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What nationality was Catherine 2?

On April 21 (May 2), 1729, Sophia Augusta Frederica of Anhalt-Zerbst, the future Russian Empress Catherine II, was born in the German city of Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland). In 1744, at the invitation of the Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna, Sofia and her mother came to Russia. She converted to Orthodoxy and at baptism received the name Ekaterina Alekseevna, and in 1745 she married Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich, the future Emperor Peter III. Immediately after arriving in Russia, Catherine began to study the Russian language, history, and Russian traditions. Later, she turned to reading the works of French enlighteners and works on philosophy, law and economics, becoming a supporter of the ideas of the Enlightenment. After Peter III’s accession to the throne, Catherine’s relationship with her husband continued to deteriorate. Due to the threat of arrest and possible deportation, Catherine decided to participate in the coup, relying on the support of the Orlov brothers, Counts N.I. Panin and K.G. Razumovsky. On the night of June 28 (July 9), 1762, Catherine secretly arrived in St. Petersburg and was proclaimed autocratic empress in the barracks of the Izmailovsky regiment. In the first years of her reign, Catherine II carried out a reform of the Senate (1763); carried out the secularization of church lands (1764), which significantly replenished the state treasury and eased the situation of a million peasants; liquidated the hetmanate in Ukraine, which corresponded to her ideas about the need to unify administration throughout the empire; invited foreigners to Russia to explore the Volga and Black Sea regions. The Empress carried out important reforms in the military, social and financial spheres. In 1763, the Empress established the Naval Commission, which was given broad rights to carry out reforms in the Russian fleet. In September 1765, the government of Catherine II promulgated the “Manifesto on the general delimitation of lands throughout the empire,” which delimited privately owned lands among themselves and separated them from state-owned lands. In 1769, paper money was introduced in Russia – banknotes. In 1767, the Empress announced the convening of a Commission to draw up a new Code, consisting of elected deputies from all social groups of Russian society, with the exception of serfs. Catherine wrote the “Order” for the Commission, which was the liberal program of her reign. In 1775, a manifesto was issued that allowed the free establishment of any industrial enterprises. In the same year, a provincial reform was carried out, which introduced a new administrative-territorial division of the country. In 1782, the empress created a new city administrative and police body – the Deanery or police department. In 1785, Catherine II issued the famous legislative acts – Charters granted to cities and nobility. For the Russian nobility, Catherine’s document meant the legal consolidation of almost all the rights and privileges available to the nobles, including exemption from compulsory public service. The charter to cities established new elected city institutions, expanded the circle of voters and consolidated the foundations of self-government. In 1773, by decree of Catherine II, the first in Russia and the second in the world higher technical educational institution, the Mining School, was founded in St. Petersburg to train specialists in metalworking industries. In 1781, the beginning was made of the creation of a national system of public education in Russia – a network of urban school institutions based on a class-lesson system was created. In subsequent years, the Empress also continued to develop plans for major reforms in the field of education. In 1783, Catherine II issued a decree “On Free Printing Houses,” which allowed private individuals to engage in publishing activities. In 1795, by her highest command, Catherine the Great approved the project to build the first public library in St. Petersburg. During her reign, the Russian empress fought two successful wars against the Ottoman Turks (Russian-Turkish wars of 1768-1774 and 1787-1791), as a result of which Russia finally gained a foothold in the Black Sea. Having led an alliance with Austria and Prussia, Catherine participated in three partitions of Poland. In 1795, the empress issued a manifesto on the annexation of Courland “for eternity to the Russian Empire.” At the end of the 1780s, simultaneously with the Russian-Turkish war, a war began with Sweden, which was trying to achieve revenge for its defeat in the Northern War. However, Russia successfully dealt with both opponents. In 1790, a peace treaty was signed in the village of Verele (Värälya), ending the Russian-Swedish war. In 1792, the Peace of Jassy was concluded, which consolidated Russia’s influence in Bessarabia and Transcaucasia, as well as the annexation of Crimea. The era of Empress Catherine the Great was marked by the appearance of a galaxy of outstanding statesmen, generals, writers, and artists. Among them, a special place was occupied by Adjutant General I. I. Shuvalov; Count P. A. Rumyantsev-Zadunaisky; Admiral V. Ya. Chichagov; Generalissimo A.V. Suvorov; Field Marshal G. A. Potemkin; educator, book publisher N. I. Novikov; historian, archaeologist, artist, writer, collector A. N. Olenin, President of the Russian Academy E. R. Dashkova. On the morning of November 6 (17), 1796, Catherine II died and was buried in the tomb of the Peter and Paul Cathedral. 77 years after the death of Catherine in St. Petersburg, a monument to the great empress was inaugurated on Alexandrinskaya Square (now Ostrovsky Square). Lit.: Brickner A. G. History of Catherine II. St. Petersburg, 1885; Grot Y. K. Education of Catherine II // Ancient and new Russia. 1875. T. 1. No. 2. P. 110-125; Catherine II. Her life and writings: Sat. historical and literary articles. M., 1910; Joanna Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst. News written by Princess Joanna-Elizabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst, mother of Empress Catherine, about her and her daughter’s arrival in Russia and about the celebrations on the occasion of joining Orthodoxy and the latter’s marriage. 1744-1745 // Collection of the Russian Historical Society. 1871. T. 7. P. 7-67; Kamensky A. B. The life and fate of Empress Catherine the Great. M., 1997; Omelchenko O. A. “Legitimate Monarchy” of Catherine the Second. M., 1993; Stories by A. M. Turgenev about Empress Catherine II // Russian antiquity. 1897. T. 89. No. 1. P. 171-176; Tarle E. V. Catherine the Second and her diplomacy. Part 1-2. M., 1945. See also in the Presidential Library:

Catherine II (1729 – 1796) – Empress of All Russia

She had a natural intelligence, education, knew the Russian language perfectly, the reforms she carried out contributed to the development of the economy, science, education and culture of Russia. She entered world history under the name of Catherine II the Great. By origin – a German princess from a poor German princely family, Sophia Augusta Frederica of Anhaldt-Zerbt. In 1745 she was married to the heir to the Russian throne, the future Emperor Peter III. Having converted to Orthodoxy, she received the name Catherine and the title of Grand Duchess. From the first days of her stay in Russia, with rare diligence, she studied the Russian language and customs under the guidance of adjunct and translator of the Academy of Sciences Vasily Adadurov, a graduate of the Novgorod Theological Seminary. Catherine II became the Russian Empress as a result of a palace coup, during which Emperor Peter III was dethroned and killed. The guards who carried out the coup were led by Catherine’s favorite Grigory Orlov and his brothers. Catherine carries out radical government reforms. To replenish the state treasury, in 1764 she issued a Decree on Secularization, according to which lands belonging to churches and monasteries were transferred to the management of the College of Economy. Of the 47 monasteries in Novgorod, only 17 remained active. To bring Russian laws into line with European ones, Catherine issues a Manifesto on the convening of the Commission on the Code. In 1767, the “Order” for the Commission was published, which contained instructions on the tasks of the authorities, courts, estates, the role of laws, the rights and responsibilities of citizens. It was based on the ideas of Western enlighteners, primarily excerpts from Montesquieu’s book “On the Spirit of Laws.” In 1775, a reform of the provincial system was carried out. The number of provinces increased 2,5 times. In accordance with Catherine’s decree “On making special plans for all cities, their structures and streets,” master plans for provincial cities are being developed on the principles of regular planning. In 1778, a general plan for Novgorod was developed, and architectural designs were drawn up for the construction of city houses and estates. The Traveling Palace was built for Catherine in Novgorod, where she stayed while traveling along the Vyshnevolotsk water system. In memory of her stay in Novgorod, she gave the Novgorod nobility a barge on which she made this journey. In 1827, a wooden building in the classicist style was built for the barge on the so-called Catherine Hill – one of the surviving bastions of the Small Earthen Town. Catherine’s foreign policy activities were aimed at the war with Turkey and Poland. As a result of successful military operations, Russia included the steppe Black Sea region with Crimea and the North Caucasus, part of Belarus, Right Bank Ukraine, Volyn, Lithuania, Courland. More than two hundred new cities were built in the southern provinces, and the Black Sea Fleet was created. The reign of Catherine was the heyday of Russian science, culture and education: scientific expeditions were carried out, the Imperial Public Library was founded – the first public library in Russia, the first Institute of Noble Maidens in Russia at the Smolny Monastery, public schools were opened in the provinces. The first legislative act in the field of public education was the Charter of Public Schools, published in 1786. Catherine published the satirical magazine “Everything and Everything”, wrote articles, plays, and fairy tales. Catherine’s literary heritage includes works that reflect the history of ancient Novgorod: “Notes on Russian History”, “Journal of the Highest Journey of Empress Catherine II to the Midday Countries of Russia in 1787”, the drama “From the Life of Rurik”, libretto of the opera “The Novgorod Bogatyr Boleslaevich” ” Continuing the Petrine tradition of enlightened absolutism, Catherine maintained relations with outstanding thinkers of Europe and corresponded with Voltaire and Diderot. The last years of Catherine’s reign were marked by reactionary sentiments: representatives of progressive Russian social thought – A. Radishchev, N. Novikov – were persecuted. Catherine’s reign is called the “Golden Age” of the Russian nobility, which she made her support in domestic and foreign policy. The “charter granted to the nobility” represented a set of privileges. She was surrounded by talented people, including prominent statesmen and politicians, major military leaders: A. Vorontsov, A. Bezborodko, I. Betskoy, A. Orlov, G. Potemkin, P. Rumyantsev, A. Suvorov and others. On the high-relief frieze of the monument in the “People of State” section, Catherine II is depicted sitting in magnificent robes with the order chain of St. Andrew the First-Called and laying a laurel wreath on the head of Grigory Potemkin as a reward for the annexation of Crimea to Russia. Standing next to Catherine are I. I. Betskoy, an educator, president of the Academy of Arts, and A. A. Bezborodko, a statesman and diplomat. Brickner, A. G. History of Catherine the Second [Text]: in 3 volumes / A. G. Brickner. – M.: Terra, 1996. – T. 1. – 1996. – 256 p. ; T. 2. – 1996. – 264 p. ; T. 3. – 1996. – 264 p. Budnitsky, B. L. Search for an artistic image based on the monument to the “Millennium of Russia” [Text] / B. L. Budnitsky. – St. Petersburg. : Agency “RDK-print”, 2005. – 551 p. : ill. Velikiy Novgorod. History and culture of the 2007th – 550th centuries [Text]: encyclopedic dictionary / Regional public charitable organization “Novgorod Culture Fund”, Russia. Culture Fund, St. Petersburg. Institute of History RAS; resp. ed. V. L. Yanin. – St. Petersburg. : Nestor-History, XNUMX. – XNUMX p. Volkonsky, M. N. Works [Text]: in 4 volumes / comp. T. F. Prokopova. – M.: Press, 1992. – T. 3: The will of fate: About Catherine II; Forgotten mansions: novels. – 380 s. Detkov, Yu. L. Empress [Text]: historical novel / Yu. L. Detkov. – St. Petersburg. : [b. i.], 2003. – 943 p. Catherine II and G. A. Potemkin [Text]: personal correspondence. 1769-1791 / ed. prepared V. S. Lopatin; redol. D. S. Likhachev et al. – M.: Nauka, 1997. – 990 p. – (Literary monuments). Catherine II and Grigory Potemkin [Text]: historical anecdotes. – M.: International Business Center, 1990. – 144 p. Evgenieva M. Catherine’s Lovers [Text]: Empress Catherine the Second / M. Evgenieva. – M.: Vneshtorgizdat, 1989. – 60 p. Catherine II. Works of Empress Catherine II [Text]: based on authentic manuscripts and with explanatory notes by Academician. A. N. Pypina / Catherine II. – [B. m.]: Publishing house of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1901. – T. 2: Dramatic works. – 548 p. Zhdanov, L. G. The last favorite: (Catherine II and P. Zubov) [Text]: novel in 2 books. / L. G. Zhdanov. – Rep. reproduction ed. – M.: Khudozhestvennaya lit., 1991. – 446 p. Klyuchevsky, V. O. Historical portraits. Figures of historical thought / V. O. Klyuchevsky; comp., erect. Art. and note V. A. Alexandrova. – M.: Pravda, 1991. – 624 p. Masson, Sh. Secret notes about Russia during the reign of Catherine II and Paul I: observations of a Frenchman [Text] / Sh. Masson. – M.: New lit. review, 1996. – 207 p. – (Russia in memoirs). Moleva, N. M. Secrets of the golden age of Catherine II: courtiers, masons, favorites. [Text] / N. M. Moleva. – M.: Olympus: Eksmo, 2007. – 254 p. : ill. – (Secrets of Russian civilization). Perova, N. I. Smolyanki, Mariinsky Theater, Pavlushka. Bestuzhevka: From the history of female education in St. Petersburg [Text] / N. I. Perova. – St. Petersburg. : Petropolis, 2007. – 302 p. Piryutko, Yu. M. Under the scepter of Catherine: a monument to Catherine II in St. Petersburg [Text] / Yu. M. Piryutko. – St. Petersburg. : Aurora; Kaliningrad: Yantarny Skaz, 2002. – 63 p. : color ill. – (Aurora Library). Travels of Empress Catherine II through the Novgorod governorship in 1780, 1785 and 1787. // Memorial book of the Novgorod province. for 1784 – Novgorod, 1784, – dept. 2. The Romanovs: historical portraits 1762-1917 [Text] / ed. A. N. Sakharova; Institute of Russian History RAS. – M.: Armada, 1997. – Book. 2: Catherine II – Nicholas II. – 683 p. Secretary, L. A. Houses, events, people: Novgorod. XVIII – early XX centuries. [Text] / L. A. Secretary. – Veliky Novgorod: Cyrillic; St. Petersburg : Nauka, 1999. – 252 p. Sereda, N.V. Reform of management of Catherine the Second [Text]: source study / N.V. Sereda. – M.: Historical monuments. thoughts, 2004. – 446 p. Smirnov, V. G. History of Veliky Novgorod [Text] / V. G. Smirnov. – M.: Veche, 2006. – 476 p. : ill. Smirnov, V. G. Russia in bronze. Monument to the “Millennium of Russia” and its heroes [Text] / V. G. Smirnov. – M.: Veche, 2002. – 304 p. Trifonova, A. N. Veliky Novgorod in the 1150th century: To the 2009th anniversary of the city [Text] / A. N. Trifonova; State archive of the Novgorod region. – M.: Northern Pilgrim, 389. – XNUMX p. Shefov, N. A. Millennium of Russian history. Chronicle of Russian history with a brief description of significant events. – M.: Veche, 2001. – 576 p.

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