The life of catherine the great

Since her early days in Russia she had dreamed of establishing a reign of order and justiceof spreading education, creating a court to rival Versaillesand developing a national culture that would be more than an imitation of French models.

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She also promoted westernization and modernization for her country, though it was within the context of maintaining her autocratic control over Russia and increasing the power of the landed gentry over the serfs. She exchanged letters with the French writer Voltaire , and writer Denis Diderot came to Russia to visit with her. Elizabeth, unmarried and childless, had named Peter as her heir to the Russian throne. It also emphasized prevention of criminal acts rather than harsh punishment for them. In a treaty, Catherine gave parts of Poland to Prussia and Austria, while taking the eastern region herself. She wrote comedies, fiction, and memoirs, while cultivating Voltaire , Diderot , and d'Alembert —all French encyclopedists who later cemented her reputation in their writings. Shortly after his arrest he was killed in a brawl with his captors. She was humiliated, bored, and regarded with suspicion while at court, but she found comfort in reading extensively and in preparing herself for her future role as sovereign. Whether Peter was the father of Paul and Anna, the two children recorded as their offspring, remains a question.

Before she was able to alter her original arrangement, however, she died of a stroke on November 6, The palace of the Crimean khans passed into the hands of the Russians. In Septembershe was crowned with great ceremony in Moscow, the ancient capital of the tsars, and began a reign that was to span 34 years as empress of Russia under the title of Catherine II.

Much of the population lived as serfs, in essence a form of slave. Russian industry also grew at this time and foreign trade expanded rapidly.

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Sign Up for e-mail newsletters Get breaking science news on monster snakes and dinosaurs, aliens, spooky particles and more! The rumors of bestiality have been debunked, but the empress did have numerous relationships during her reign.

She married Peter in She wanted to see if Catherine would be suitable for her heir, Peter. Read more about the Instruction of Catherine the Great and its impact on 18th-century Russia.

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However, her loveless marriage did not overshadow her intellectual and political interests. Subsequently, in , the Russian government dispatched a trade mission to Japan, led by Adam Laxman. She was humiliated, bored, and regarded with suspicion while at court, but she found comfort in reading extensively and in preparing herself for her future role as sovereign. Meanwhile Russia continued to expand in the 18th century. In , Catherine conferred on the nobility the Charter to the Nobility , increasing further the power of the landed oligarchs. Catherine's major influences on her adopted country were in expanding Russia's borders and continuing the process of Westernisation begun by Peter the Great. She moved to Russia in and changed her name to Catherine. The Pugachev Rebellion of gained huge support in Russia's western territories until it was extinguished by the Russian army.

Courtesy of Mrs. The Russian troops set out from Kizlyar in April and stormed the key fortress of Derbent on 10 May. InPoland was partitioned between Russia, Austria and Prussia, with subsequent partitions occurring in and

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Catherine the Great