Catherine The Great To The Russian Throne

Catherine The Great To The Russian Throne 

Entry to the throne

Within six months of the reign of Peter III Catherine's relationship with her husband (who appeared openly in society mistress ER Vorontsova) continued to deteriorate, becoming visibly hostile. There was a threat of arrest and possible expulsion. Catherine carefully prepared plot with the support of the Orlov brothers, NI Panina, KG Razumovsky, ER Dashkovoj and others. In the night of June 28, 1762, when the emperor was in Oranienbaum, Kateryna secretly arrived in St. Petersburg and in the barracks Izmailovsky Regiment was proclaimed autocratic empress. Soon the rebels joined by soldiers of other regiments. The news of his accession to the throne of Catherine quickly spread through the city and was enthusiastically greeted by Petersburg. In order to prevent actions deposed emperor had sent a messenger in the army and in Kronstadt. Meanwhile, Peter, having learned what had happened, began to send Ekaterina negotiation proposals, which were rejected. The Empress at the head of the Guards regiments made to St. Petersburg and on the road received a written renunciation of the throne of Peter.



The nature and form of government

Catherine II was a subtle psychologist and a great connoisseur of people, she could always find an assistant without fear of bright and talented people. That is why Catherine's time marked the emergence of a whole galaxy of outstanding statesmen, military leaders, writers, artists, musicians. In dealing with the subjects of Catherine was usually reserved, patient, tactful. She was a wonderful conversationalist, was able to listen carefully to everybody. By her own admission, she did not have a creative mind, but good has caught every businesslike idea and used it for their own purposes. For all the reign of Catherine virtually no noisy resignations, none of the nobles are not subjected to disgrace, was exiled and executed by the more. Therefore, had the idea of ​​Catherine's reign as the "golden age" of the Russian nobility. However, Catherine was very vain and more than anything else valued its power. For the sake of its preservation, it is ready to make any compromises to the detriment of their convictions.



Religious beliefs and peasant question

Catherine differed ostentatious piety, considered himself the head and defender of the Russian Orthodox Church and skillfully used religion for their political interests. Vera it apparently was not too deep. In the spirit of the time she preached tolerance. When it was discontinued persecution of Old Believers, built Protestant and Catholic churches, mosques, but still the transition from orthodoxy to another religion severely punished. Catherine was a staunch opponent of serfdom, considering it inhuman and disgusting human nature. In her papers survived many harsh statements on the matter, as well as discussions about the different options the elimination of serfdom. However, to do something concrete in this area, she did not dare because of the well-founded fear of noble rebellion and another coup. However, Catherine was convinced of spiritual backwardness of Russian peasants, and because they are at risk of freedom, considering that the life of the peasants from caring landlords rather well.



Domestic policy

Catherine came to the throne, having a definite political program based on the one hand, the ideas of the Enlightenment and, on the other hand, take into account the peculiarities of historical development of Russia. The main principles of this program were gradual, progressive, records of public sentiment. In the early years of his reign, Catherine undertook the reform of the Senate (1763), to do the work of the institutions more efficient; held secularization of church lands (1764), significantly replenish state coffers and to facilitate the situation of millions of peasants; eliminated hetman in Ukraine, which corresponded to its ideas about the need for uniformity of administration throughout the empire; He invited German colonists in Russia for the development of the Volga and Black Sea. During these years, it was founded a number of new institutions, including Russia's first educational institution for women (the Smolny Institute, the Catherine School). In 1767, it announced the convening of the Commission to compose a new Code, consisting of elected deputies from all social groups in Russian society, with the exception of the serfs. Catherine wrote to the Commission "Mandate" is essentially a liberal program of her reign. Calls Catherine were not, however, understood the Commission's deputies, who led debate on minor issues. During their discussion revealed deep divisions between different social groups, the low level of political culture and frank conservatism of the majority of the members of the Commission. At the end of 1768 the Legislative Commission was dissolved. Catherine herself appreciated the Commission's experience as an important lesson to introduce her to the mood of the different layers of the population. After the end of the Russian-Turkish War of 1768-74 and the uprising led by EI Pugachev entered a new stage of Catherine's reforms, when the empress herself had developed important legislation. In 1775 he was issued a manifesto, were allowed free establishment of any industry. In the same year he was made provincial reform, which introduced a new administrative-territorial division of the country that has survived up to the 1917 October Revolution. In 1785 Catherine issued its most important legislative acts - charters to the nobility and the cities. It was prepared as a third charter - state peasants, but the political circumstances did not allow it to enter into force. The main importance of ratification was due to the realization of the important goals of Catherine's reforms - the creation in Russia of Western European-type high-grade classes. For the Russian nobility charter means the legal consolidation of almost all available in his rights and privileges. In 1780-ies. It continued and education reform: a network of urban school facilities based on class-lesson system. In his later years Catherine continued to develop plans for major changes. In 1797 was planned a radical reform of the central administration, the introduction of legislation on the order of succession to the throne, the establishment of the highest court, based on elected representation from the three estates. However, to complete its program of reforms Catherine did not have time. In general, Catherine's reforms were a direct continuation of the reforms of Peter I.



Foreign policy

After Peter I Catherine believed that Russia should play an active role on the world stage, to conduct offensive (and to some extent aggressive) policy. Ascended the throne, she tore Peter III concluded a treaty of alliance with Prussia. Thanks to her efforts, was restored to the throne, Duke of Courland EI Biron. In 1763, with the support of Prussia, Russia has made the election his protégé Stanislaw August Poniatowski on the Polish throne. This led to a cooling of relations with Austria, which, fearing the excessive strengthening of Russia, Turkey began to incite war with the Russian Empire. Russian-Turkish war of 1768-1774 was largely successful for Russia, but a complicated political situation encouraged Russia to seek peace, which was necessary to restore relations with Austria. As a result, a compromise was reached, which fell victim to Poland: in 1772 Russia, Prussia and Austria carried out the first section of part of its territory. With Turkey signed Kucuk Kaynarca world, which provides favorable for Russia independence of Crimea. In the war between Britain and its North American colonies Russia officially took a neutral position and Catherine King of England refused to help British troops. At the initiative of NI Panina Russia issued a declaration of armed neutrality, joined by a number of European states, which objectively contributed to the victory of the colonists. In the following years the strengthening of Russian positions in the Crimea and the Caucasus, completed in 1782 the inclusion of the Crimea to the Russian Empire and the signing in 1783 Treaty of St. George with Kartli-Kakheti King Irakli II, to ensure the presence of Russian troops in Georgia, and subsequently its accession to Russia. In the second half of the 1770s. formed a new foreign policy doctrine of the Russian government - Greek project. Its main aim was the restoration of the Greek (Byzantine) Empire, with its capital in Constantinople and the Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich, grandson of Catherine, as emperor. In 1779, Russia has significantly strengthened its international prestige by participating as an intermediary between Austria and Prussia in Teschen Congress. In 1787, Catherine, followed by the court, foreign diplomats, the Austrian Emperor and King of Poland made a trip to the Crimea, which became a gigantic demonstration of Russian military might. Shortly thereafter, a new war with Turkey, and Russia acted in alliance with Austria. Almost simultaneously, the war started with Sweden (1788-90), is trying to achieve revenge for the defeat in the Northern War. However, Russia has successfully coped with the two opponents. The war with Turkey ended in 1791. In 1792 was signed by Jassy world, which recognized the influence of Russia in Bessarabia and the Caucasus, as well as the accession of the Crimea. In 1793 and 1795 took place the second and third sections of Poland, the final elimination of the Polish statehood. Examples of events in revolutionary France Catherine initially treated with a certain degree of sympathy, seeing them as a result of unreasonable oppressive policies of the French kings. However, after the execution of Louis XVI, she saw the revolution in danger for the whole of Europe.



Personal life

Time of Catherine II - is flourishing favoritism, characteristic of European life the second half of the 18th century. After leaving in the early 1770s. with GG Orlov, in subsequent years the Empress has replaced a number of favorites. To participate in the solution of political issues, they are usually not allowed. Only two of her famous lovers - GA Potemkin and PV Zavadovsky - have become major public figures. With his minions Catherine lived for several years, but then parted for a variety of reasons (the death of a favorite, his treachery or misconduct), but none of them has been subjected to disgrace. They were generously rewarded with ranks, titles, money and serfs. Throughout his life, Catherine was looking for a man who would be worthy of her, would share her enthusiasm, views, and so on.. But to find a man to her, apparently did not succeed. However, there is speculation that she was secretly married to Potemkin, which maintained a friendly relationship until his death. All sorts of rumors about orgies at the court of Catherine the propensity to nymphomania and so on. N. - No more than unfounded myth.

Catherine was the following epitaph for the tombstone of his future:

Here lies Catherine II. She arrived in Russia in 1744 to marry Peter III. At fourteen, she took a threefold decision: to please his wife, Elizabeth, and the people. It does not miss anything to achieve success in this regard. Eighteen years old, full of boredom and loneliness led her to read a lot of books. Having ascended to the throne, she made every effort to ensure that his subjects to give happiness, freedom and material well-being. It is easy to forgive and not hate anybody. She was indulgent, loved life, different cheerful disposition, was a Republican true to their convictions and had a good heart. She had friends. The work was given to her easily. She liked the social life and the arts.

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