Empress Catherine II of Imperial Russia was one of the fieriest rulers of her time. Catherine ruled Russia, the largest country in the world, and she ruled it ruthlessly.
She married Peter III, heir to the Russian throne when she was 15-years-old and she had mastered the Russian language. However, the marriage was an unhappy one, and she wasn’t impressed with his leadership skills. After staging a coup with the Imperial Guard, Catherine had her unpopular husband abdicate the throne and imprisoned, and she took over becoming the sole ruler.
Catherine was very intelligent and dedicated to her Russian subjects. She read widely and brought the Enlightenment to Russia. Catherine created a period of stability so that she could reform the Russian government, legal system and better social conditions with Enlightenment ideas.
In addition to modernizing Russia, Catherine transformed St. Petersburg into an attractive capital to promote Russia as a “center of civilization.”
Catherine the Great was an all around superstar politician. She knew what she had to do to accomplish her goals, and her creativity stimulated Russian growth on all levels.
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