The Intellectual Formation of Catherine II
ALONE OF ALL THE SOVEREIGNS who occupied the throne of the Russian Empire, Catherine II earned the unanimously high opinion of both contemporaries and posterity. Peter the Great was often cursed during his life, and some condemn him even today; Catherine II ascended the throne to the triumphal cries of all Russia, was acclaimed throughout her entire thirty-five-year reign, and is praised to our day; she continues to stimulate the historian’s sympathetic interest. Opinions of Peter I may differ, but they are unanimous on Catherine II. Her contemporaries called her “great” and she is still considered so, and it is doubtful that this appellation ever will be disputed seriously. She has full right to it by both her good and bad qualities.
KeywordsPolish Question Intellectual Formation Philosophical Mind British Ambassador Count Semen
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