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Kelly Martin AP European history Salon Project- Catherine the Great 10/20/09 Overview of Life: I was born Sophia

Augusta Frederica in the German city of Stettin, Prussia, on April 21, 1729. I am the daughter of Prince Christian August of Anhalt- Zerbst and Princess Johanna Elizabeth of Holstein- Gottorp. When I was fifteen, I went to Russia at the invitation of Empress Elizabeth to meet the heir to the throne. The heir to the throne was Grand Duke Peter, grandson of Peter the Great. Peter was an immature and a disagreeable child at sixteen years old. Soon after coming to Russia, I converted to the Russian Orthodox faith. In 1745 the Grand Duke Peter and I were married. To gain favor of the Empress Elizabeth I studied all matters endlessly. I learned to speak and read Russian very quickly; I also became a devout Russian Orthodox. Although my marriage was an extremely unhappy one I conceived two children, Paul and Anna. During my life I wrote to the philosophes Voltaire and Diderot, both exchanged letters with me. Diderot once visited me in Russia. The Coup detat The loyalty I showed Russia would help me earn my rightful place on the Russian throne and help win the support of the Russian people. When Empress Elizabeth died on December 25, 1761, Peter was proclaimed Emperor Peter III, and I became empress. Only a few months after coming to the throne, my husband had created many enemies within the government, the military, and the church. Soon a plot surfaced to overthrow Peter III. An idea came about to make me a regent to my seven year old son, Paul until he was old enough to rule on his own. Being an ambitious person I aimed for a higher role for myself. On June 28, 1762, with the help of an man named Gregory Orlov, I rallied together the troops of St. Petersburg to my support and declared myself the sole ruler of Russia, Catherine II. I had Peter arrested and required him to abdicate the throne. What I Did In My Life That Impacted the Country of Russia: Reforms The Instruction-My most important and greatest work of my life was the Nakaz, or Instruction with a view to the Elaboration of a Code of Law. When I was writing the 655 paragraphs, I felt guided by the light of two great philosphes: Voltaire and Montesquieu. -From Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws, I learned lessons of liberalism. I worried about the excesses of personal power and dreamed of a regime of kindness, equality and intelligence. -Voltaire taught me the blessings of reason in the conduct of public affairs. However, I was also influence by Beccarias Essay on Crimes and Punishment

My mind always wavered between ideas of the enlightenment and precedent laws of the day. In the 655 paragraphs I appeal to charity, fairness, patriotism, and reason. I urge the rich of my country not to dominate the poor. For the poor men and woman of my country I wish for them to try new things, like becoming an artisan, merchant, or shopkeeper. I want the serfs of Russia to be treated humanely. I am thoroughly against torture, and condemn the death penalty, except in cases of drastic crimes. I cant help but wonder what my Instructions would have done to the country of Russia if the document was appealed by the Senate. EDUCATION- With the help Ivan Betsky I drew up General Rules for the Education of Children of Both Sexes. I was inspired by Locke and Rousseau. I am most proud of my Smolny Institute for young ladies. I wanted the children of my country to be educated. SMALL POX- Small pox was killing many of my people in Russia and something had to be done. An idea came about to take the pock off of an infected person and place it on a noninfected person so that if they ever obtain the disease it would not be as harsh. I was the person to test this for my entire country because if the test was faulty I would be blamed for the death of a citizen. A doctor placed the pock on my forearm, many people of the court were afraid or disgusted, but I hoped that this new science would work. After a week I did not obtain Small Pox, I should have obtained the disease by that time if the experiment did not work. I put this new technology into effect in my country. Pugachev Rebellion: In Moscow an imposter of my dead husband came about and his name was Pugachev. So many of my citizens followed Pugachev and most of them were peasants. Serfs did not know that I was trying to protect them from landowners and faulty taxations. Pugachev surged through eastern Russia, burning and pillaging, killing priests and landlords. Famine was spreading throughout the rebels and they dispersed throughout my country. Pugachev was betrayed by some of his followers who I was very thankful to. Pugachev was brought to Moscow and was killed. I did not torture him at all, and banned anyone from doing so. * This rebellion was a drastic crime and I had to stop the man in charge by killing him. I did not want a rebellion to happen ever again or risk other innocent victims being hurt during a future rebellion. The Great Library: HERMITAGE I transformed the beautiful Winter Palace in St. Petersburg into the Small and Large Hermitages, and the Hermitage Theatre. The art in this public library was pieces that I collected from many people.

In 1764 I purchased Johann Ernest Gotzkowskis collection, this was my first collection. This collection was formed by Johann for the King of Prussia; however money was lost in the Seven Years War and Fredrick II could not purchase it. - In 1769 the Bruhl collection arrived in St Petersburg. It contained a vast number of prints and drawings, as well as over 600 paintings from the Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian and German schools. - In 1772 Denis Diderot negotiated with heirs of Baron de Thiers for the notable picture gallery of Antoine Crozat. I then bought the collection from Diderot. - In 1779 I bought a very important picture gallery for both the Hermitage and myself. The gallery is composed of 198 paintings that once belonged to Sir Robert Walpole, the Prime Minister of England. - In 1781 I purchased Count Baudouins collection of 119 paintings that were mainly from Dutch and Flemish schools. - In 1787 I acquired the collection of John Lyde-Brown that was mainly beautiful antique sculptures. In 1783 I charged Giacomo Quarenghi with the construction of the Hermitage Theatre. Construction of this fine building was done in the style of late 18th-century Russian Neoclassicism and it was completed in 1787. I also purchased Denis Diderot private library, however I allowed him to keep the library at his home in France until his death. DEATH: On November 6, 1796 I died of a heart attack in my bedrooms

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