1st Essay Sample on Catherine the Great
Throughout history, Russia has been viewed as a regressive cluster of barely civilized people on the verge of barbarism.In the eighteenth century, ideas of science and secularism grasped hold of Europe, and Russian Czars, realizing how behind Muscovite culture was, sought out this knowledge, attempting to imbed it into Russian society.Catherine II was one of these Czars.She listened to both the ideas of the philosophes and the problems of her people and strove to enlighten Russia by codifying the laws, establishing an elected government, funding hospitals, and forming a functioning school board.Her attempts, however, were met with only partial success.Her reforms received much criticism, especially from the serfs, and Catherine was forced to realize, through the Pugachev Rebellion in 1773, that enlightening all of Russia was an impossibility.Catherine II’s greatest glory was seen in her foreign policies, as she solved two fundamental problems for Russia by winning victories over Turkey and Poland.As well, she established a League of Armed Neutrality and spoke out against the French Revolution. Catherine’s reign created both prosperity and poverty for Russia.In order to decide whether she was truly great, one must evaluate her accomplishments upon the foundation of Russian ideals. At the end of the seventeenth century, Russia was a country in transition.The death of Czar Alexis in 1676 marked a change in Russian society, a movement from traditional Muscovite culture toward new, educated concepts.Reforms in the 1650s divided and weakened the Russian Orthodox Church, and a few bold individuals began to adopt a semi-westernized lifestyle.By western standards, however, Russia still seem backward, and at best, “a fringe nation of Europe…without benefit of middle class, universities, academies, or secular culture” (Oblensky and Stone 144).
2nd Essay Sample on Catherine the Great
Catherine II was the Empress over the Russians, she is now one of the most interesting and interesting people ever written about in the pages of history during the eighteenth century.Historians have not always said good things about Catherine, and often people read about Catherine’s private life, and ignore her achievements.The stories of her love affairs have been blown out of proportion and can be traced to many French writers in the years immediately after Catherine;s death, when Republican France was fighting for its life against a Coalition that included Russia. Catherine’s name was Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbest when she was born on April 21, 1729 in Stettin, then known as Germany, Now known as Poland.Her Father, Prince Christian Augustus of Anhalt-Zerbest, a minor prince ling among the broken authorityin Germany, had married the much younger princess Johanna of Holstein-Gottorp.The house of Holstein could lay claim to the crown of Sweden.Instead of making a better marriage, her family had arranged a match to this Prince of modest position.After Sophia was born her mother soon became board with the sheltered life of Stettin, where her husband was a high-ranking officer in the Prussian Army.As Johanna was related to many noble families in Germany, she decided to take every opportunity to travel to the courts of Zerbst, Hamburg, Brunswick, Kiel and even Berlin. Years before Johanna’s brother Karl August of Holstein-Gottorp had gone to Russia to marry the princess Elizabeth Petrovina, who was the daughter of Peter the great.Before the wedding took place, the prince died of small pox, leaving Elizabeth depressed.Her sister Anna had married the Duke Karl Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp. Three months after giving birth to a son, Peter Ulrich,Anna died of tuberculosis.When Peter Ulrich was ten years old, his father died and the throne of Sweden was passed to his son.