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Russian Nobility
The Russian nobility (Russian: дворянство dvoryanstvo) arose in the 14th century. Its members (1,900,000 at 1914, 1.1%) staffed most of the Russian government apparatus until the February Revolution of 1917. The Russian word for nobility, dvoryanstvo (дворянство), derives from the Polish word dwor (двор), meaning the court of a prince or duke (kniaz) and later, the court of the tsar or emperor. A nobleman is called a dvoryanin (plural: dvoryane)
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Nicholas I Of Russia
Nicholas I (Russian: Николай I Павлович, tr. Nikolay I Pavlovich; 6 July [O.S. 25 June] 1796 – 2 March [O.S. 18 February] 1855) was the Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855. He was also the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland. He is best known as a political conservative whose reign was marked by geographical expansion, repression of dissent, economic stagnation, poor administrative policies, a corrupt bureaucracy, and frequent wars that culminated in Russia's defeat in the Crimean War of 1853–56. His biographer Nicholas V. Riasanovsky says that Nicholas displayed determination, singleness of purpose, and an iron will, along with a powerful sense of duty and a dedication to very hard work. He saw himself as a soldier—a junior officer totally consumed by spit and polish. A handsome man, he was highly nervous and aggressive. Trained as an engineer, he was a stickler for minute detail
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Catherine I Of Russia
Catherine I (Russian: Екатери́на I Алексе́евна, tr. Yekaterina I Alekseyevna, born Polish: Marta Helena Skowrońska, later known as Marta Samuilovna Skavronskaya; 15 April [O.S. 5 April] 1684 – 17 May [O.S. 6 May] 1727) was the second wife of
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French Language
French (le français [lə fʁɑ̃sɛ] or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole
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Skepticism
Skepticism (American English) or scepticism (British English) is generally any questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief. It is often directed at domains, such as the supernatural, morality (moral skepticism), religion (skepticism about the existence of God), or knowledge (skepticism about the possibility of knowledge, or of certainty). Formally, skepticism as a topic occurs in the context of philosophy, particularly epistemology, although it can be applied to any topic such as politics, religion, and pseudoscience. Philosophical skepticism comes in various forms. Radical forms of skepticism deny that knowledge or rational belief is possible and urge us to suspend judgment on many or all controversial matters
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Humanism
Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence (rationalism and empiricism) over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century to refer to a system of education based on the study of classical literature ("classical humanism"). Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress
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Freemasonry
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason. These are the degrees offered by Craft (or Blue Lodge) Freemasonry. Members of these organisations are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by different bodies than the craft degrees. The basic, local organisational unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. The Lodges are usually supervised and governed at the regional level (usually coterminous with either a state, province, or national border) by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient
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Age Of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment) was an intellectual and philosophical movement that dominated the world of ideas in Europe during the 17th to 19th century. The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement known as Renaissance humanism. Some consider the publication of Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica (1687) as the first major enlightenment work. French historians traditionally date the Enlightenment from 1715 to 1789, from the death of Louis XIV of France until the outbreak of the French Revolution that ended the Ancien Regime. Most end it with the beginning of the 19th century. Philosophers and scientists of the period widely circulated their ideas through meetings at scientific academies, Masonic lodges, literary salons, coffeehouses and in printed books, journals, and pamphlets
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Feudalism
Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries
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Primogeniture
Primogeniture (English: /prməˈɛnɪər/) is the right, by law or custom, of the paternally acknowledged, firstborn son to inherit his parent's entire or main estate, in preference to daughters, elder illegitimate sons, younger sons and collateral relatives. The son of a deceased elder brother inherits before a living younger brother by right of substitution for the deceased heir. In the absence of any children, brothers succeed, individually, to the inheritance by seniority of age (subject to substitution). Among siblings, sons inherit before daughters. In the absence of male descendants in the male-line, there are variations of primogeniture which allocate the inheritance to a daughter or a brother or, in the absence of either, to another collateral relative, in a specified order (e.g
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Elizabeth Of Russia
Elizabeth Petrovna (Russian: Елизаве́та (Елисаве́та) Петро́вна) (29 December [O.S. 18 December] 1709 – 5 January 1762 [O.S. 25 December 1761]), also known as Yelisaveta or Elizaveta, was the Empress of Russia from 1741 until her death. She led the country during the two major European conflicts of her time: the War of Austrian Succession (1740–48) and the Seven Years' War (1756–63). On the eve of her death Russia spanned almost 16,200,000 square kilometres (6,250,000 sq mi). Her domestic policies allowed the nobles to gain dominance in local government while shortening their terms of service to the state. She encouraged Mikhail Lomonosov's establishment of the University of Moscow and Ivan Shuvalov's foundation of the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg
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Beard Tax
A beard tax is one of several taxes introduced throughout history on men who wear beards.

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Peter III Of Russia
Peter III (21 February 1728 – 17 July [O.S. 6 July] 1762) (Russian: Пётр III Фëдорович, Pyotr III Fyodorovich) was Emperor of Russia for six months in 1762. He was born in Kiel as Karl Peter Ulrich, the only child of Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (the child of Hedvig Sophia of Sweden, sister of Charles XII), and Anna Petrovna (the elder surviving daughter of Peter the Great). The German Peter could hardly speak Russian and pursued a strongly pro-Prussian policy, which made him an unpopular leader. He was deposed and possibly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his German wife, Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, who succeeded him to the throne as Catherine II
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Nakaz
Nakaz, or Instruction, of Catherine the Great (Russian: Наказ Екатерины II Комиссии о составлении проекта нового Уложения) was a statement of legal principles written by Catherine II of Russia, and permeated with the ideas of the French Enlightenment. It was compiled as a guide for the All-Russian Legislative Commission convened in 1767 for the purpose of replacing the mid-17th-century Muscovite code of laws with a modern law code. Catherine believed that to strengthen law and institutions was above all else to strengthen the monarchy. The Instruction proclaimed the equality of all men before the law and disapproved of the death penalty and torture, thus anticipating some of the issues raised by the later United States Constitution and the Polish Constitution
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (/rˈs/; French: [ʒɑ̃ʒak ʁuso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century, mainly active in France. His political philosophy influenced the Enlightenment across Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the overall development of modern political and educational thought. Rousseau's novel Emile, or On Education is a treatise on the education of the whole person for citizenship
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