Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Catherine The Great!!!

                    In my History of Russia class we have been discussing the reign of Catherine the Great! She was Czarina from 1762-1796, coming into power after she was a part of the coup to unseat her husband the Czar at the time. The achievements of Catherine the Great will not be what she is remembered for though, because they are constantly over shadowed by her scandalous personal life. The two things I find most interesting about Catherine II are her background before she came to Russia, and her lovers. Catherine the Great, before she came to Russia was neither great nor named Catherine. She was the daughter of a lowly Prussian prince, born in 1729 and named Sophie. It was Czarina Elizabeth, a daughter of Peter the Great who paired Sophie with her nephew Peter, future Czar. It was then after the marriage that Sophie's name was changed to Ekaterina. As if that was not outrageous enough, after the coup with her husband, she claimed power. It was believed that she would only serve as regent until her son was of age, but as history has shown that was not true. She took power and with it she also took lovers. In total it was said that she had 12 lovers during her reign and her husbands. She was not involved with more than one at a time though as she was very loyal to her lovers. Almost always when a relationship ended it was on good terms, and she bestowed upon them gifts and titles. Catherine's circle of trust did not stretch far. I believe she gave such recognition to those that were her previous lovers because they were not only ex-lovers but some of her most trusted companions. There was much hatred felt for Catherine among the nobility and peasantry. Over all though Catherine was a great ruler and a great figure of power for women throughout history.

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