In the later years of the Enlightenment, absolute monarchs in several European countries adopted some of the ideas of Enlightenment political philosophers. However, although some changes and reforms were implemented, most of these rulers did not fundamentally change absolutist rule. In Russia, empress Catherine the Great, a subscriber to the ideas of Beccaria and de Gouges, decried torture while greatly improving education, health care, and women’s rights, as well as clarifying the rights of the nobility. She also insisted that the Russian Orthodox Church become more tolerant of outsiders. However, she continued to imprison many of her opponents and maintained censorship and serfdom. In Austria, monarchs Maria-Theresa and Joseph II worked to end mistreatment of peasants by abolishing serfdom and also promoted individual rights, education, and religious tolerance. An admirer of Voltaire, Frederick the Great, the king of Prussia,
This is the end of the preview.
access the rest of the document.
Charles III, Enlightenment political philosophers.