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Catherine the Great Reformed Russia with an Iron Fist

Catherine the Great was a German princess, who married the Grand Dux Peter, and did many amazing things for her country. She also died in a way not many would imagine.

Catherine married the Grand Dux of Russia, heir to the Russian throne, and became Empress Catherine the Great. However, their relationship was one-sided. She often found Peter unattractive and weak because of various illnesses saying, ”I should have loved my new husband if only he had been willing or able to be in the least loveable.” The rift in their relationship grew bigger. They both supported different political ideas. Catherine even had an affair with the man who eventually would take over the throne.

Born a German princess by the name Sophia Augusta Frederika Von Anhalt-Zerbst, she changed her name to Catherine when she married to have a more Russian name. Her husband was a king named Peter the Great. He founded St. Petersburg, a city in Russia in 1703. He led Russia to victory against Sweden in the Battle of Poltava in 1709.

Catherine did many things such as promoting the arts, reforming the study of medicine, and changing the legal system. She also established schools for girls and boys throughout the country and expanded Russia's borders. But when it came to defending Russia, she could be single-minded in her destructive ways.

Some may think she died in an awful way, due to how vicious she was in war. However, that is not the case. She died on November 17, 1796, of a stroke she had the day before.

Catherine the Great led an amazing life. She became the queen of Russia and promoted new systems for the government. Even after her death, she was widely mourned.

[Source: Women Who Changed the World]

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