURKISH WAR (1735-1739), but did little in order to reform the country.

Under Czarina Elisabeth I. (1741-1761) the UNIVERSITY OF MOSCOW (1755) and the IMPERIAL ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS (1757, now : Russian Academy of Arts) were founded. The rising expenses for the court increased the tax burden on the peasants.
While under Anne Germans, many of them from the Baltic provinces, dominated the court, Elisabeth surrounded herself with Russians.
Elisabeth disliked reading as well as taking care of government; she did not undertake thorough reforms.

Russia's Czars, 1725-1762
Catherine I.
Peter II.
Ivan VI.
Elizabeth I.
Peter III.

Biography : Tsarina Elizabeth I. of Russia, from Dr. Pavlac's Women's History Site at King's College
Imperial / Russian Academy of Arts, from Russian Academy of Arts
DOCUMENTS Peter III's Manifesto Freeing Nobles from Obligatory Service: 1762, from Documents in Russian History
The "Conditions" of Anna Ivanovna's Accession to the Throne, 1730, from Documents in Russian History
Coins issued 1725-1740, 1740-1762, from S. Sekine's Collection
Portraits of Elizabeth I., 1750es, Peter III., by Alexey Antropov, from Olga's Gallery
Russian Medals - Elizabeth, from Medal web, Collection Benjamin Weiss
REFERENCE Simon Dixon, The Modernisation of Russia 1676-1825, Cambridge : UP 1999

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 24th 2006

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