Catherine The Great
by - Molly Skutnik
A German princess, Catherine came to Russia at the age of 15 to marry the heir to the Russian throne
In 1762, a group of Russian army officers loyal to her deposed and murdered her mentally unstable husband, Tsar Peter III.
she ascended the Russian throne.
Catherine embraced Western ideas and worked to bring Russia fully into European cultural and political life.
Catherine was also an absolute monarch
She granted a charter to the boyars outlining important rights, such as exemption from taxes.
She reorganized the provincial government, codified laws, and began state-sponsored education for both boys and girls.
Catherine the Great made a grand tour her new lands in Ukraine and Crimea
Her deputy and former lover, Grigory Potemkin, had helped to conquer these lands from the Ottoman Empire, and Catherine put him in charge of their development.
When peasants rebelled against the harsh burdens of serfdom, Catherine took firm action to repress them. As a result, conditions grew worse for Russian peasants. Under Catherine, even more peasants were forced into serfdom.