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Catherine II (the Great), 1762- 1796. Young Sophie (Catherine) Born in 1729 as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg in Stettin, Prussia.

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Presentation on theme: "Catherine II (the Great), 1762- 1796. Young Sophie (Catherine) Born in 1729 as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg in Stettin, Prussia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Catherine II (the Great),

2 Young Sophie (Catherine) Born in 1729 as Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg in Stettin, Prussia (now Poland). 1745: married to tsarevich Peter (III) to solidify Prussian- Russian relations. Arrived in Russia and resolved to rule it.

3 Peter III, ruled 5 January-9 July 1762 Born 1728, son of Anna Petrovna, daughter of Peter I and Catherine I, and Karl Friedrich (Duke of Holstein-Gottorp). Mother died soon after his birth. Father died when he was 11. Elizabeth I took him in and appointed him her heir (1742) : He and Catherine waited and waited, and hated each other. Catherine thought him a capricious fool.

4 Peter III, ruled 5 January-9 July 1762 Typical “enlightened absolutist” Faced economic demands of Seven Years’ War, so ended it. Mobilize economy Expand powers of the state Improve tax collection Russian nobles resented pro- Prussian policies Introduced “Liberty of the Nobility,” loosening their service obligations. Removed use of torture in interrogations. Enacted religious tolerance. Confiscated church lands.

5 Catherine’s coup d’etat Peter’s lover: Elizabeth Vorontsova Peter’s war with Prussia against Denmark for Holstein His attempt to reform palace guards Catherine saw her chance. Gregory and Alexei Orlov “helped.”

6 Catherine’s legitimacy She used Paul, born 1754 Catherine I’s precedent (Peter II) Declared regent and empress Bolstered by her early efforts at reform.

7 Catherine’s quotations: “You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.” (Letter to Denis Diderot) “Power without a nation's confidence is nothing.” “I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.”

8 1767 reform effort Catherine called a Grand Commission 652 members from nobles, clergy, townspeople and peasants (but not serfs) Wrote Наказ комиссии о составлении проекта нового уложения (Instruction for the commission about composing a proposal for a new general law) Exposed many enlightenment ideas to Russia (such as rule of law), but as Catherine’s interpretations. Denis Diderot’s critique focused on national sovereignty. Commission had over 200 meetings; no immediate legislation resulted, but eventually led to much.

9 Catherine as lawmaker 1775: Statute of Local Administration 1781: commercial navigation and salt trade reform 1785: Charter of the Nobility (« Грамота на права, вольности и преимущества благородного российского дворянства »): rights, freedoms, and benefits: ◦ confirmed inheritance, right to private property ◦ no corporal punishment, no obligation to serve ◦ right to trade, provincial self-government. 1785: Charter of the Towns of : reformed education

10 Catherine as conqueror Gained much of southern Russia, as well as: ◦ Crimea ◦ Right-Bank Ukraine ◦ Belarus ◦ Lithuania ◦ Courland In total, added 518,000 square km

11 Catherine as conqueror

12 First Russo-Turkish War, Sparked by border dispute at Balta (Poles vs. Russians) Sultan Mustafa III declared war on Russia Ottomans allied with Polish opposition Russia got British naval advisers 1770: Battle of Chesme: Alexey Orlov; Ottoman fleet destroyed Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, 21 July 1774 (humiliating for Ottomans).

13 Pugachev Rebellion, Yaik Cossacks Emelyan Pugachev – “Peter III” Abolished serfdom Battle of Kazan, July 1774 Failed from localism, peasants, Tatars, Bashkirs 10 January 1775: Pugachev executed in Moscow.

14 Partitions of Poland: 1772, 1793, : King Stanislaw Poniatowski 1768: Catherine became protectoress of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Provoked Confederation of the Bar, Led to first partition Frederick the Great’s idea, really

15 Partitions of Poland: 1772, 1793, : French Revolution scared Catherine 3 May 1791 Polish Constitution Second Partition 1794: Kościuszko Uprising Final Partition

16 Partitions of Poland: 1772, 1793, 1795

17 Catherine’s legacy She also hated the French Revolution: “I preach and will go on preaching common cause with all the kings against the destroyers of thrones and of society, despite all the adherents of the wretched opposing system, and we will see who comes out on top: reason, or the nonsense talked by the perfidious partisans of an execrable system, which in itself excludes and tramples underfoot all sentiments of religion, honour and glory.” 20 October 1796 letter to Friedrich Grimm (Rounding, Catherine the Great, pp )

18 Catherine’s legacy Died: 16 November 1796 Solidified nobility’s place Worsened peasants’ place Improved government Spread Enlightenment Expanded militarily, but this was becoming the problem and rationale for rule.


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