Stettin, Prussia now Szczecin, Poland Died: She expanded the Russian Empire, improved administration, and energetically pursued the policy of Westernization the process of changing to western ideas and traditions. Under her rule Russia grew strong and rivaled the great powers of Europe and Asia.
The exact date and place of her birth have been disputed, but there appears to be no reason to doubt that she was right in saying that she was born at Stettin on the 2nd of May Her father, who succeeded to the principality of Anhalt-Zerbst in and died inwas a general in the Prussian service, and, at the time of her birth, was military commandant at Stettin.
Her baptismal name was Sophia Augusta Frederica. In accordance with the custom then prevailing in German princely families, she was educated chiefly by French governesses and tutors.
In she was taken to Russia, to be affianced to the The life of catherine ii Peter, the nephew of the empress Elizabeth, and her recognized heir. The choice of her daughter as wife of the future tsar was the result of not a little diplomatic management in which Frederick the Great took an active part, the object being to strengthen the friendship between Prussia and Russia, to weaken the influence of Austria and to ruin the chancellor Bestuzhev, on whom Elizabeth relied, and who was a known partisan of the Austrian alliance.
The diplomatic intrigue failed, largely through the flighty intervention of the princess of Anhalt-Zerbst, a clever but very injudicious woman. But Elizabeth took a strong liking to the daughter, and the marriage was finally decided on. The girl bad spared no effort to ingratiate herself, not only with the empress, but with the grand-duke and the Russian people.
She applied herself to learning the language with such zeal that she rose at night and walked about her bedroom barefoot repeating her lessons. The result was a severe attack of congestion of the lungs in March During the worst period of her illness she completed her conquest of the goodwill of the Russians by declining the religious services of a Protestant pastor, and sending for Simon Todorskiy, the orthodox priest who had been appointed to instruct her in the Greek form of Christianity.
When she wrote her memoirs she represented herself as having made up her mind when she came to Russia to do whatever had to be done, and to profess to believe whatever she was required to believe, in order to be qualified to wear the crown.
The consistency of her character throughout life makes it highly probable that even at the age of fifteen she was mature enough to adopt this worldly line of conduct. Her father, who was a convinced Lutheran, was strongly opposed to his daughter's conversion, and supplied her with books of controversy to protect her Protestantism.
She read them, and she listened to Todorskiy, and to other advisers who told her that the Russian crown was well worth a mass, or that the differences between the Greek and Lutheran churches were mere matters of form.
On the following day she was formally betrothed, and was married to the archduke on the 21st of August at St. At that time Catherine was essentially what she was to remain until her death fifty-one years later.
It was her boast that she was as "frank and original as any Englishman.
She had decided on her line in life and she followed it wholeheartedly. It was her determination to become a Russian in order that she might the better rule in Russia, and she succeeded.
She acquired a full command of all the resources of the language, and a no less complete understanding of the nature of the Russian people. It is true that she remained quite impervious to religious influences. The circumstances of her conversion may have helped to render her indifferent to religion, but their influence need not be exaggerated.
Her irreligion was shared by multitudes of contemporaries who had never been called upon to renounce one form of Christianity and profess belief in another in order to gain a crown.
Her mere actions were, like those of other and humbler people, dictated by the conditions in which she lived. The first and the most important of them was beyond all question the misery of her married life. Her husband was a wretched creature.
Nature had made him mean, the smallpox had made him hideous, and his degraded habits made him loathsome.
And Peter had all the sentiments of the worst kind of small German prince of the time. He had the conviction that his princeship entitled him to disregard decency and the feelings of others.
He planned brutal practical jokes, in which blows had always a share. His most manly taste did not rise above the kind of military interest which has been defined as "corporal's mania", the passion for uniforms, pipeclay, buttons, the "tricks of parade and the froth of discipline.
For ten years the marriage was barren, and the only reason for supposing that the future tsar Paul, who was born on the 2nd of Octoberwas the son of Peter, is the strong similarity of their characters.Catherine II (Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна Yekaterina Alekseyevna; 2 May [O.S.
21 April] – 17 November [O.S. 6 November] ), also known as Catherine the Great (Екатери́на Вели́кая, Yekaterina Velikaya), born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, was Empress of Russia from until , the country Predecessor: Peter III.
Catherine The Great summary: Born on May 2, in Prussia, Yekaterina Alexeevna, later known as Catherine II and Catherine the Great, became Empress of Russia in and was instrumental in revitalizing Russia and establishing it as a great European power. Catherine began her reign after the.
Catherine II was born Sophia Augusta Frederica in the German city of Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, Poland), on April 21, She was the daughter of Prince Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst and Princess Johanna Elizabeth of Holstein-Gottorp.
Catherine's parents, who had been hoping for a son Died: Nov 06, Jul 18, · (Author’s note and disclaimer: The following piece details my story of overcoming a serious and potentially-fatal mental illness, bipolar II, between the years of I . Catherine II, also Catherine of Valois or Catherine of Taranto (before 15 April – October ), was the recognised Latin Empress of Constantinople from –, although she lived in exile and only had authority over Crusader States in Greece.
She was Princess consort of Achaea and Taranto, and also regent of Achaea from –, and Governor of Cephalonia from – Catherine II was born Sophia Augusta Frederica in the German city of Stettin, Prussia (now Szczecin, Poland), on April 21, She was the daughter of Prince Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst and Princess Johanna Elizabeth of Holstein-Gottorp.
Catherine's parents, who had been hoping for a son.