Catherine The Great

Tsarina of Russia

Early Life

Catherine was born in 1729 into a Small German Principality. Her original name was Sophia Augusta Frederica. When she was 15 years old, she was chosen to be the wife, and heir to Peter of Holstein Gottarp. When she was 16 years old, she married Peter, and changed her name to Catherine Alexeievna.

Mid Life

In 1762 Peter the Great became the tsar of Russia, and he wasn't good at it. Shortly after Catherine deemed him unfit to be the leader of Russia, and ordered the Army of Russia to help her overthrow Peter. Peter was taken prisoner, and killed 4 days later. After Peter was overthrown Catherine became the tsarina of Russia.


Catherine was a capable, informed, and gifted leader who did great things for Russia. She practiced Religious Tolerance, and established schools, hospitals, and charity institutions. Catherine promoted that women could be educated. In 1764 she founded the Smolny Institution (Society for the Training of the Daughters of Nobility). She also built factories and employed thousands of people. She gave smallpox vaccines, and was a patron of art, and science.

End of Life

During the end of her life, Catherine was dealing with the war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. She had convened a legislative commission to codify the Russian laws. There were 564 deputies, 28 appointed from the state institutions, and 536 elected by boyars and wealthy merchants. Catherine wrote a series of instructions for the commissions to follow. The instructions seemed liberal, however they actually perserved the Tsarinas autocracy, and the boyars' agrarian power. The war against the Ottoman Empire gave Catherine an excuse to disband the Commission.