Catherine The Great Essay

742 WordsSep 19, 20113 Pages
Catherine the Great Catherine the Great was a Russian empress that ruled from 1762 to 1796; she expanded the Russian Empire bettered administration, and energetically pursued the policy of the process of changing to western ideas and traditions also known as westernization. She was the daughter of Prince Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst and Princess Johanna Elizabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, born Sophia Augusta Frederica in the German city of Stettin, Prussia on April 21, 1729. Her parents hoped for a son and they did not show great affection towards their daughter Catherine. According to the Encyclopedia of World Biography, as a little girl, Catherine was close to her governess Babette whom she described as “the kind of governess every child should have”. Catherine's education accentuated the subjects considered appropriate for one of her class: religion which was Lutheranism, history, French, German, and music. Catherine the Great was a powerful woman that guided her young son to rule the Russian empire and sparked the westernization. When Catherine was fifteen, Empress Elizabeth invited her to meet the heir to the throne in Russia, the Grand Duke Peter, an immature and disagreeable sixteen year old. Soon after that Catherine converted to the Russian Orthodox faith, she and the Grand Duke were married in 1745. The marriage turned out to be unhappy, a marriage in which there was little proof of love or affection. Peter was unfaithful to Catherine, and after some time she became unfaithful to him (Encyclopedia of World Biography). Whether or not Peter was the father of Paul and Anna, the two children said to be their children, remains a question. However, her loveless marriage did not overshadow her intellectual and political interests. A sharp-witted and cultured young woman, she read extensively, particularly in French. She liked novels, plays, and verse but

More about Catherine The Great Essay

Open Document