The Enlightenment and Catherine the Great in Crimea

In this paper, I argue that Catherine the Great used the rhetoric and ideals of the Enlightenment, namely by portraying herself as an enlightened monarch and a liberator, to support her political aspirations in Crimea.

Here is a link to an essay on the rhetoric of the Enlightenment in the Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca that was written during my Freshman year of college for an upper-level survey course on Russian history to 1800. The Treaty of Kucuk Kaynarca (1774) sealed the Russian annexation of Crimea from the Ottoman Turks a few years later (1783), bringing the peninsula under Russian control for the first time in modern history. In this paper, I argue that Catherine the Great used the rhetoric and ideals of the Enlightenment, namely by portraying herself as an enlightened monarch and a liberator, to support her political aspirations in Crimea. As such, this topic may be of interest to those familiar with the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, an event that was inflected by cultural and historical context.