Enlightened Despotism

Classic Pamphlet

Fritz Hartung, last updated: 9th November 2012

Catherine, Peter & Frederick the Great

This pamphlet covers the often confused concept of Enlightened Despotism (also known as Enlightened Absolutism). The essential nature of Enlightened Despotism and its origin are discussed, as well as the development and character of Enlightened Despotism in various governments, followed by a judgement of its' achievements and significance. Catherine the Great, Peter the Great, Frederick the Great and others are examined.

Professor Hartung's expertise in the area of Absolutism means this pamphlet is a great source of information on the whole topic and serves to clear up some of the confusion around the concepts it discusses. A wide span of history is covered, from the late 17th century to the late 19th century, and Hartung moves around the 'Enlightened Monarchs' or rulers of different European nations providing a very well rounded view. Anyone with an interest in the concept of enlightened despotism, the Enlightenment, or the period of Absolutism would enjoy this pamphlet.

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