Catherine The Great

by - Molly Skutnik

the beginning

  • 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.