viernes, 17 de julio de 2015

July 17: Catherine II, "The Great" Zarina assumed as Empress of Russia, after the murder of her husband Peter III.

Young Catherine soon after her arrival in Russia, by Louis Caravaque. 

Yekaterina Alexeevna or Catherine II, better known as Catherine "The Great" was the most renowned European queen and empress. Moreover, it was the queen who ruled Russia for more time and who managed to magnify Russia and make it the most powerful empire of hes time, from 1762-1796. That is 34 years.

Portrait by George Christoph Grooth of the Grand Duchess Ekaterina Alekseyevna around the time of her wedding, 1745

The reign of Catherine has gone down in history as "The Golden Age of Russia" by many accomplishments: He supported his generals to advance the Russian expansion in all geographic directions. Russia managed to extend its territory without "islands" or "teeth". It was the empire united with the territory that is more extensive mapping. In southern spread crushing the Turkish-Ottoman Empire.

Tsar Peter III reigned only six months; he died on 17 July 1762.

In the West they managed to subdue the Baltic States to Poland-Lithuania. In the East they went to Alaska and enter Russian America.

Catherine The Great by Dmitry Grigoryevich Levitsky

Catherine was his favorite nobles through which he had access to the intellectuals of French "Enlightenment".

Equestrian portrait of the Grand Duchess Yekaterina Alexeyevna

Catherine II of Russia, known as Catherine the Great, took power from 1762-1796, German princess of Anhalt-Zerbst dynasty sent to Russia to marry who would be Peter III, grandson of Peter the Great.

Catherine II of Russia by Johann Baptist von Lampi the Elder. 

Catherine entered the Russian Orthodox Church and renamed herself as Sophie Auguste by Catherine Alexeievna. She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg. Catherine gave a coup to her husband and was complicit in his murder. Catherine was an admirer of the Enlightenment and appointed Denis Diderot, the director of the Encyclopedia, as adviser to the queen. It won the support of landowners to carry out some reforms that his admired rationalists of the French Enlightenment suggested it.

The Inauguration of the Academy of Arts,  a painting by Valery Jacobi 

Catherine had to rely on the Russian landed gentry to develop her program of liberalization and rationalist reforms. Her system reform includes building hospitals and schools to improve the welfare of the population.

The Moscow Orphanage

However, despite the Russians shocked by her name change and her links to the Russian Church, Catherine submitted the Orthodox Church to the State and promoted French culture in the Russian Empire.

The Smolny Institute, the first Russian Institute for Noble Maidens and the first European state higher education institution for women.