Account for the contrast between Catherine the Great's enlightened ideas and education and her actual policies as tsarina.
Which nations do you think were the biggest winners, and which the biggest losers in this period? How do you explain their varying fortunes?
How did the creation of overseas colonies contribute to European political rivalries?
Why were the British and French monarchies in decline during the eighteenth century? Compare and explain these two cases. Think about domestic political developments.
Were Frederick the Great and Joseph II "enlightened" rulers or simply strong, traditional statesmen?
How did the economic changes occurring in the countryside during the eighteenth century alter rural society? Be specific about what these changes were and their repercussions.
Why might this period be considered one of both growing prosperity and deepening social misery?
How did the culture of the lower classes help to foster a common identity for both rural and urban communities?
In what ways did elite culture reflect both change and continuity?
How did Enlightenment ideas influence the American Revolution and constitution?
How did the American attempt differ from earlier European attempts to incorporate Enlightenment ideals into political rule?