Under her reign, Russia was revitalized; it grew larger and stronger, and was recognised as one of the great powers of Europe.
In her accession to power and her rule of the empire, Catherine often relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by highly successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsevand admirals such as Fyodor Ushakovshe governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding rapidly by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish warsand Russia colonised the territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas.
In the east, Russia started to colonise Alaska, establishing Russian America. Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyasand many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. However, military conscription and the economy continued to depend on serfdomand the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs.
This was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev's Rebellion of cossacks and peasants. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress, changed the face of the country. She enthusiastically supported the ideals of the Enlightenment and is often regarded as an enlightened despot.
Her father, Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbstbelonged to the ruling German family of Anhalt but held the rank of a Prussian general in his capacity as governor of the city of Stettin. Two of her first cousins became Kings of Sweden: Catherine's childhood was quite uneventful. She once wrote to her correspondent Baron Grimm: Catherine's rise to power was supported by her mother's wealthy relatives who were both wealthy and royal relations.
The choice Sophies dating manual sub español online Sophie as wife of her second cousin, the prospective tsar Peter of Holstein-Gottorpresulted from some amount of diplomatic management in which Count Sophies dating manual sub español onlinePeter's aunt and ruling Russian Empress Elizabeth and Frederick II of Prussia took part. Lestocq and Frederick wanted to strengthen the friendship between Prussia and Russia to weaken Austria 's influence and ruin the Russian chancellor Bestuzhevon whom Empress Elizabeth relied, and who acted as a known partisan of Russo-Austrian co-operation.
Catherine first met Peter III at the age of Based on her writings, she found Peter detestable upon meeting him. She disliked his pale complexion and his fondness for alcohol at such a young age. Peter also still played with toy soldiers. Catherine later wrote that she "Sophies dating manual sub español online" at one end of the castle, and Peter at the other. The diplomatic intrigue failed, largely due to the intervention of Sophie's mother, Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp.
Historical accounts portray Johanna as a cold, abusive woman who loved gossip and court intrigues. Her hunger for fame centred on her daughter's prospects of becoming empress of Russia, but she infuriated Empress Elizabeth, who eventually banned her from the country for spying for King Frederick of Prussia. The Empress Elizabeth knew the family well: She applied Sophies dating manual sub español online to learning the Russian language with zeal, rising at night and walking about her bedroom barefoot, repeating her lessons even though she mastered the language, she retained an accent.
This practice led to a severe attack of pneumonia in March When she wrote her memoirsshe said she made up her mind Sophies dating manual sub español online she came to Russia to do whatever was necessary, and to profess to believe whatever was required of her, to become qualified to wear the crown. Catherine recalled in her memoirs that as soon as she arrived in Russia, she fell ill with a pleuritis that almost killed her.
She credited her survival to frequent bloodletting ; in a single day, she had four phlebotomies. Her mother, being opposed to this practice, fell into the Empress' disfavour. When her situation looked desperate, her mother wanted her confessed by a Lutheran priest. Awaking from her deliriumhowever, Catherine said: Princess Sophie's father, a devout German Lutheranopposed his daughter's conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy.
On the following day, the formal betrothal took place. The long-planned dynastic marriage finally occurred on 21 August in Saint Petersburg. Sophia had turned 16; her father did not travel to Russia for the wedding. The bridegroom, known then as Peter von Holstein-Gottorp, had become Duke of Holstein-Gottorp located in the north-west of present-day [update] Germany near the border with Denmark in The newlyweds settled in the palace of Oranienbaumwhich remained the residence of the "young court" for many years to come.
Count Andrei Shuvalov, chamberlain to Catherine, knew the diarist James Boswell well, and Boswell reports that Shuvalov shared private information regarding the monarch's intimate affairs. She became friends with Princess Ekaterina Vorontsova-Dashkovathe sister of her husband's mistress, who introduced her to several powerful political groups that opposed her husband.
Peter III's temperament became quite unbearable for those who resided in the palace. He would announce trying drills in the morning to male servants, who later Sophies dating manual sub español online Catherine in her room to sing and dance until late hours. Due to various rumours of Catherine's promiscuity, Peter was led to believe he was not the child's biological father and is known to have proclaimed, "Go to the devil!
She thus spent much of this time alone in her own private boudoir to hide away from Peter's abrasive personality. Catherine recalled in her memoirs her optimistic and resolute mood before her accession to the throne:. The imperial couple moved into the new Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.
The tsar's eccentricities and policies, including a great admiration for the Prussian king, Frederick IIalienated the same that Catherine had cultivated. Russia and Prussia fought each other during the Seven Years' War —and Russian troops had occupied Berlin in Peter supported Frederick II, however, eroding much of his support among the nobility. Peter ceased Russian operations against Prussia, and Frederick suggested the partition of Polish territories with Russia.
In Julybarely six months after becoming emperor, Peter took a holiday with his Holstein-born courtiers and relatives to Oranienbaumleaving his wife in Saint Petersburg. On the night of 8 July OS: Sophies dating manual sub español online next day, she left the palace and departed for the Ismailovsky regimentwhere she delivered a speech asking the soldiers to protect her from her husband. Catherine then left with the regiment to go to the Semenovsky Barracks, where the clergy were waiting to ordain her as the sole occupant of the Russian throne.
She had her husband arrested, and forced him to sign a document of abdication, leaving no one to dispute her accession to the throne. Historians find no evidence for Catherine's complicity in the supposed assassination.