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Past Events, Today's News

Catherine The Great Goes Back On Her Reforms Due To Repelling!!

Seven Years War Rages On!

Poverty Ravages Europe!

Catherine The Great's Reforms and Pugachev's Rebellion.

Catherine The Great With Her Crown (Left) Catherine Posing For A Painting (Upper Right) Pugachev Administering Justice (Lower Right)

At the beginning of her rule Catherine began to initiated Enlightened Reforms in Russia. She called for the election of an assembly to create a new law code. She was intelligent enough to realize her success depended on the support of the palace guard and the gentry class. She couldn't afford to alienate the nobility. She wrote Instruction, a guide to deliberations. In it she questioned torture, serfdom, and capital punishment. Most of her policies strengthened the land holding class at the expense of others, especially the serfs. Catherine's policy to favor the landholding class led to much worse conditions for Russian peasants. The peasants began a full-scale revolt and it was supported by the Cossacks, a independent tribe of fierce warriors. The illiterate Cossack, Emelyan Pugachev, was able to start a mass revolt. Pugachev won support from man peasants when he issued a manifest in July 1774 freeing all peasants from oppressive taxes and military service. Pugachev was betrayed and captured and executed. Catherine responded by withdrawing many of her reforms and greater expression of the peasantry.

Seven Year War and Its Affects On Europe.

A Map Of The Seven Years War In North America, India, and Europe (Left) A Officer Giving Commands To His Army (Upper Right) A Battle In The Seven Years War (Lower Right)

The Seven Years War had a huge impact on Europe. The war raged in Europe and India. Two major alliances fought in Europe, British and Prussians against the Austrians, Russians, and French. Frederick the Great was able to hold the Austrians, Russians, and French off for some time. The death of Tsarina Elizabeth of Russia led to her nephew Peter III to take power. He withdrew the Russian forces saving Frederick's troops at the Battle of Rossbach in Saxony. This led to a stalemate and made all nations desire peace and ended with the Peace of Hubertusburg in 1763. The Anglo-French struggle was known as the Great War for Empire. It was fought in North America and India between the French and the British. After the War of Austrian Succession the French returned Madras to Britain. The French and the British supported opposing native Indian Princes. The British under Robert Clive won out over the French because they were more persistent than the French. The Treaty of Paris in 1763 showed the withdraw of French troops from India and it was left to the British.

European Poverty and Financial Issues.

A Typical Surgical Table (Left) Two Children Sleeping By A Wall (Upper Right) An Old Man Sleeping On A Street (Lower Right)

Poverty was most common in urban areas. Poverty came from lack of jobs for people and lack of money able to be paid to workers. The lack of money and jobs came from the fall of countries economies which were based on mercantilism usually. Inflation was a prime cause of the fall in economics. Inflation is caused by the flood of precious metals from the New World into European economics. When these metals stopped coming in the output of money stopped, but prices stayed high. This caused many wage earners to spend all their money on food and housing and eventually end up being poor. Many of the poor took up begging to get along. It was common to see homeless sleeping in alleyways and streets. It was often argued that charity caused more people to become beggars. Some people when offered a job preferred to live the humble life of being a beggar. The governments often had large work projects to help the poor, but most of these projects lack the money to have any real affect on the situation. Financial leaders were often scared of not being payed back so they refused to give money.

GET IT NOW! The Bank Of England!

The Bank Of England (Above)

The Bank Of England was founded in 1694. Unlike many banks the Bank Of England also made loans alongside receiving deposits and exchanging foreign currencies. In return for lending money to the government they could issue paper money to replace gold and silver currency. This paper money had to be backed by real gold and silver. With the government paying regular interest it created national debt separate from the Monarchs personal debt. This meant money for financing an army could be raised in great quantities.