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For the lower classes it was not until the end of the eighteenth-century (during the time of Catherine the Great’s reign) that they began to see any changes at all.
When these reforms did begin to change women’s lives legally, they also helped to expand their abilities socially.
Women of eighteenth-century Russia were luckier than their European counterparts in some ways; in others, the life of a Russian woman was more difficult.
The eighteenth-century was a time of social and legal changes that began to affect women in a way that they had never before experienced.
The law was supposed to help the tax revenue for Russia by banning the allowance of noble families to divide their land and wealth among multiple children.
“The change in women’s place in Russian society can be illustrated no better than by the fact that five women ruled the empire, in their own names, for a total of seventy years.” Arguably the most important legal change that affected women’s lives was the Law of Single Inheritance instituted by Peter the Great in 1714.
Large cities underwent the westernization process more rapidly and successfully than the outlying rural villages.