Montesquieu

Muscovy would like to come down from its des­po­tism, and can­not. The esta­blish­ment of com­merce requi­res esta­blish­ment of the exchange, and the ope­ra­tion of the exchange contra­dict all her laws.

In 1745 the Czarina issued a decree expel­ling the Jews, because they had pla­ced in foreign coun­tries the money of those who were rele­ga­ted to Siberia and of forei­gners who were in the ser­vice. All sub­jects of the empire, like sla­ves, are for­bid­den to take or send out their assets without per­mis­sion. The exchange, which offers the means of moving money from one coun­try to ano­ther, is the­re­fore incom­pa­ti­ble with the laws of Muscovy.

Commerce itself contra­dicts her laws. The peo­ple is made up only of sla­ves atta­ched to the land and sla­ves cal­led eccle­sias­tics or gent­le­men because they are the lords of those sla­ves ; almost no one the­re­fore remains for the third estate, which must train wor­kers and mer­chants.