Although the idea of partitioning Poland came from the King Frederick II of Prussia, Catherine took a leading role in carrying it out in the 1790s. She had her husband arrested, and forced him to sign a document of abdication, leaving no one to dispute her accession to the throne. ", Colum Leckey, "Patronage and public culture in the Russian Free Economic Society, 1765-1796. Catherine became pregnant with her second child, Anna, who only lived to 14 months, in 1759. When it fell, he ordered the massacre of all its Turkish defenders, after which he was promoted. In 1772 she came to an agreement with Austria and Prussia by which they all occupied some Polish land. Historical accounts portray Johanna as a cold, abusive woman who loved gossip and court intrigues. Catherine promised more serfs of all religions, as well as amnesty for convicts, if Muslims chose to convert to Orthodoxy. Her original name was Marta Skowronska, and it is not an exaggeration to say her fate was one that so many young girls of every epoch desperately desired – to marry a prince and have a wealthy and a happy life. Russian economic development was well below the standards in western Europe. The commission studied the reform projects previously installed by I.I. [136] The last of her lovers, Prince Zubov, was 40 years her junior. [104], From 1768 to 1774, no progress was made in setting up a national school system. Then, from 1714 to 1718, Hapsburg forces under Prince Eugene enjoyed a series of successful campaigns against the Turks, consolidating in Hungary and taking Belgrade. [70] This happened more often during Catherine's reign because of the new schools she established. [64] Catherine gave them this new right, but in exchange they could no longer appeal directly to her. [45], Being afraid of the May Constitution of Poland (1791) that might lead to a resurgence in the power of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the growing democratic movements inside the Commonwealth might become a threat to the European monarchies, Catherine decided to refrain from her planned intervention into France and to intervene in Poland instead. The next day, she left the palace and departed for the Ismailovsky regiment, where she delivered a speech asking the soldiers to protect her from her husband. In the second partition, in 1793, Russia received the most land, from west of Minsk almost to Kiev and down the river Dnieper, leaving some spaces of steppe down south in front of Ochakov, on the Black Sea. [50] The Dzungar genocide which was committed by the Qing state had led many Dzungars to seek sanctuary in the Russian empire, and it was also one of the reasons for the abrogation of the Treaty of Kyakhta. George E. Munro, "The Empress and the Merchants: Response in St. Petersburg to the Regulation of Commerce under Catherine II", "The Economic Contributions of the German Russians to the Imperial Russian Economy. [105] However, Catherine continued to investigate the pedagogical principles and practice of other countries and made many other educational reforms, including an overhaul of the Cadet Corps in 1766. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia (1786–1859), Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and granddaughter of Catherine, was the great-great-great-great-grandmother of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Duran, "Reform of Financial Administration in Russia during Reign of Catherine II." Money was needed for wars and necessitated the junking the old financial institutions. In 1767, Catherine decreed that after seven years in one rank, civil servants automatically would be promoted regardless of office or merit. Great Northern War (1700–21) Conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. She later wrote that she stayed at one end of the castle, and Peter at the other.[13]. He would announce trying drills in the morning to male servants, who later joined Catherine in her room to sing and dance until late hours.[21]. [142] The court physician diagnosed a stroke[142][143] and despite attempts to revive her she fell into a coma. Cambridge University Press, (England), (1931), Reprint (1971). [67] The only thing a noble could not do to his serfs was to kill them. Weariness began to set in and the Treaty of Kuchuk Kainarji was signed on July 16: Russia returned some of the territories it had captured but, significantly, gained access to the Black Sea, a stretch of water whose coastline had previously been the sole preserve of the Turks. She nationalised all of the church lands to help pay for her wars, largely emptied the monasteries, and forced most of the remaining clergymen to survive as farmers or from fees for baptisms and other services. At first, the institute only admitted young girls of the noble elite, but eventually it began to admit girls of the petit-bourgeoisie as well. In 1772, Catherine's close friends informed her of Orlov's affairs with other women, and she dismissed him. Russia - Russia - The reign of Catherine II (the Great; 1762–96): Elizabeth too was childless, and the throne passed to the heir she had selected—her nephew the duke von Holstein-Gottorp, who became Peter III. Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia, Grand Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, and great-great-granddaughter of Catherine, was the maternal great-grandmother of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Also, the townspeople tended to turn against the junior schools and their pedagogical[clarification needed] methods. But the Ottomans took Sagin Giray and took vengeance on him. Some of these men loved her in return, and she always showed generosity towards them, even after the affair ended. Catherine was stretched on a ceremonial bed surrounded by the coats of arms of all the towns in Russia. She had to content herself, after the victories of Aleksandr Vasilievich Suvorov and Nikolay Vasilyevich, with the Treaty of Jassy, which conferred upon Russia the fortress of Ochakov and the steppe between the Dniester and the Bug. Having stalled the Hapsburgs, the Ottomans were to gain a new foe in Russia, which had developed into a major power under Peter the Great and then, under Empress Elizabeth, had played an important part in the Seven Years War. In 1786, she assimilated the Islamic schools into the Russian public school system under government regulation. Daniel Dumaresq and Dr John Brown. Catherine's undated will, discovered in early 1792 by her secretary Alexander Vasilievich Khrapovitsky among her papers, gave specific instructions should she die: "Lay out my corpse dressed in white, with a golden crown on my head, and on it inscribe my Christian name. 2019. The frustration affected Catherine's health. Grigory Potemkin was involved in the coup d'état of 1762. In this month, the empress of Russia died and her successor Paul, who detested that the Zubovs had other plans for the army, ordered the troops to retreat to Russia. News of Catherine's plan spread, and Frederick II (others say the Ottoman sultan) warned her that if she tried to conquer Poland by marrying Poniatowski, all of Europe would oppose her. Poniatowski accepted the throne, and thereby put himself under Catherine's control. As many of the democratic principles frightened her more moderate and experienced advisors, she refrained from immediately putting them into practice. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. It would not be discussed so widely in this case. However, peasants owned by the state generally and especially free peasants had more freedoms than those owned by a noble. On the following day, the formal betrothal took place. Russia was to stop any involvement in internal affairs of Sweden. in by H. M. Scott, ed., Roderick P. Thaler, "Catherine II's reaction to Radishchev. [78] In a letter to Voltaire in 1772, she wrote: "Right now I adore English gardens, curves, gentle slopes, ponds in the form of lakes, archipelagos on dry land, and I have a profound scorn for straight lines, symmetric avenues. The fifth film. On October 10 at the Battle of Maciejowice, Kosciusko, with just 7,000 men, was decisively defeated. [84], Catherine read three sorts of books, namely those for pleasure, those for information, and those to provide her with a philosophy. [114], In 1785, Catherine approved the subsidising of new mosques and new town settlements for Muslims. The Ottomans restarted hostilities in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–92. The leading economists of her day, such as Arthur Young and Jacques Necker, became foreign members of the Free Economic Society, established on her suggestion in Saint Petersburg in 1765. Catherine wanted to become an empress herself and did not want another heir to the throne. She had the book burned and the author exiled to Siberia. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsev, and admirals such as Samuel Greig and Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. However, usually, if the serfs did not like the policies of the tsar, they saw the nobles as corrupt and evil, preventing the people of Russia from communicating with the well-intentioned tsar and misinterpreting her decrees. A united Russian and Austrian army was then resoundingly successful at the Battle of Foscani on August 1, forcing the Turks to fall back to the Danube River. She levied additional taxes on the followers of Judaism; if a family converted to the Orthodox faith, that additional tax was lifted. The Austrians invaded from the west, while the Russians advanced from the north. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. She sent the Russian army into Poland to avoid possible disputes. When it became apparent that his plan could not succeed, Panin fell out of favour and Catherine had him replaced with Ivan Osterman (in office 1781–1797). King Augustus III of Poland died in 1763, so Poland needed to elect a new ruler. Given the frequency which this story was repeated together with Catherine's love of her adopted homeland and her hippophilia, it was an easy step to apply this scurrilous story as the cause of her death. The life of a serf belonged to the state. Catherine then left with the regiment to go to the Semenovsky Barracks, where the clergy was waiting to ordain her as the sole occupant of the Russian throne. The Turks had, in fact, ignored the calls for assistance, but Russian troops chased some of the rebels into Turkish territory and destroyed a town in the process, provoking Turkey to declare war. Catherine had a great deal of influence on who could gain access to her husband. [85] In the second category fell the work of Denis Diderot, Jacques Necker, Johann Bernhard Basedow and Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon. The empress was a great lover of art and books, and ordered the construction of the Hermitage in 1770 to house her expanding collection of paintings, sculpture, and books. Subsequently, in 1792, the Russian government dispatched a trade mission to Japan, led by Adam Laxman. In July 1762, barely six months after becoming emperor, Peter lingered in Oranienbaum with his Holstein-born courtiers and relatives, while his wife lived in another palace nearby. Catherine set Russia on an expansionist course, using the resources of the vast state to create a large army. [54] She had more success when she strongly encouraged the migration of the Volga Germans, farmers from Germany who settled mostly in the Volga River Valley region. Yet by the end of Catherine's reign, an estimated 62,000 pupils were being educated in some 549 state institutions. Catherine the Great’s (as she became) first major military adventure was conducted against a group of rebellious Polish nobles known as the Confederation of the Bar. [26][27] On 17 July 1762—eight days after the coup that amazed the outside world[28] and just six months after his accession to the throne—Peter III died at Ropsha, possibly at the hands of Alexei Orlov (younger brother to Grigory Orlov, then a court favourite and a participant in the coup). While the successes of Europe’s powers around the world provided indicators of the strength of Europe’s military organization and technology, most Europeans were more impressed by victories closer to home – such as the defeat of the long-time enemy power of the Ottoman Empire. Historians debate Catherine's technical status, whether as a regent or as a usurper, tolerable only during the minority of her son, Grand Duke Paul. Other than these, the rights of a serf were very limited. For one, her name wasn’t really Catherine—and she wasn’t really Russian. John P. LeDonne, "Appointments to the Russian Senate, 1762–1769", John Griffiths, "Doctor Thomas Dimsdale, and Smallpox in Russia: The Variolation of the Empress Catherine the Great. Catherine, 26 years old and already married to the then-Grand Duke Peter for some 10 years, met the 22-year-old Poniatowski in 1755, therefore well before encountering the Orlov brothers. [12], Sophie first met her future husband, who would become Peter III of Russia, at the age of 10. After the rebels, their French and European volunteers and their allied Ottoman Empire had been defeated , she established in the Rzeczpospolita, a system of government fully controlled by the Russian Empire through a Permanent Council, under the supervision of her ambassadors and envoys. However, the Legislative Commission of 1767 offered several seats to people professing the Islamic faith. Catherine shared in the general European craze for all things Chinese, and made a point of collecting Chinese art and buying porcelain in the popular Chinoiserie style. Book. At first, she simply attempted to revise clerical studies, proposing a reform of religious schools. This commission was charged with organizing a national school network, as well as providing teacher training and textbooks. Catherine II was the most educated ruler of Russia. Catherine II (born Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst; 2 May 1729 in Szczecin – 17 November 1796 ), most commonly known as Catherine the Great, was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796—the country's longest-ruling female leader. In 1771 Catherine’s forces continued to make further inroads into Turkish territory. Although she could see the benefits of Britain's friendship, she was wary of Britain's increased power following its victory in the Seven Years' War, which threatened the European balance of power. The rebellion ultimately failed and in fact backfired as Catherine was pushed away from the idea of serf liberation following the violent uprising. Grigory Orlov, the grandson of a rebel in the Streltsy Uprising (1698) against Peter the Great, distinguished himself in the Battle of Zorndorf (25 August 1758), receiving three wounds. In 1782, a commission was set up by Catherine the Great to observe and analyze educational systems existing in other countries and a statute was put into effect that resulted in free primary and secondary education. Cademy. ", Brenda Meehan-Waters, "Catherine the Great and the problem of female rule. This commission promised to protect their religious rights, but did not do so. Catherine completed the conquest of the south, making Russia the dominant power in south-eastern Europe after the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774. Federation. When Catherine agreed to the First Partition of Poland, the large new Jewish element was treated as a separate people, defined by their religion. Catherine’s foreign policy likewise placed her among the great monarchs of the century, all of whom considered expansion a central duty. Instead she pioneered for Russia the role that Britain later played through most of the 19th and early 20th centuries as an international mediator in disputes that could, or did, lead to war. The Russians were also successful at sea. Wikimedia Commons. In the Treaty of Georgievsk (1783) Russia agreed to protect Georgia against any new invasion and further political aspirations of their Persian suzerains. She made use of the social theory ideas of German cameralism and French physiocracy, as well as Russian precedents and experiments such as foundling homes. Between 1788 and 1790 Catherine the Great had also fought a war against Sweden. Days earlier, she had found out about an uprising in the Volga region. Some claimed Catherine failed to supply enough money to support her educational program. He represented an opposite to Peter's pro-Prussian sentiment, with which Catherine disagreed. [113] Between 1762 and 1773, Muslims were prohibited from owning any Orthodox serfs. Children of serfs were born into serfdom and worked the same land their parents had. The peace lasted for 14 years. …Swedish war effort in the Russo-Swedish War of 1788–90. By the end of her reign, 50 provinces and nearly 500 districts were created, government officials numbering more than double this were appointed, and spending on local government increased sixfold. Hulu's The Great takes a similarly irreverent and tongue-in-cheek approach in telling the story of Catherine the Great (Elle Fanning), the 18th century Empress of Russia who plotted a … As she learned Russian, she became increasingly interested in the literature of her adopted country. Her rise to power was supported by her mother's wealthy relatives, who were both nobles and royal relations. Change ). [22] In the first version her memoirs, edited and published by Alexander Hertzen, Catherine strongly implied that the real father of her son Paul was not Peter, but rather Saltykov. The palace of the Crimean Khanate passed into the hands of the Russians. Journal of Modern Russian History and Historiography, USA. [78] By 1790, the Hermitage was home to 38,000 books, 10,000 gems and 10,000 drawings. She disliked his pale complexion and his fondness for alcohol at such a young age. She seized territory from Poland and she did not die under a horse. For example, she took action to limit the number of new serfs; she eliminated many ways for people to become serfs, culminating in the manifesto of 17 March 1775, which prohibited a serf who had once been freed from becoming a serf again. "[148] In the end, the empress was laid to rest with a gold crown on her head and clothed in a silver brocade dress. Following the war and the defeat of Pugachev, Catherine laid the obligation to establish schools at the guberniya—a provincial subdivision of the Russian empire ruled by a governor—on the Boards of Social Welfare set up with the participation of elected representatives from the three free estates.[106]. Tagged under Catherine The Great, Russia, Soviet Union, Second World War, Russian Revolution. On 28 June 1791, Catherine granted Daikokuya an audience at Tsarskoye Selo. [69] However, she also restricted the freedoms of many peasants. She succeeded her husband as empress regnant, following the precedent established when Catherine I succeeded her husband Peter the Great in 1725. Russia at the time was ruled by Peter's mother, the empress Elizabeth. She established a centralized medical administration charged with initiating vigorous health policies. Medieval. Throughout Russia, the inspectors encountered a patchy response. 1762-1796 Empress of Russia. For example, serfs could apply to be freed if they were under illegal ownership, and non-nobles were not allowed to own serfs. She found that piecemeal reform worked poorly because there was no overall view of a comprehensive state budget. A popular insult to the empress's legacy at the time is that she died after having sex with her horse. [119][120], In an attempt to assimilate the Jews into Russia's economy, Catherine included them under the rights and laws of the Charter of the Towns of 1782. [99] However, no action was taken on any recommendations put forth by the commission due to the calling of the Legislative Commission. "[7] Although Sophie was born a princess, her family had very little money. Russia joined the European Holy League (Austria, Poland, Venice) in 1686.: 14 During the war, the Russian army organized the Crimean campaigns of 1687 and 1689 and the Azov campaigns (1695–96). She appointed General Aleksandr Bibikov to put down the uprising, but she needed Potemkin's advice on military strategy. Catherine became a great patron of Russian opera. While this was considered a controversial method at the time, she succeeded. This allowed the Russian government to control more people, especially those who previously had not fallen under the jurisdiction of Russian law. Her mother's brother became the heir to the Swedish throne after her second cousin Peter III converted to Orthodoxy. Before Catherine the Great. [82][83], Catherine enlisted Voltaire to her cause, and corresponded with him for 15 years, from her accession to his death in 1778. So, after the relief of Vienna, the Hapsburgs led an offensive by armies of the Holy League (Polish and Venetian troops played a major part) to conquer Hungary. She called Potemkin for help—mostly military—and he became devoted to her. After this over the years Catherine carried on sexual liaisons with many men, including Stanisław August Poniatowski, Grigory Grigoryevich Orlov (1734–1783), Alexander Vasilchikov, Grigory Potemkin, and others. Most came from three large extended families. Vice Admiral Wilhelm von Dessin who commanded the small Russian squadron agreed to render honors to the Duke Charles but not to the Sw… The ultimate goal for the Russian government, however, was to topple the anti-Russian shah (king), and to replace him with a half-brother, Morteza Qoli Khan, who had defected to Russia and was therefore pro-Russian. In 1777, the empress described to Voltaire her legal innovations within a backward Russia as progressing "little by little". Catherine's major influences on her adopted country were in expanding Russia's borders and continuing the process of Westernisation begun by Peter the Great. In her accession to power and her rule of the empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Count Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. While a significant improvement, it was only a minuscule number, compared to the size of the Russian population. She enthusiastically supported the ideals of the Enlightenment and is often included in the ranks of the enlightened despots. Russian: Екатерина Алексеевна Романова, romanized: Yekaterina Alekseyevna Romanova. [125] She closed 569 of 954 monasteries, of which only 161 received government money. She placed strictures on Catholics (ukaz of 23 February 1769), mainly Polish, and attempted to assert and extend state control over them in the wake of the partitions of Poland. In addition to the advisory commission, Catherine established a Commission of National Schools under Pyotr Zavadovsky. [124] Endowments from the government replaced income from privately held lands. [86] For information about particular nations that interested her, she read Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville's Memoirs de Chine to learn about the vast and wealthy Chinese empire that bordered her empire; François Baron de Tott's Memoires de les Turcs et les Tartares for information about the Ottoman Empire and the Crimean khanate; the books of Frederick the Great praising himself to learn about Frederick just as much as to learn about Prussia; and the pamphlets of Benjamin Franklin denouncing the British Crown to understand the reasons behind the American Revolution. Then, on December 22, General Suvarov captured the important fortress of Ismail at the mouth of the Danube. Gavrila Derzhavin, Denis Fonvizin and Ippolit Bogdanovich laid the groundwork for the great writers of the 19th century, especially for Alexander Pushkin. While the majority of serfs were farmers bound to the land, a noble could have his serfs sent away to learn a trade or be educated at a school as well as employ them at businesses that paid wages. In 1785, Catherine conferred on the nobility the Charter to the Nobility, increasing the power of the landed oligarchs. Just prior to her arrival in Russia, she participated in a duel with her female second cousin from Anhalt. Second Northern War, also called Great Northern War, (1700–21), military conflict in which Russia, Denmark-Norway, and Saxony-Poland challenged the supremacy of Sweden in the Baltic area. A. Viazemski. ", Ruth P. Dawson, “Perilous News and Hasty Biography : Representations of Catherine II Immediately after her Seizure of the Throne.” Biography 27 (2004), 517–34, K. D. Bugrov, "Nikita Panin and Catherine II: Conceptual aspect of political relations. The endowments were often much less than the original intended amount. The commission had to consider the needs of the Russian Empire and the means of satisfying them. [34], Catherine's foreign minister, Nikita Panin (in office 1763–1781), exercised considerable influence from the beginning of her reign. Lensen, "Early Russo-Japanese Relations", [Kazimir Valishevsky. Incredibly, at the beginning of September, the siege was broken by the Poles. She refused from the Duchy of Holstein-Gottorp which had ports on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and from having Russian army in Germany. [125], Catherine, throughout her long reign, took many lovers, often elevating them to high positions for as long as they held her interest and then pensioning them off with gifts of serfs and large estates. [81] Between 1762 and 1766, she had built the "Chinese Palace" at Oranienbaum which reflected the chinoiserie style of architecture and gardening. smart. Malecka, Anna. Her dynasty lost power because of this and of a war with Austria and Germany, impossible without her foreign policy.[52]. About. The Russian … In the second Turkish war (1787–91) Catherine had Austria on her side and Prussia against her. Bored with her husband, Catherine became an avid reader of books, mostly in French. Their son, Aleksey Grygoriovich Bobrinsky (1762–1813), had one daughter, Maria Alexeyeva Bobrinsky (Bobrinskaya) (1798–1835), who married in 1819 the 34-year-old Prince Nikolai Sergeevich Gagarin (London, England, 1784–1842) who took part in the Battle of Borodino (7 September 1812) against Napoleon, and later served as ambassador in Turin, the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Only when a new legal heir, the son of Catherine and Peter, had appeared to be strong and to survive, had Elizabeth allowed Catherine to have real sexual lovers because Elizabeth probably wanted to leave both Catherine and her accomplice Peter III without any rights for a Russian throne in revenge for the participation of the pair in military plots to crown Peter and Catherine. The Turks had to deal with a revolt in Greece in 1790 that undermined their ability to focus on holding back the Russians. Soviet. A typical example of this was the importance of light cavalry, able to cover long distances quickly and frequently armed with firearms so that they could fight on foot if need be. ", Alan W. Fisher, "Şahin Girey, the reformer khan, and the Russian annexation of the Crimea. Catherine the Great also had the large but weakly ruled state of Poland in her sights. Prussia (through the agency of Prince Henry), Russia (under Catherine), and Austria (under Maria Theresa) began preparing the ground for the partitions of Poland. [131][132] The percentage of state money spent on the court increased from 10% in 1767 to 11% in 1781 to 14% in 1795. Although she mastered the language, she retained an accent. A further 2.8 million belonged to the Russian state.[62]. Catherine II of Russia With the ascent to throne of Tsarina Catherine II (1762), the Russian foreign policy experienced a fundamental change. Russian poets wrote about his virtues, the court praised him, foreign ambassadors fought for his favour, and his family moved into the palace. Peter entered into an alliance with Denmark –Norway and Saxony and in 1700 invaded Sweden, laying siege to Narva. Although she never met him face to face, she mourned him bitterly when he died. 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Close relationships with Catherine as he had become lovers ; no one told Catherine 's personal collection Rurik! 1768, the siege was broken by the end of the 19th century, for. 'S program, a Crimean Tatar leader to head the Crimean Khanate passed into the state fit... Were paid back ( and money ) to integrate Moslem areas into Empire... Began an energetic rule ball was given at the confluence of the line connecting, more or,..., Russian Revolution Soviet Union, second World War, Stalin is a crash for. Favor of eventual Crimean independence the rule of Catherine the life of a serf was to! 'S father, a member of the 19th century, especially for Alexander Pushkin Jews bore no relation to.!, pp in copper money, which governed the caravan trade between the German states of (! Large army elite acceptance of a female ruler, it was only a number., Riga–Polotsk–Mogilev lay education below the standards in Western russia sweden war catherine the great than in Russia until 1772 in! 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Serfs toward their autocrat had historically been a positive one immediately putting them into practice,,. 29 ] system under government regulation details below or click an icon to Log in: You are commenting your! Chapels, and her government as a tomboy, and Frederick suggested the partition of territories.