Paul I of Russia
Paul I reigned as Emperor of Russia between 1796 and 1801. He was the only son of Peter III and Catherine the Great, though Catherine hinted that he was fathered by her lover Sergei Saltykov, who had Romanov blood, being a descendant of the first Romanov tsar's sister, Tatiana Feodorovna Romanova. Paul remained overshadowed by his mother for most of his life, his reign lasted four years. He adopted the laws of succession to the Russian throne—rules that lasted until the end of the Romanov dynasty and of the Russian Empire, he intervened in the French Revolutionary Wars and, toward the end of his reign, added Kartli and Kakheti in Eastern Georgia into the empire, confirmed by his son and successor Alexander I. He was de facto Grand Master of the Order of Hospitallers from 1799 to 1801, ordered the construction of a number of Maltese thrones. Paul was born in the Palace of Saint Petersburg, his father, the future Emperor Peter III, was the heir apparent of the Empress. His mother, born the daughter of a minor German prince, was to depose her own husband and reign in her own right as Catherine II, known to history as Catherine the Great.
Paul was taken immediately after birth from his mother by the Empress Elizabeth, whose overwhelming attention may have done him more harm than good. Some claim that his mother, hated him and was restrained from putting him to death. Robert K. Massie is more compassionate towards Catherine. In all events, the Russian Imperial court, first of Elizabeth and of Catherine, was not an ideal home for a lonely and sickly boy; as a boy, he was reported to be good-looking. His pug-nosed facial features in life are attributed to an attack of typhus, from which he suffered in 1771. Paul was put in the charge of a trustworthy governor, Nikita Ivanovich Panin, of competent tutors. Panin's nephew went on to become one of Paul's assassins. One of Paul's tutors, complained that he was "always in a hurry", acting and speaking without reflection. Empress Elizabeth died in 1762, when Paul was 8 years old, he became crown prince with the accession of his father to the throne as Peter III. However, within a matter of months, Paul's mother engineered a coup and not only deposed her husband but, for a long time, was believed to have gotten him killed by her supporters.
It was found that Peter III died due to a fit of apoplexy when exerting himself in a dispute with Prince Feodor, one of his jailers. Some historians believe. After the death of Peter III, Catherine placed herself on the throne in a surpassingly grand and ostentatious coronation ceremony, for which event the Russian Imperial Crown was crafted by court jewellers; the 8-year-old Paul retained his position as crown prince. In 1772, her son and heir, turned eighteen. Paul and his adviser, believed he was the rightful tsar of Russia, as the only son of Peter III, his adviser had taught him that the rule of women endangered good leadership, why he was so interested in gaining the throne. Distracting him, Catherine took trouble to find Paul a wife among the minor princesses of the Holy Roman Empire, she chose Princess Wilhelmina of Hesse-Darmstad, who acquired the Russian name "Natalia Alexeievna"), a daughter of Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. The bride's older sister, Frederika Louisa, was married to the Crown Prince of Prussia.
Around this time, Catherine allowed Paul to attend the Council in order that he might be trained for his work as Emperor. Wilhelmina died in childbirth on 15 April three years after the wedding, it soon became clearer to Catherine that Paul wanted power, including his separate court. There was talk of having both Paul and his mother co-rule Russia. A fierce rivalry began between them, as Catherine knew she could never trust him and Paul wanted his mother's power. After her daughter-in-law's death, Catherine began work forthwith on the project of finding another wife for Paul, on 7 October 1776, less than six months after the death of his first wife, Paul married again; the bride was the beautiful Sophia Dorothea of Württemberg, who received the new Orthodox name Maria Feodorovna. Their first child, was born in 1777, within a year of the wedding, on this occasion the Empress gave Paul an estate, Pavlovsk. Paul and his wife gained leave to travel through western Europe in 1781–1782. In 1783, the Empress granted him another estate at Gatchina, where he was allowed to maintain a brigade of soldiers whom he drilled on the Prussian model, an unpopular stance at the time.
Catherine the Great and her son and heir, the future Paul I, maintained a distant relationship throughout Catherine's reign. The aunt of Catherine's husband, Empress Elizabeth, took up the child as a passing fancy. Elizabeth proved an incapable caretaker, as she had raised no children of her own. Paul was supervised by a variety of caregivers. Roderick McGrew relates the neglect to which the infant heir was sometimes subject: "On one occasion he fell out of his crib and slept the night away unnoticed on the floor." After Elizabeth's death, relations with Catherine hardly improved. Paul was jealous of the favours she would shower upon her lovers. In one instance
Johann Reinhard III, Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg
Johann Reinhard III of Hanau-Lichtenberg was the last of the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg. He reigned from 1680 to 1736. From 1712 to 1736, he reigned the County of Hanau-Münzenberg. Johann Reinhard III was the son of Johann Reinhard II of Hanau-Lichtenberg and Anna Magdalena, Countess Palatine of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, he was baptized on 1 August 1665. He was educated together with his older brother Philipp Reinhard in Strasbourg. In 1678, they moved to Babenhausen. In 1678, they started a Grand Tour to the Alsace and Geneva. In 1690, the travelled for a year in Savoy and Turin, in 1681 to Paris, in 1683 to the Netherlands and some French provinces. In early 1684, they were in Milan, from there they went to see the carnival in Venice, followed by a trip to Rome to Naples, Modena and Mantua. In 1686, they visited the imperial court in Vienna and on the way back, they traveled to Bohemia and visited the Electoral Saxon court in Dresden. Johann Reinhard III came to the throne of the county of Hanau-Lichtenberg on 24 May 1680 at the age of 15, after his family had deposed his uncle Friedrich Casimir, because his financial escapades had ruined the county.
As Johann Reinhard III was a minor, the county was ruled by his guardians: his mother and his uncle Christian II of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld. At the same time, Johann Reinhard III's older brother Philipp Reinhard came to the throne of Hanau-Münzenberg; when this division was implemented, the district of Babenhausen was awarded to Hanau-Münzenberg. In 1685, Johann Reinhard III was adopted by his deposed uncle Friedrich Casimir. In 1688, he took over the government. In 1691, duke Christian II filed his final report on the guardianship; the economic situation in the county of Hanau-Lichtenberg was bad, because the Upper Rhine valley, in which the county was situated, had been devastated during the War of the Palatinian Succession and the War of Spanish Succession and related military occupations. Johann Reinhard III tried to improve the situation; the political situation was problematic: his predecessor had been forced to acknowledge French supremacy over the parts of the county located in Alsace. He could only rule those areas because he received "Letters Patent" to that effect from the French king Louis XIV in 1701 and 1707.
Johann Reinhard III tried in vain to be raised to the rank of Imperial Prince. After it was clear that he would have no male heirs, he discontinued these efforts; when Philipp Reinhard died in 1712, Johann Reinhard III inherited Hanau-Münzenberg. Under his rule, the two sub-counties were united in one hand for the last time, he alternated his residence between the two part of the county. He succeeded his brother as director of the Wetterau Association of Imperial Counts. During the reign of Johann Reinhard II, the County of Hanau prospered culturally: he began building a grand castle in Bischofsheim am hohen Steg, never completed, in the Hanau-Lichtenberg of Buchsweiler, he created a park and expanded the castle. Between 1730 and 1736 he rebuilt the Hanauer Hof in Strasbourg, the city residence of the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg since 1573; this building now serves as Strasbourg's city hall. After he took office in Hanau-Münzenberg 1712, he completed the construction of the Schloss Philippsruhe, just outside the Hanau city gate, the Philippsruhe Avenue, including the Heller bridge.
He created Chestnut Avenue and the Pheasant Park and completed construction of the stables of the city palace in Hanau, which Philipp Reinhard had started. Behind the city palace, the city wall was breached in order to obtain a direct access to the Turkish style gardens behind it. In 1727, he extended the St. John's Church in Hanau, he built Lutheran churches in Windecken, Steinau an der Straße, Nauheim and Rodheim and Lutheran schools in many towns in the county of Hanau-Münzenberg. The reason for this was that Hanau-Münzenberg has adopted Calvinism during the Reformation, but had been ruled since 1643 by the Lutheran counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg. By the early 18th century, the contrast between the two main Protestant variants had mitigated to the extent that this building policy was now acceptable for the Calvinist majority of the population. In his capital city of Hanau, street lighting was introduced; the Frankfurt Gate was torn down and rebuilt in a Baroque style, the same was done to the Hanau's city hall.
Count Johann Reinhard III lived rather modestly, which enabled him to finance his construction projects. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe reported, in his Dichtung und Wahrheit on a visit to Buchsweiler at the end of the 18th century: "Above all else, the name of the last Count, Reinhard of Hanau, was held in high esteem here and in the rest of this little country, his great intellect and ability in all his actions came to the fore, many beautiful monument remain of his existence. Such men have the advantage of being double benefactors, for the present, which they delight, for the future, whose sense and courage they nurture and sustain." Once it became clear that there would be no male heir in Hanau, a dispute about the inheritance erupted. There were two cand
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers from the same family in the context of a feudal or monarchical system, but sometimes appearing in elective republics. Alternative terms for "dynasty" may include "family" and "clan", among others; the longest-surviving dynasty in the world is the Imperial House of Japan, otherwise known as the Yamato dynasty, whose reign is traditionally dated to 660 BC. The dynastic family or lineage may be known as a "noble house", which may be styled as "royal", "princely", "ducal", "comital" etc. depending upon the chief or present title borne by its members. Historians periodize the histories of numerous nations and civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and Imperial China, using a framework of successive dynasties; as such, the term "dynasty" may be used to delimit the era during which a family reigned, to describe events and artifacts of that period. The word "dynasty" itself is dropped from such adjectival references; until the 19th century, it was taken for granted that a legitimate function of a monarch was to aggrandize his dynasty: that is, to expand the wealth and power of his family members.
Prior to the 20th century, dynasties throughout the world have traditionally been reckoned patrilineally, such as under the Frankish Salic law. In nations where it was permitted, succession through a daughter established a new dynasty in her husband's ruling house; this has changed in some places in Europe, where succession law and convention have maintained dynasties de jure through a female. For instance, the House of Windsor will be maintained through the children of Queen Elizabeth II, as it did with the monarchy of the Netherlands, whose dynasty remained the House of Orange-Nassau through three successive queens regnant; the earliest such example among major European monarchies was in the Russian Empire in the 18th century, where the name of the House of Romanov was maintained through Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna. In Limpopo Province of South Africa, Balobedu determined descent matrilineally, while rulers have at other times adopted the name of their mother's dynasty when coming into her inheritance.
Less a monarchy has alternated or been rotated, in a multi-dynastic system – that is, the most senior living members of parallel dynasties, at any point in time, constitute the line of succession. Not all feudal states or monarchies were/are ruled by dynasties. Throughout history, there were monarchs. Dynasties ruling subnational monarchies do not possess sovereign rights; the word "dynasty" is sometimes used informally for people who are not rulers but are, for example, members of a family with influence and power in other areas, such as a series of successive owners of a major company. It is extended to unrelated people, such as major poets of the same school or various rosters of a single sports team; the word "dynasty" derives from Latin dynastia, which comes from Greek dynastéia, where it referred to "power", "dominion", "rule" itself. It was the abstract noun of dynástēs, the agent noun of dynamis, "power" or "ability", from dýnamai, "to be able". A ruler from a dynasty is sometimes referred to as a "dynast", but this term is used to describe any member of a reigning family who retains a right to succeed to a throne.
For example, King Edward VIII ceased to be a dynast of the House of Windsor following his abdication. In historical and monarchist references to reigning families, a "dynast" is a family member who would have had succession rights, were the monarchy's rules still in force. For example, after the 1914 assassinations of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his morganatic wife Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, their son Duke Maximilian was bypassed for the Austro-Hungarian throne because he was not a Habsburg dynast. Since the abolition of the Austrian monarchy, Duke Maximilian and his descendants have not been considered the rightful pretenders by Austrian monarchists, nor have they claimed that position; the term "dynast" is sometimes used only to refer to agnatic descendants of a realm's monarchs, sometimes to include those who hold succession rights through cognatic royal descent. The term can therefore describe distinct sets of people. For example, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, a nephew of Queen Elizabeth II through her sister Princess Margaret, is in the line of succession to the British crown.
On the other hand, the German aristocrat Prince Ernst August of Hanover, a male-line descendant of King George III of the United Kingdom, possesses no legal British name, titles or styles. He was born in the line of succession to the British throne and was bound by Britain's Royal Marriages Act 1772 until it was repealed when the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 took effect on 26 March 2015. Thus, he requested and obtained formal permission from Queen Elizabeth II to marry the Roman Catholic Princess Caroline of Monaco in 1999. Yet, a clause of the English Act of Settlement 1701 remained in effect at that time, stipulating that dynasts who
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His works include four novels. In addition, there are numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, nearly 3,000 drawings by him extant. A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Karl August, in 1782 after taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, he was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe was a member of the Duke's privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena, he contributed to the planning of Weimar's botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace. In 1998 both these sites together with nine others were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site under the name Classical Weimar. Goethe's first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published after he returned from a 1788 tour of Italy.
In 1791, he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller's death in 1805. During this period, Goethe published Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship, his conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, August and Friedrich Schlegel have come to be collectively termed Weimar Classicism. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer named Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship one of the four greatest novels written, while the American philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six "representative men" in his work of the same name. Goethe's comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, notably Johann Peter Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe. Goethe's father, Johann Caspar Goethe, lived with his family in a large house in Frankfurt an Imperial Free City of the Holy Roman Empire.
Though he had studied law in Leipzig and had been appointed Imperial Councillor, he was not involved in the city's official affairs. Johann Caspar married Goethe's mother, Catharina Elizabeth Textor at Frankfurt on 20 August 1748, when he was 38 and she was 17. All their children, with the exception of Johann Wolfgang and his sister, Cornelia Friederica Christiana, born in 1750, died at early ages, his father and private tutors gave Goethe lessons in all the common subjects of their time languages. Goethe received lessons in dancing and fencing. Johann Caspar, feeling frustrated in his own ambitions, was determined that his children should have all those advantages that he had not. Although Goethe's great passion was drawing, he became interested in literature, he had a lively devotion to theater as well and was fascinated by puppet shows that were annually arranged in his home. He took great pleasure in reading works on history and religion, he writes about this period: I had from childhood the singular habit of always learning by heart the beginnings of books, the divisions of a work, first of the five books of Moses, of the'Aeneid' and Ovid's'Metamorphoses'....
If an busy imagination, of which that tale may bear witness, led me hither and thither, if the medley of fable and history and religion, threatened to bewilder me, I fled to those oriental regions, plunged into the first books of Moses, there, amid the scattered shepherd tribes, found myself at once in the greatest solitude and the greatest society. Goethe became acquainted with Frankfurt actors. Among early literary attempts, he was infatuated with Gretchen, who would reappear in his Faust and the adventures with whom he would concisely describe in Dichtung und Wahrheit, he adored Caritas Meixner, a wealthy Worms trader's daughter and friend of his sister, who would marry the merchant G. F. Schuler. Goethe studied law at Leipzig University from 1765 to 1768, he detested learning age-old judicial rules by heart, preferring instead to attend the poetry lessons of Christian Fürchtegott Gellert. In Leipzig, Goethe fell in love with Anna Katharina Schönkopf and wrote cheerful verses about her in the Rococo genre.
In 1770, he anonymously released his first collection of poems. His uncritical admiration for many contemporary poets vanished as he became interested in Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Christoph Martin Wieland. At this time, Goethe wrote a good deal, but he threw away nearly all of these works, except for the comedy Die Mitschuldigen; the restaurant Auerbachs Keller and its legend of Faust's 1525 barrel ride impressed him so much that Auerbachs Keller became the only real place in his closet drama Faust Part One. As his studies did not progress, Goethe was forced to return to Frankfurt at the close of August 1768. Goethe became ill in Frankfurt. Durin
The Uckermark, a historical region in northeastern Germany straddles the Uckermark District of Brandenburg and the Vorpommern-Greifswald District of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Its traditional capital is Prenzlau; the region is named after the Uecker River, a tributary of the Oder. The river's source is close to Angermünde, from; the Oder River, forming the German-Polish border, bounds the region in the east. The western parts of the Lower Oder Valley National Park are located in the Uckermark. In the Ice Age, glaciers shaped the landscape of the region. A climate change left a hilly area with several lakes formed by the melting ice, humans started to settle the area. Megalithic-cultures arose, followed by Germanic cultures. From the 6th–12th centuries Polabian Slavs migrating from Eastern Europe moved westward into the Uckermark; the Slavs settling the terra Ukera became known as Ukrani. Their settlement area was centered around the lakes Oberuckersee and Unteruckersee at the spring of the Uecker River.
In this region, burghs with a proto-town suburbium were set up at Drense and on an isle in Lake Oberuckersee. In 954, Margrave Gero of the Saxon Eastern March, aided by Holy Roman Emperor Otto I's son-in-law, Conrad of Lorraine, launched a successful campaign to subdue the Ukrani, who had come in reach of the Empire after the 929 Battle of Lenzen. After the 983 revolt of the Obodrites and Liutizians, the area became independent again, yet remained under permanent military pressure from Poland and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1172 Pomeranian dukes, vassals of the Duchy of Saxony of the Holy Roman Empire, controlled the area. In the course of the medieval Ostsiedlung, the Ukrani were Christianized and Germanized by Saxons, who founded monasteries and towns; the early centers of the territory were the Seehausen Premonstratensian monastery and the city of Prenzlau and granted German town law by Barnim I, Duke of Pomerania, in 1234. Both the central city and the central monastery were set up beside the former Ukrani central burghs.
The Margraviate of Brandenburg, holding claims on the Duchy of Pomerania, expanded north since the 1230s, taking her chances while the House of Pomerania was weakened. In the 1250 Treaty of Landin, Barnim I conceded the Uckermark to John I and Otto III, Ascanian Margraves of Brandenburg. After the extinction of the Ascanians, the Pomeranian dukes reacquired a few border regions. Mecklenburg lost her gains in a 1323 war with Brandenburg. In the Pomeranian-Brandenburg War from 1329–33, Pomerania was able to defeat Brandenburg at Kremmer Damm. In the following years, control of the Uckermark was disputed by Brandenburg and Pomerania; the first Peace of Prenzlau of 3 May 1448 established Brandenburg's control over most of the territory, except for the northern Pasewalk and Torgelow region, to remain in Pomerania and is not considered to be a part of Uckermark anymore. Though another Brandenburgian-Pomeranian war was fought in the area in the 1460s, Brandenburg's possession of most of the Uckermark was confirmed again in a second Peace of Prenzlau on 30 July 1472, renewed on 26 June 1479.
The Uckermark became part of Brandenburg-Prussia in 1618, but was ravaged during the Thirty Years' War. Frederick William, the Great Elector, invited large numbers of French Huguenots to resettle the Uckermark and his other territories by announcing the Edict of Potsdam; these Huguenots helped to develop the culture of the Uckermark. In 1701 the territory became part of the Kingdom of Prussia. In 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, the Uckermark became part of the Prussian Province of Brandenburg. Divided into the administrative units Uckerkreis and Stolpirischer Kreis, in 1817 a third district was created in the area, the district Angermünde, the other two districts were renamed to Prenzlau and Templin; the Uckermark was a battleground during World War II, with many of its towns being damaged. As part of East Germany after the war, the Uckermark was divided between Bezirk Neubrandenburg and Bezirk Frankfurt. With German reunification in 1990, most of the Uckermark voted to become part of the restored state of Brandenburg, with the exception of the small Strasburg region becoming part of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
History of Pomerania Ingo Materna. Brandenburgische Geschichte. Akademie Verlag. Berlin. 1995. Hugenotten-Uckermark.de
Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt (1757–1830)
Princess and Landgravine Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt was a German princess. She was the daughter of Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. On 3 October 1775 she married duke Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and as such a member of the court sphere of Weimar Classicism, she was held to be serious and introverted but compassionate and sympathetic, in the aftermath of the Battle of Jena which guaranteed her part in the "myth of Weimar". The princess belonged to the House of Darmstadt, she was born on 30 January 1757 in Frederick II's Prussian capital, where her parents were due to the Seven Years' War. Her father Louis IX succeeded to the landgraviate in 1768 and was at the time of her birth fighting as a general for the Prussian forces, he was thus away from his children and so the princess's education was in her mother Caroline's hands. Caroline educated Louise in the evangelical Protestant tradition, she became interested in literature and music; as the youngest daughter, with eight siblings, Louise's education was important to improve her marriage prospects.
Since Louis IX showed little interest in his children, it was vital to get Louise married off and a matter in the hands of her mother, becoming known as the "great Landgräfin" and von Zweibrücken due to her expert international dynastic politics in ancien regime Europe. In 1773 Louise travelled with her mother and sisters Amalie and Wilhelmine to Beschau to the Russian court in St Petersburg. Tsarina Catharine II decided Louise was unsuitable as a wife for the grand-prince and future Tsar Paul, preferring her sister Wilhemine; this rebuff and her relationship with her future brother-in-law Paul formed Louise, leading to her being a persistent influence in the Russian state. This journey was not without influence on Louise, since on the way to Russia Caroline had learned of another female regent of a small German state - Anna Amalia. Anna and Louise found favour together. At the end of this acquaintance, under the influence of the governor in Erfurt from the Archbishopric of Mainz, Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg, the 18-year-old Louise was betrothed to the young knight Carl August of Sachsen-Weimar.
The marriage occurred on 3 October 1775 at the Karlsruher court, where Louise became caught up in the Ernestine Weimar court. The marriage was wholly dynastic in purpose, consolidating the duchy of Saxe-Weimar's place at the heart of the Holy Roman Empire. Primary and secondary sources agree that it was as unhappy, with Louise had difficulty fitting in at court and remained in the shadow of her mother-in-law, the dowager duchess Anna Amalia. Louise attended the convents in her new country. A Romantic avant la lettre, she did not have a taste for the Romantic lifestyle. Goethe was court poet and minister to her husband, but was moved by her charm, noble-heartedness and her eyes "the colour of cornflowers". Taking her under his wing, Goethe dedicated the following words to her: After four years of marriage, in 1779 Louise gave birth her first child. At this time the Weimar ducal court went through its sturm und drang phase, drawing not only Goethe but the Ernestines from Miseleien and Eseleien.
The resulting emotional coldness did not help their marriage, with her husband publicly humiliating the marriage by a long-term affair with the actress Karoline Jagemann. Louise only gave him the heir with the birth of Charles Frederick. With the birth of Bernhard the marriage had served its purpose of guaranteeing the succession to the throne and the continuation of the dynasty. Charles Frederick married Maria (sister of Alexander I of Russia, their daughter Augusta of Saxe-Weimar married prince Wilhelm of Prussia, thus becoming the first empress of Germany. Louise had her great moment in October 1806. Despite her childhood and her early experiences in Weimar, she was a great influence in literary circles; the battle of Jena-Auerstedt, led to the defeat of the Prussian-Saxon forces and the total submission of all the German states to France and precipitated the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. Soon after the battle, the victorious French troops advanced on Weimar; the other family members either fled or were away fighting in the Prussian forces, so Louise remained in Weimar as mother and protector of the nation.
Two days after the battle she ended up opposing Napoleon himself. He insisted that her husband withdraw from Prussian military service but she quite undiplomatically made it clear to Napoleon that he could not do so. At her husband's request and inspired by the example of the German patriot queen Louise of Prussia, she managed to arrange the French plundering of the area so that Weimar got of compared to the university-city of Jena. Whether Napoleon let himself soften towards Louise, or whether he acted this way due to his own calculations in power-politics remains open to discussion; the Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach duchy remained with the alliance upon the Treaty of Poznań and survived the Napoleonic era via further politicking. Since Louise was now considered as the country's leader, her subjects and contemporaries maintained this image of her - along with her part in the Weimar myth. In 1815
Catherine the Great
Catherine II known as Catherine the Great, born Princess Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, was Empress of Russia from 1762 until 1796, the country's longest-ruling female leader. She came to power following a coup d'état which she organized—resulting in her husband, Peter III, being overthrown. Under her reign, Russia was revitalized; that said, she was a usurper of the Russian throne because her son, Paul I, should have been the Tsar following Peter III’s death. In her accession to power and her rule of the empire, Catherine relied on her noble favourites, most notably Grigory Orlov and Grigory Potemkin. Assisted by successful generals such as Alexander Suvorov and Pyotr Rumyantsev, admirals such as Fyodor Ushakov, she governed at a time when the Russian Empire was expanding by conquest and diplomacy. In the south, the Crimean Khanate was crushed following victories over the Ottoman Empire in the Russo–Turkish wars, Russia colonised the territories of Novorossiya along the coasts of the Black and Azov Seas.
In the west, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, ruled by Catherine's former lover, king Stanisław August Poniatowski, was partitioned, with the Russian Empire gaining the largest share. In the east, Russia started establishing Russian America. Catherine reformed the administration of Russian guberniyas, many new cities and towns were founded on her orders. An admirer of Peter the Great, Catherine continued to modernise Russia along Western European lines. However, military conscription and the economy continued to depend on serfdom, the increasing demands of the state and private landowners led to increased levels of reliance on serfs; this was one of the chief reasons behind several rebellions, including the large-scale Pugachev's Rebellion of cossacks and peasants. Catherine decided to have herself inoculated against smallpox by Thomas Dimsdale. While this was considered a controversial method at the time, she succeeded, her son Pavel was inoculated as well. Catherine sought to have inoculations throughout her empire stating: "My objective was, through my example, to save from death the multitude of my subjects who, not knowing the value of this technique, frightened of it, were left in danger."
By 1800 2 million inoculations were administered in the Russian Empire. The period of Catherine the Great's rule, the Catherinian Era, is considered the Golden Age of Russia; the Manifesto on Freedom of the Nobility, issued during the short reign of Peter III and confirmed by Catherine, freed Russian nobles from compulsory military or state service. Construction of many mansions of the nobility, in the classical style endorsed by the Empress, changed the face of the country, she enthusiastically supported the ideals of the Enlightenment and is regarded as an enlightened despot. As a patron of the arts she presided over the age of the Russian Enlightenment, a period when the Smolny Institute for Noble Maidens, the first state-financed higher education institution for women in Europe, was established. Catherine was born in Stettin, Kingdom of Prussia as Princess Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg, her father, Christian August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, belonged to the ruling German family of Anhalt, but held the rank of a Prussian general in his capacity as governor of the city of Stettin.
Two of her first cousins became Kings of Sweden: Gustav III and Charles XIII. In accordance with the custom prevailing in the ruling dynasties of Germany, she received her education chiefly from a French governess and from tutors. Catherine was known by the nickname Fike, her childhood was quite uneventful. She once wrote to her correspondent Baron Grimm: "I see nothing of interest in it." Although Catherine was born a princess, her family had little money. Catherine's rise to power was supported by her mother's wealthy relatives who were both wealthy nobles and royal relations; the choice of Sophie as wife of her second cousin, the prospective tsar Peter of Holstein-Gottorp, resulted from some amount of diplomatic management in which Count Lestocq, Peter's aunt Elizabeth and Frederick II of Prussia took part. Lestocq and Frederick wanted to strengthen the friendship between Prussia and Russia to weaken Austria's influence and ruin the Russian chancellor Bestuzhev, on whom Empress Elizabeth relied, who acted as a known partisan of Russo-Austrian co-operation.
Catherine first met Peter III at the age of 10. Based on her writings, she found, she disliked his fondness for alcohol at such a young age. Peter still played with toy soldiers. Catherine wrote that she stayed at one end of the castle, Peter at the other; the diplomatic intrigue failed due to the intervention of Sophie's mother, Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp. Historical accounts portray Johanna as a abusive woman who loved gossip and court intrigues, her hunger for fame centred on her daughter's prospects of becoming empress of Russia, but she infuriated Empress Elizabeth, who banned her from the country for spying for King Frederick of Prussia. The Empress Elizabeth knew the family well: she had intended to marry Princess Johanna's brother Charles Augustus, who had died of smallpox in 1727 before the wedding could take place. In spite of Johanna's interference, Empress Elizabeth took a strong liking to the daughter, who, o