Catherine the Great

Catherine's Life

Catherine the Great was born May 2, 1729 in Stettin, Germany. She died November 6, 1796 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her nationality was Russian Her original name was Sophia Fredericke Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst. At age 15 she was chosen to be the wife and heir of Peter of Holstein Gottorp. Peter was the Grand Duke Peter of Holstein, a grandson of Peter the Great. At age 16 she became the wife of Peter and changed her name to Catherine Alexeievna.

Peter and Catherine

In 1762 peter became tsar of Russia. Peter was not good at being the tsar of Russia. Over time Peter and Catherine's relationship was not good. On June 28, 1762 Catherine overthrew Peter with the army of Russia. Four days later Peter was arrested and murdered. Catherine was now the tsarina.


Catherine was a capable, informed and gifted leader. She practiced religious tolerance. She established schools, hospitals, and charity institutions. She promoted education for women. In 1764 she founded Smolny Institution (Society for the Training of the Daughters of Nobility). She was a patron of the arts and sciences. She also gave smallpox vaccinations. She opened Russia to teachers, professors, scientists, actors, painters, and writers. She also built factories and employed hundreds.

Catherine's Names

Catherine had many different names she went by:

- Fredericka of Anhaltzerbst

- Sophia Augusta

- Catherine the Great

- Catherine ll

- Catherine ll the Great

- Sophia Augusta Frederike von Anhaltzerbst

- Ekaterina Alekseevna