Catherine The Great

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Sophie of Anhalf-Zerbst was born on May 2, 1729 in the Germany city of Stettin (Szczecin, now Poland). She was born of a minor German prince, into a society that legally separated and isolated its female population. Though society was against her she was recognized by her father for her great ability to learn and remember concepts and ideas. After proving her ideas and abilities, she received a formal education. In 1744, at the age of 14, she married the Grand Duke Peter of Holstein who was heir to the Russian throne . Although Sophie was German she strove to be as Russian as her mother in-law. Sophie not only studied the Russian language, but she also took the name of Catherine II to honour her mother who was also named Catherine. Therefore, to complete her transition from German to Russian, she also converted to the Russian Orthodox Church so that she could be married into the Imperial line. Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, reigned as Empress of Russia from June 28th 1762 to her death on November 17th 1796 and perhaps one of the most important leaders of the Russian Empire. She became one of the greatest and most influential political leaders of the 18th century by continuing the process of Westernization that “Peter the Great” brought to Russia. As Empress, she played an important role in improving the lives of Russian serfs, restricted the practice of torture, improved education, sophisticated the Russian culture, strengthened the government, made Russia one of the most dominant European countries, and conquered the Mongols and the Caucasus therefore expanding Russian territory. Because of her achievements she was able to set the foundations of “Westernization” for the 19th and 20th centuries, helping to shape and ch... ... middle of paper ... ...d the World” Biography Online May 28th 2010 “Catherine II of Russia” Fact Index May 28th 2010 “Historical Myths: The Death of Catherine the Great” About May 29th 2010 Ursula Grosser Dixon “The Reign of Catherine II” Tripod May 30th 2010 Michael Streich “The Pugachev Revolt in Southern Russia The Last Great Peasant Uprising Threatened Catherine the Great” Suite 101 May 30th 2010 “Catherine the Great Empress of Russia” Petersburg-Russia May 31st 2010
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