Biographic Summary of Catherine the Great's Life

Topics: Russian Empire, Peter I of Russia, Russian Orthodox Church Pages: 1 (325 words) Published: November 17, 2013
Yekaterina Alexveena, more commonly known as Catherine II or Catherine the great, was born on May 2nd, 1729 to Johanna Elisabeth and Christian August, the ruler and princess of the Anhalt-Zerbst Principality of Germany. Originally named Sophia Augusta Fredricka, she changed her name to Catherine when she was received into the Russian Orthodox Church in 1745, and (to her apparent disliking) married Grand Duke Peter with whom she had one child. Peter became tsar Peter II of Russia in 1762, but soon overthrown with Catherine being declared empress. Peter was killed shortly after. Catherine then reigned from 1762-1796, a period known as the Russia’s Golden Age, and was one of the best leaders Russia had ever seen- she also had the longest reign of any female russian leader. One of her more prominent achievements was completing the conquest Peter the Great had began in the south, which not only gained Russia more land, but also landed some crushing blows on the Turks. These hostilities ended in 1792 with the Treaty of Jassy. She also further extended Russia’s western borders well into central europe with 3 paritions of Poland in 1772, 1793, and 1795. Catherine was also well known as a political and social reformer, and she started off her rule continuing Peter the Great’s movement for westernization; she advocated education for young children and girls, wrote comedies, fiction, and memoirs, started her own museum of the arts, and, when learning that france was going to stop the publication of an encyclopedia because of it’s secularism, she invited the author to finish the work in Russia. Later, she even incorporated ideas of French enlightenment into Russian legislation. In spite of all this, and her love of modernist ideas in general, she did gradually become more conservative as she got older. Catherine died on November 19, 1796 due to a stroke, and was succeeded by her son Paul (later Paul I of Russia). Paul had a short and unsuccessful reign lasting five...
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