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Finance and Credit

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Public finance during the reign of Catherine the Great

Vol. 26, Iss. 9, SEPTEMBER 2020

Received: 7 May 2020

Received in revised form: 14 August 2020

Accepted: 28 August 2020

Available online: 29 September 2020

Subject Heading: Financial system

JEL Classification: B1, B15, B31, N00, N10

Pages: 2138–2150


Gudakova L.V. Kuban State University (KubSU), Krasnodar, Russian Federation


Grebennikova E.D. Kuban State University (KubSU), Krasnodar, Russian Federation


Subject. We study the main directions and special aspects of the monetary system development during the reign of Catherine II. We discuss the monetary reform associated with the introduction of bank notes and the emergence of the banking system, as well as the creation of new financial systems.
Objectives. We focus on identifying the economic reasons that propelled Catherine the Great to use a new instrument of State regulation of the financial system, on showing how the creation of the banking system, still within the conditions of serfdom, acquired its own specifics.
Methods. We apply the logical, historical and diachronous approaches, economic research methods. We also use the principles of historical method, dialectics, the method of scientific abstraction and analysis, which determine the foundations of the financial reforms of Catherine the Great.
Results. We revealed the role of creating the banking system and non-banking institutions during the second half of the eighteenth century, classified their types and goals, determined the main characteristics of paper money. The monetary reform of Catherine the Great, which created favorable conditions for external borrowings, ensured the recovery of public finance in general.
Conclusions. The study concludes on important role of State regulation in the development of financial infrastructure, on the need to use the experience in the modern practice of private enterprise development and capital accumulation. The findings can be used in lectures and seminars for basic courses, like History of Finance and Economic History.

Keywords: Catherine the Great, currency, monetary circulation, financial reform, monetary policy


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