By Robert G. Ingersol

ISBN-10: 1578849500

ISBN-13: 9781578849505

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Extra info for A FEW REASONS FOR DOUBTING THE INSPIRATIONS OF THE BIBLE

Sample text

27 The struggle, however, was not yet over – partly because, being the granddaughter of Peter I, Elizaveta Petrovna could afford to remain independent from the victorious party. A group of “Russian Germans” (as Herzen called them)28 did retain meaningful influence in court circles – strong enough to make possible a renaissance of “Bironism” during the short reign of Elizabeth’s successor, Peter III (December, 1761 – June, 1762). 29 No wonder he provoked the Guards to organize a new palace revolution which brought to the throne Peter III’s wife, Catherine.

In return for the reduction to the status of “service people,” the gentry enjoyed a right to exploit the labor of the peasants on their lands and to wield their own jurisdiction over the peasants. The particular character of this state of affairs has been described by the representatives of the so-called state school of Russian historiography, who explain its genesis as the result of a specific combination of geographical and historical circumstances (vast areas and invasions by the steppe tribes having created a necessity for centralization and strict control of the dispersed population).

19 Voltaire was neither unique, nor even the first, in his enthusiasm for the reformer Tsar. He had been preceded by philosopher and critic Bernard de Fontenelle, Secretary of the French Academy of Science and author of The Praise of Peter I, written for the Tsar’s visit to France in 1717. In his opinion, Peter was the greatest and most creative emperor in world history for having raised his country from utter barbarianism and adjoining it to civilization. 20 The enthusiasm surrounding Peter’s achievements had a deep philosophical justification: the successes of Russia’s Emperor seemed to be unquestionable proof of the miracle-working power of rational legislation enacted by enlightened absolutism.

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A FEW REASONS FOR DOUBTING THE INSPIRATIONS OF THE BIBLE by Robert G. Ingersol


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