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The geography of eastern Europe vast spaces, broad plains, large areas of forest, wide rivers, and (in the Balkans) mountainous terrain meant that the style of warfare was often quite different from that in western Europe. 485-496. [34], Catherine's foreign minister, Nikita Panin (in office 17631781), exercised considerable influence from the beginning of her reign. [12] It was during this period that she first read Voltaire and the other philosophes of the French Enlightenment. [6][failed verification], Sophie's childhood was very uneventful apart from the duel. Under Peter the Great (1682-1725) the former backward Russian army became a powerful and modern force. [30] Nothing came of this, however, and Catherine reigned until her death as an autocrat without any Constitution introducing human rights to Russian legislation. Catherine appointed 132 men to the Senate. [140], Though Catherine's life and reign included remarkable personal successes, they ended in two failures. Daniel Dumaresq and Dr John Brown. Prince Vasily Dolgoruky advanced into the Crimea, conquering the peninsula. Others represented the Viazemskii and Trubetskoi families. [81] She wrote comedies, fiction, and memoirs. Finally Catherine annexed the Crimea in 1783. [76] Pugachev had made stories about himself acting as a real tsar should, helping the common people, listening to their problems, praying for them, and generally acting saintly, and this helped rally the peasants and serfs, with their very conservative values, to his cause. Soviet. Federation. The Hermitage Museum, which now[update] occupies the whole Winter Palace, began as Catherine's personal collection. At stake was Swedish control of swathes of Russian local authorities helped his party, and the Russian government decided to use him as a trade envoy. [87] For philosophy, she liked books promoting what has been called "enlightened despotism", which she embraced as her ideal of an autocratic but reformist government that operated according to the rule of law, not the whims of the ruler, hence her interest in Blackstone's legal commentaries. (LogOut/ The peace lasted for 14 years. Catherine believed education could change the hearts and minds of the Russian people and turn them away from backwardness. In this act, she gave the serfs a legitimate bureaucratic status they had lacked before. Her face was left uncovered, and her fair hand rested on the bed. They opposed Russias growing involvement in Poland and objected to their own (pro-Russian) government. 6 November]) sometimes referred to as an epitome of the "enlightened despot" reigned as Empress of Russia for some 34 years, from June 28, 1762 until her death.. "Did Orlov buy the Orlov", Gems and Jewellery, July 2014, pp. Paper notes were issued upon payment of similar sums in copper money, which were also refunded upon the presentation of those notes. Central to the institute's philosophy of pedagogy was strict enforcement of discipline. Despite these victories, Russia was eager to reach a peace agreement with Ottoman Turkey. Historian Franois Cruzet writes that Russia under Catherine: had neither a free peasantry, nor a significant middle class, nor legal norms hospitable to private enterprise. The frustration affected Catherine's health. These did not succeed, but the Russians were victorious elsewhere. Some of these men loved her in return, and she always showed generosity towards them, even after the affair ended. Catherines foreign policy likewise placed her among the great monarchs of the century, all of whom considered expansion a central duty. Russian economic development was well below the standards in western Europe. The emergence of these assignation rubles was necessary due to large government spending on military needs, which led to a shortage of silver in the treasury (transactions, especially in foreign trade, were conducted almost exclusively in silver and gold coins). While the state did not technically allow them to own possessions, some serfs were able to accumulate enough wealth to pay for their freedom. [142] The court physician diagnosed a stroke[142][143] and despite attempts to revive her she fell into a coma. Catherine the Great concentrated on expanding the Russian Empire westward, specifically at the expense of two weaker powers: Poland and the Ottoman Empire. [8][9] The more than 300 sovereign entities of the Holy Roman Empire, many of them quite small and powerless, made for a highly competitive political system as the various princely families fought for advantage over each other, often via political marriages. [108] The statute established a two-tier network of high schools and primary schools in guberniya capitals that were free of charge, open to all of the free classes (not serfs), and co-educational. A landowner could punish his serfs at his discretion, and under Catherine the Great gained the ability to sentence his serfs to hard labour in Siberia, a punishment normally reserved for convicted criminals. [47], The Qianlong emperor of China was committed to an expansionist policy in Central Asia and saw the Russian empire as a potential rival, making for difficult and unfriendly relations between Beijing and Saint Petersburg. [2] The Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service. Duran, "Reform of Financial Administration in Russia during Reign of Catherine II." 1012. Catherine promised more serfs of all religions, as well as amnesty for convicts, if Muslims chose to convert to Orthodoxy. [44], In 1764, Catherine placed Stanisaw August Poniatowski, her former lover, on the Polish throne. Change), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Video. The choice of Princess Sophie as wife of the future tsar was one result of the Lopukhina Conspiracy in which Count Lestocq and Prussian king Frederick the Great took an active part. By the end of her reign, 50 provinces and nearly 500 districts were created, government officials numbering more than double this were appointed, and spending on local government increased sixfold. A key principle was responsibilities defined by function. Days earlier, she had found out about an uprising in the Volga region. As many of the democratic principles frightened her more moderate and experienced advisors, she refrained from immediately putting them into practice. While the majority of serfs were farmers bound to the land, a noble could have his serfs sent away to learn a trade or be educated at a school as well as employ them at businesses that paid wages. Her original name was Marta Skowronska, and it is not an exaggeration to say her fate was one that so many young girls of every epoch desperately desired to marry a prince and have a wealthy and a happy life. [81] Catherine had at first attempted to hire a Chinese architect to build the Chinese Village, and on finding that was impossible, settled on Cameron, who likewise specialised in the chinoiserie style. As she learned Russian, she became increasingly interested in the literature of her adopted country. [71] [100] This work emphasised the fostering of the creation of a 'new kind of people' raised in isolation from the damaging influence of a backward Russian environment. Old Believers were allowed to hold elected municipal positions after the Urban Charter of 1785, and she promised religious freedom to those who wished to settle in Russia. Ivan VI was assassinated during an attempt to free him as part of a failed coup: like Empress Elizabeth before her, Catherine had given strict instructions that Ivan was to be killed in the event of any such attempt. Russian Empress Catherine I was the second wife of Peter I the Great and Empress of Russia from 1725 to 1727. Instead she pioneered for Russia the role that Britain later played through most of the 19th and early 20th centuries as an international mediator in disputes that could, or did, lead to war. ", G.A. In the west, the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine's former lover, King Stanisaw August Poniatowski, was eventually partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. Peter also still played with toy soldiers. Catherine the Greats Second War with the Turks (1787-92) (Russo-Turkish War of 1787- 92). [3] As a patron of the arts, she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, including the establishment of the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe. Inspired by the Byzantine Empire design, the crown was constructed of two half spheres, one gold and one silver, representing the eastern and western Roman empires, divided by a foliate garland and fastened with a low hoop. John P. LeDonne, "Appointments to the Russian Senate, 17621769", John Griffiths, "Doctor Thomas Dimsdale, and Smallpox in Russia: The Variolation of the Empress Catherine the Great. She had to have her blood let by a doctor four times In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America. The royal families of Britain, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden descend from Catherine the Great. ", Jerzy Lojek, "Catherine II's Armed Intervention in Poland: Origins of the Political Decisions at the Russian Court in 1791 and 1792. In 1757, Poniatowski served in the British Army during the Seven Years' War, thus severing close relationships with Catherine. But Russia's Baltic Fleet checked the Royal Swedish navy in a tied battle of Hogland (July 1788), and the Swedish army failed to advance. With other attacks in the Balkans and the loss of Belgrade, the Turks became alarmed and sought to negotiate a treaty with Austria. Russian: , romanized:Yekaterina Alekseyevna Romanova. Apart from providing governing experience, the marriage was unsuccessful - it was not consummated for twelve years due to Peter III's impotence and mental immaturity. The Russian victories allowed Catherines government to obtain access to the Blac The tsar's eccentricities and policies, including a great admiration for the Prussian king, Frederick II, alienated the same groups that Catherine had cultivated. [70] This happened more often during Catherine's reign because of the new schools she established. [12], Sophie first met her future husband, who would become Peter III of Russia, at the age of 10. However, usually, if the serfs did not like the policies of the tsar, they saw the nobles as corrupt and evil, preventing the people of Russia from communicating with the well-intentioned tsar and misinterpreting her decrees. They refused to comply, and in 1764, she deported over 20,000 Old Believers to Siberia on the grounds of their faith. [144], Later, several unfounded stories circulated regarding the cause and manner of her death. Sophie had turned 16; her father did not travel to Russia for the wedding. Part of the Second Northern War. She seized territory from Poland and she did not die under a horse. Catherine II of Russia, called the Great (Russian: II , Yekaterina II Velikaya; 2 May 1729 17 November 1796 [O.S. Because the serfs had no political power, they rioted to convey their message. [112] Nevertheless, Catherine's Russia provided an asylum and a base for regrouping to the Jesuits following the suppression of the Jesuits in most of Europe in 1773. Possibly the offspring of Catherine and Stanisaw Poniatowski, Anna was born at the Winter Palace between 10 and 11 o'clock; Born at the Winter Palace, he was brought up at, Born many years after the death of Catherine's husband, brought up in the, Queen Catherine appears as a character in, The Empress is parodied in Offenbach's operetta, Lubitsch remade his 1924 silent film as the sound film, The British/Canadian/American TV miniseries, Her rise to power and subsequent reign are portrayed in the award-winning, Catherine (portrayed by Meghan Tonjes) is featured in the web series. While this was considered a controversial method at the time, she succeeded. The global trade by Russian natural resources and Russian grain provoked famines, starvation and fear of famines in Russia. Yet by the end of Catherine's reign, an estimated 62,000 pupils were being educated in some 549 state institutions. [90], During Catherine's reign, Russians imported and studied the classical and European influences that inspired the Russian Enlightenment. Mourning dress is to be worn for six months, and no longer: the shorter the better. The focus of the war switched to Moldavia in 1789. Catherine II of Russia With the ascent to throne of Tsarina Catherine II (1762), the Russian foreign policy experienced a fundamental change. Catherine longed for recognition as an enlightened sovereign. In this month, the empress of Russia died and her successor Paul, who detested that the Zubovs had other plans for the army, ordered the troops to retreat to Russia. In the same year, Catherine issued the Charter of the Towns, which distributed all people into six groups as a way to limit the power of nobles and create a middle estate. Catherine became pregnant with her second child, Anna, who only lived to 14 months, in 1759. The palace of the Crimean Khanate passed into the hands of the Russians. The statute sought to efficiently govern Russia by increasing population and dividing the country into provinces and districts. However, in 1788 Suvarov defeated the Turks at Kinburn, thereby preventing them from reconquering the Crimea. The origin of Paul I//The history of Gatchina, "Coronation of the Empress Catherine II [ , II-]", "Slave Trade in the Early Modern Crimea From the Perspective of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources", https://doi.org/10.1093/jhmas/XXXVI.2.185, "Naive Monarchism and Rural Resistance In Contemporary Russia", "How Catherine the Great Shook up Europe's Male Power Structure", "Alexander the Great vs Ivan the Terrible", Some of the code of laws mentioned above, along with other information, Manifesto of the Empress Catherine II, inviting foreign immigration, Historical Myths: The Death of Catherine the Great, Family tree of the ancestors of Catherine the Great, http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/Catherine.html, Charlotte Christine of Brunswick-Lneburg, Catherine Alexeievna (Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst), Natalia Alexeievna (Wilhelmina Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt), Maria Feodorovna (Sophie Dorothea of Wrttemberg), Anna Feodorovna (Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld), Alexandra Feodorovna (Charlotte of Prussia), Elena Pavlovna (Charlotte of Wrttemberg), Alexandra Iosifovna (Alexandra of Saxe-Altenburg), Maria Pavlovna (Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin), Elizabeth Feodorovna (Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine), Alexandra Georgievna (Alexandra of Greece and Denmark), Elizaveta Mavrikievna (Elisabeth of Saxe-Altenburg), Anastasia Nikolaevna (Anastasia of Montenegro), Militza Nikolaevna of Montenegro (Milica of Montenegro), Maria Georgievna (Maria of Greece and Denmark), Viktoria Feodorovna (Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Catherine_the_Great&oldid=1002474336, Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy from Lutheranism, Members of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, Recipients of the Order of St. George of the First Degree, People of the War of the Bavarian Succession, Mistresses of Stanisaw August Poniatowski, Articles containing Russian-language text, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from May 2020, Articles lacking reliable references from November 2018, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Articles with failed verification from November 2020, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2008, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2009, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2019, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2020, Articles with Russian-language sources (ru), Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the New International Encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with RKDartists identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, According to court gossip, this lost pregnancy was attributed to. This was a consequence of renewed problems in Poland, where the Prussians were trying to increase their political influence. This is why some serfs were able to do things such as to accumulate wealth. Summary of Catherine the Great. During this duel between noble girls, both exchanged sword-to-sword blows only, as they both had a fear of it leading to bloodletting. Assisted by able statesmen and generals, the empress successfully conducted two Turkish wars; as a result, Russia reached its natural borders in the south and on the Black Sea. When Sophie arrived in Russia in 1744, she spared no effort to ingratiate herself not only with Empress Elizabeth, but with her husband and with the Russian people as well. By 1782, Catherine arranged another advisory commission to review the information she had gathered on the educational systems of many different countries. During her reign, Catherine gave away many free peasants especially in Ukraine, and state peasants of the Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania, emperor family serfs to become private serfs (owned by a landowner), this did not involve Russian state peasants as a rule and while their ownership changed hands, a serf's location never did. The object was to strengthen the friendship between Prussia and Russia, to weaken the influence of Austria and to ruin the chancellor Aleksey Petrovich Bestuzhev-Ryumin, on whom Russian Empress Elizabeth relied, and who was a known partisan of the Austrian alliance. [125] She closed 569 of 954 monasteries, of which only 161 received government money. [54] She had more success when she strongly encouraged the migration of the Volga Germans, farmers from Germany who settled mostly in the Volga River Valley region. The story claimed that her maids believed that Catherine spent too much unsupervised time with her favourite horse, Dudley. [143] An autopsy confirmed stroke as the cause of death. Her Swedish cousin (once removed), King Gustav IV Adolph, visited her in September 1796, the empress's intention being that her granddaughter Alexandra should become queen of Sweden by marriage. Catherine gave away 66,000 serfs from 1762 to 1772, 202,000 from 1773 to 1793, and 100,000 in one day: 18 August 1795. Cademy. It was a failure because it narrowed and stifled entrepreneurship and did not reward economic development. Subsequently, in 1792, the Russian government dispatched a trade mission to Japan, led by Adam Laxman. In 1785, Catherine declared Jews to be officially foreigners, with foreigners' rights. Born in 1729, and known as Catherine the Great because she served as Russia's longest-reigning female ruler, she was empress from 1762 until her death in 1796. After Peter took a mistress, Catherine became involved with other prominent court figures. Count Peter Rumiantsev, smashed a Turkish army on the Dniester River, took the town of Jassy, and then conquered the Turkish-held provinces of Moldavia and Wallachia. The Treaty of Jassy was signed on January 9, 1792: the Russians returned Moldavia and Bessarabia to the Turks but kept hold of the territories to the east of the Dniester. The attitude of the serfs toward their autocrat had historically been a positive one. [119][120], In an attempt to assimilate the Jews into Russia's economy, Catherine included them under the rights and laws of the Charter of the Towns of 1782. [127] While claiming religious tolerance, she intended to recall the believers into the official church. She applied herself to learning the Russian language with zeal, rising at night and walking about her bedroom barefoot, repeating her lessons. Weariness began to set in and the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji was signed on July 16: Russia returned some of the territories it had captured but, significantly, gained access to the Black Sea, a stretch of water whose coastline had previously been the sole preserve of the Turks. She called Potemkin for helpmostly militaryand he became devoted to her. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia (17861859), Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and granddaughter of Catherine, was the great-great-great-great-grandmother of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Wikimedia Commons. These were the privileges a serf was entitled to and that nobles were bound to carry out. On 21 June the fleet met a Russian squadron off Saaremaaisland and after chasing the Russians down tried to provoke a conflict by demanding Russians render honors to the Swedes from which Russians had been exempted in the previous peace treaties. Early life. The crown contains 75 pearls and 4,936 Indian diamonds forming laurel and oak leaves, the symbols of power and strength, and is surmounted by a 398.62-carat ruby spinel that previously belonged to the Empress Elizabeth, and a diamond cross. For example, serfs could apply to be freed if they were under illegal ownership, and non-nobles were not allowed to own serfs. Apr 03, 2015. [78] In a letter to Voltaire in 1772, she wrote: "Right now I adore English gardens, curves, gentle slopes, ponds in the form of lakes, archipelagos on dry land, and I have a profound scorn for straight lines, symmetric avenues. The Commonwealth had become the Russian protectorate since the reign of Peter I, but he did not intervene into the problem of political freedoms of dissidents advocating for their religious freedoms only. Even before the reign of Catherine, Russia was involved in several wars, including the Northern War and the War of the Austrian Succession. [75] Their discontent led to widespread outbreaks of violence and rioting during Pugachev's Rebellion of 1774. The Corps then began to take children from a very young age and educate them until the age of 21, with a broadened curriculum that included the sciences, philosophy, ethics, history, and international law. Catherine the Great also had the large but weakly ruled state of Poland in her sights. Peter entered into an alliance with Denmark Norway and Saxony and in 1700 invaded Sweden, laying siege to Narva. She thus spent much of this time alone in her private boudoir to hide away from Peter's abrasive personality. [inconsistent] She credited her survival to frequent bloodletting; in a single day, she had four phlebotomies. She acted as mediator in the War of the Bavarian Succession (17781779) between the German states of Prussia and Austria. [17][18] [115][116], Russia often treated Judaism as a separate entity, where Jews were maintained with a separate legal and bureaucratic system. Russia and Prussia had fought each other during the Seven Years' War (17561763), and Russian troops had occupied Berlin in 1761. [86] For information about particular nations that interested her, she read Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville's Memoirs de Chine to learn about the vast and wealthy Chinese empire that bordered her empire; Franois Baron de Tott's Memoires de les Turcs et les Tartares for information about the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean khanate; the books of Frederick the Great praising himself to learn about Frederick just as much as to learn about Prussia; and the pamphlets of Benjamin Franklin denouncing the British Crown to understand the reasons behind the American Revolution. Although the government knew that Judaism existed, Catherine and her advisers had no real definition of what a Jew is because the term meant many things during her reign. It was a significant change in the balance of power. The Ottomans restarted hostilities in the Russo-Turkish War of 178792. B. Catherine the Great's Foreign Policy Reconsidered. Poniatowski, through his mother's side, came from the Czartoryski family, prominent members of the pro-Russian faction in Poland; Poniatowski and Catherine were eighth cousins, twice removed by their mutual ancestor King Christian I of Denmark, by virtue of Poniatowski's maternal descent from the Scottish House of Stuart. By 1790, Europe was a continent in which there was great expertise in the conduct of warfare, and whose technology and organization for war was superior to those of any other societies in the world. Frightened her more moderate and experienced advisors, she collected information from Russia and then appointed to. 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