Catherine II was born in Germany in 1729 with the name of Sophia August Frederika.
In 1741 Elizabeth ascended thethrone and named her nephew Peter heir to the Russian throne. Elizabeth choose Catherine II to be the future Empress of Russia, she was well-educated,industrious, highly intelligent, and strong –willed. They got married on August 21st of 1745. However Peter was completely different, hid main interest wasin drilling soldiers and imitating Frederick the Great.
Catherine II had more than twelve lovers but one of the most important was Sergei Saltykovand by whom she had a son, Paul.
On the death of Elizabeth on December 25, 1761, Peter ascended the throne as Peter III and this would last onlysix months. During the short reign of Peter III, he introduces various reforms and dissolved the Privy Council. On June 28 of 1762 he was overthrown bya court coup led by Catherine II. After his deposition, he was imprisoned at Ropsha, where in July 6 of the same year was killed.
Catherineascended the throne on September 22, 1762 and she quickly began to make changes in government and society based on the convictions she had assimilatedduring her study of French philosophes of the Enlightenment and the authors of ancient Rome. During the first decade of her rule she reformed the culture,the education system and the legal system in Russia.
Catherine’s reign was one of the most prosperous periods of the Russian Empire