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Catherine the Great

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The Russian Empire: Catherine the Great
Questions:
1. My empire was established by Ivan IV (the terrible). He was crowned the first Tsar of Russia in 1547. During his long reign, Ivan the Terrible expanded the already large Russian territory by taking over the three Tatar khanates: Kazan and Astrakhan along the Volga River, and Sibirean Khanate in Southwestern Siberia. So, by the end of the 16th century Russia was a multiethnic and transcontinental empire.
2. My empire handles different languages, rituals, religions, and customs. We are a religiously tolerant state and many languages are spoken, but Russian is the official language. Because of the influence from the West, people, mainly elite’s, customs are changing. Men are shaving their beards and wearing Western clothing. Women are also wearing Western clothing and are attending public events.
3. My empire ruled over many different regions. For the most part, the inhabitants of these lands were treated harshly. The empire attempted to assimilate people living within the territories they had conquered into their culture, but carried out brutal punishments against anyone who dared defy the authority of the Tsar.
4. Our military is important. Many of us, as rulers, aspire to conquer and expand the Russian empire. Only men serve in the military. Our military technology is not behind. We are also very interested the navy aspect of the military due to the multiple bodies of water nearby.
5. There is limited social mobility in my empire. For example, serfs are bound to serfdom by our lack of social mobility. Also, rulers of the empire are only chosen by blood relation.
6. My empire has a system of communication that involves exchanges between only the rulers or military powers of other places. Communication is kept at a minimum due to not a large amount of trading.
7. Yes, we do have written laws. The emperor rules as an autocrat and the emperor must obey the laws of succession. For example, the law of succession states the reigning emperor or empress to designate his or her successor so that a struggle for succession has a lesser chance of occurring.
8. My empire deals with succession like most other monarchies. The throne must pass from the emperor to his eldest son, and from his eldest son to the grandson of the emperor and so on. If the eldest son doesn’t have a male heir, the throne passes to his brother, next in age. Then to the son of the brother and so on. If the Emperor did not have a male heir, the throne then had to pass to the brother of the emperor next in age. If the Emperor did not have any male heirs whatsoever in any lines, the throne would then pass to the female lines and then to her heir.
9. We expect the people we control to respect our authority. Also, we expect them to follow laws so that conditions don’t get worse.
10. Our subjects should expect us rulers to do the job we were elected for. Laws should be made just and the laws should be established to keep the empire in line.
11. The basis of our economy system is serfdom. The serfs helped economy by producing crops and even though they were poor, they had living arrangements and food.
12. Our government is organized with an emperor/empress in charge. The nobles rule over the serfs. Also, we have an autocracy, thanks to Peter the Great, in which the heir to the throne is related to the emperor/empress.
13. WHY DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RULE
14. Like all empires, mine has strengths and weaknesses. An example of strength in our empire is our military. Through military we were able to conquer land and expand our empire. A weakness is our nobility. Our noblemen should resemble western noblemen and prove knowledgeable in discussions of modern issues.
15. The greatest legacy of my empire would be modernization. Russia was behind and with the influence of the West, we were able to take in ideas and reform our empire.
16. I expanded the borders of Russia and tried to reform Russia under my rule. I was close to the proponents of the Enlightenment and adopted these ideas during my rule.
Born: May 2, 1729, Szczecin, Poland
Died: November 17, 1796, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Full name: Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg
Nickname: Catherine the Great
Spouse: Peter III of Russia (m. 1745–1762)
Children: Paul I of Russia, Alexei Grigorievich Bobrinsky, Anna Petrovna

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