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Catherine The Great

             Catherine the Great was one of the greatest leaders Russia has ever seen. She reformed the country into something completely different than what she saw when she first arrived in Russia. On May 2, 1729 Sophia Fredricke Auguste von Anhalt- Zebst, the future Catherine the Great was born in Stettin, Germany which is now Poland (geocities.com). Sophia's mother Joanna had been the sister of Karl August. Karl was engaged to Elizabeth I of Russia before she took the throne but Karl unexpectedly died. When Elizabeth was searching for a wife for her nephew and heir to the throne Peter, she summoned Sophia and her mother to Russia (alexanderpalace.org). In 1744 when she arrived in Moscow she embraced the orthodox religion and changes her name to Catherine Alexeyevna (Wilkens 67).
             In 1745 Catherine married Peter in St. Petersburg. The two hated each other and she soon took a lover named Serge Saltykov, a Russian officer. Many people believe that Paul, the son that Catherine gave birth to in 1754, was not Peter but Serge's son (geocities.com). In 1960 she finds a new lover and a year later Empress Elizabeth dies and Peter takes the throne. One year after that Catherine overthrows Peter with the support of the Imperial Guard. Catherine receives all power and Peter III dies a prisoner in 1762 (Wilkens 69). She does many great things as the leader of Russia. .
             About three years before Catherine came to be empress Russia took victory over the Prussian Empire. She follows that lead and conquers Lithuania in 1763. In 1764 she begins to develop a plan for the education of both boys and girls. This starts her drive for European- style education. Many schools and universities were founded under her reign including Smolny Institute for Girls (geocities.com). In 1766 Catherine starts her reform of St. Petersburg local administrations by creating the position of gorodskoi golova or mayor. Also that year she signed the Treaty of Friendship with England.

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