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Additional info for Catherine the Great: A Profile
It is common knowledge that the commission of deputies she established for the purpose of drafting a code10 functioned poorly. Yet she said: "My assembly of deputies was successful because I ro. In 1766 Catherine ordered the election of deputies (from among all free classes) who met in 1767 in Moscow to draft a new code of laws (the last code dated from r649). To guide the work of this "Great Commission" Catherine wrote an Instruction (Nakaz) setting forth her basic principles of social, political, and economic organization.
We will try to remedy it. I have no particular system. ' " Catherine's notes about her first steps in government and her first decisions in the Senate present telling examples of her selfconfidence. If one is to believe them, the young Empress instantly, as if by instinct, solved the most difficult problems of governmental practice that had baffied senators, grown gray in the service of the state. In June 1763, the Senate, in Catherine's presence, discussed the problems involved in undertaking a new census.
Catherine had been reared in the rather modest circumstances of a minuscule court, in the midst of barren seaside surroundings. Her mind and imagination had been constantly filled with stories of the mighty power famed for its great victories, known for its countless riches and its dazzling, luxurious life. Russian troops had been in Pomerania not long before; in nearby Denmark the Russian tsar had led his troops to victory in water up to his waist; and everywhere there seemed to loom the grandiose figure of Peter [the Great] commanding the fleets of four states.