Catherine II 1762-1796

Catherine II (1762 – 1796)Catherine II the Great (2 May 1729 – 6 November 1796), born Sophie Augusta Fredericka of Anhalt-Zerbst, sometimes referred to as an epitome of the “enlightened despot” reigned as Empress of Russia for more than three decades, from June 28, 1762 until her death. A German Princess and cousin to Gustav III of Sweden and Charles XIII of Sweden, Sophie Augusta Fredericka (nicknamed Figchen) was born in Stettin to Christian Augustus, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst and a
Prussian general who governed the city in the name of the king of Prussia. Sometimes referred to as an archetypal “enlightened despot” and famed for her extravagant personal life, Catherine conducted Westernizing reforms of the imperial administration and extended the borders of the Russian Empire southward and westward to absorb New Russia, Crimea, Right-Bank Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Courland.

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