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Czarina Catherine

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Czarina Catherine II Greg Zimmerman December 7, 2001 Catherine II was a German princess who was born in Stettin, Prussia in 1729. Her father was Prince Christian August of Anhalt-Zerbst, a general in the Prussian army and her mother was Princess Elizabeth of Holstien. Her uncle was Adolph Frederick, who became the constitutional monarch of Sweden in 1751. Catherine's birth name was Sophie Fredericke Auguste von Anhalt-Zebst. Sophia was nicknamed Feke or Figchen. Little is known about her early life, except what she wrote in her unfinished autobiography years later. Figchen's mother Joanna, was the sister of Karl August, who had been engaged to Elizabeth I of Russia before she took the throne. Her mother corresponded with Elizabeth I, and she and her mother were invited to come to Russia by the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna on January 1, 1744. At age 15, she converted to the Russian Orthodox religion, and was renamed Catherine Alexeyevna. She married Peter the same year. In 1761, Catherine's husband, Peter, was crowned emperor. ...read more.


Some examples of this are the fact that Catherine II considered all people to be born equal, but later changed her mind. She considered freeing the serfs, but a peasant revolt changed her mind. She also overthrew her husband to become the ruler. Catherine II was a player. It is widely assumed that Catherine II had twelve significant lovers after her marriage in 1745, including: Serge Saltuikov (1752), a young chamberlain at the court of the grand duke and duchess, Stanislav Poniatowski (1755), a charming and cultured young man, a member of Poland's grand families. Her third lover was Gregory Orlov (1760), a hero in the battle of Zorndorf. Next was Alexandar Vasilchikov (1773), a 28 year old officer who was considerably younger than Catherine. Gregory Potemkin (1774), was her next lover, known to be cocky, but had a brilliant mind. Then came Peter Zavadovsky (1776), a very short relationship that lasted only four months. The seventh lover was Simon Zorich, (1777) a very handsome major in the Hussars. ...read more.


Catherine was the last of the absolute monarchs. Peter the Great had built military hospitals, but Catherine founded hospitals for civilians. When Catherine reorganized the provinces in 1775, she decreed that each provincial capital must have a hospital, and each county with a population of 20,000 to 30,000 should have a doctor, surgeon, assistant surgeon, and a student doctor. Catherine's efforts caused the gentry to follow her example. Baron Von Kleichen founded a 300-bed hospital in St. Petersburg. In the 1790's, the college added about 250 more beds to the hospital. Catherine's foreign policy included two wars with the Ottoman Turks and gained Russian control of the North shore of the Black Sea. The partition of Poland gained Russia a lot of land in the west. After a long thirty-four years of ruling Russia, Catherine II died at age 67 in 1796. She suffered a stroke in her water closet (bathroom). She was discovered by her maid, lying on the carpet, next to her commode. She was a major influence on Russia and is a very powerful woman that is remembered and studied today. ...read more.

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