Two Individuals: What changes they brought about and whether or not these changes had a positive or negative effect on that nation or region.

Essay by Czerny1791 February 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.5

Throughout history, individuals have risen up and taken action to make changes in their nations and throughout the world. Many of these changes which have been brought about by these individuals created both positive and negative effects. In Russia, leaders such as Catherine the Great, and Joseph Stalin are prime examples of individuals who have brought their nations both positive and negative effects from their changes. Although both of these westernizers (people who wish to make their nations more like Western Europe) made their nations more modern, the price in which was paid by their nation for these changes have brought several negative effects.

Catherine the Great was an enlightened monarch (a person who was an Enlightened monarch was one that ruled according to the writings of Voltaire, Fontenelle, Locke, etc.) who wished to create her nation a more modern place. She followed in the footsteps of her predecessor, Peter the Great who tried to recreate Russia into a great power by modernizing all aspects of Russian life.

Catherine the Great, a child of the Enlightenment used Montesquieu's book, The Spirit of Laws as her guide and summoned the Legislative Commission to create a body of laws and to create a more liberal constitution. However, this assembly was not successful. The result of convening this assembly was the build-up of class antagonism, which later lead to Pugachev's Rebellion. In this rebellion, lead by Emel'ian Pugachev, Pugachev promised the end of serfdom, and taxation. The result of this rebellion was that Catherine the Great made the institution of serfdom stronger then it had ever been before by raising the power of the landowners and further oppressing the serfs. Catherine the Great's goal of a more liberal government failed as a result of this rebellion, and in its place, a...