Was Catherine The Great A Great Ruler?

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Melanie Taylor
History 352

Was Catherine the Great a Great Ruler?
Catherine the Great, also known as Catherine II, ruled Russia from 1762 to 1796. She ruled for 34 years which was the longest a female ever ruled Russia. Although Catherine the Great is known for putting personal affairs ahead of Russian affairs, she did accomplish a lot during her reign. She brought Western thought processes to Russia which would affect Russia for centuries. She also brought great works of print, art, and literature from the west into Russia. Born in Germany in 1729, she was an eager student of the Enlightenment. She studied and memorized Enlightenment thoughts, concepts, and ideas. Along with Enlightenment thought, Catherine focused on foreign affairs, arts, education, and the expansion of Russian territory. She ruled through reforms, scandal, and corruption. She seemed to want the best for her Russian people. However, while she talked about change, she did not always act on her words. She accomplished a lot but could have accomplished more. Catherine could have made the biggest impact, in Russia, if she abolished serfdom and provided a better quality of life for peasants and the serfs. They were the majority of her population. She was torn between Enlightenment thinking and a love for power. I believe an Enlighted ruler would have wanted the best for all classes of people. If Catherine was truly a great leader, she would have

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