Catherine II of Russia and Elizabeth I of England

26. května 2010 v 19:41 | Marketta |  ► English section
My essay to my AP European history class

Catherine II. the Great

Machiavelli once suggested that a ruler should behave "like a lion" and "like a fox". What I understand by these statements is that a ruler should be hard-working, brave, and royal and do the best for his or her people - just like a lion, the king of all animals. What author means by "be like a fox" is that the ruler has to have something extra, some ace in his sleeve. There could be hundreds of clever and brave rulers but only the one who is enough smart to use some trick will get what he wants.
I picked Catherine the Great of Russia and Elizabeth I of England to describe. I'm going to start with Czarina Catherine:
Catherine was very young when she received a letter from Russian empress inviting her to Russia and lives in there. She came and married her cousin Peter. In 1762 Czarina died and Peter became a tsar. He had planned how to get of Catherine but she was faster and she got rid of him on the coup of 1762. During her reign she made from Russia very successful country.
Czarina showed her "lion" characteristics mainly during and after her marriage with heir of the Russian throne Peter III. She was brave and she fell for Enlightenment opinions. During her marriage she was de facto political prisoner for long eighteen years (until coup of 1762 when she became Russian empress) but she used this time for studying, reading books and writing with the writers of Enlightenment era so she was prepared for role of empress. Another "lion" thing was her hard studying of difficult Russian language.
She worked during her reign for more hours than was usual for any other European ruler. Her first priority was making Russia better country and she worked very hard for it. She made a cruise to make sure the orders she made had been done and she also put into effect a Statute for the Administration of the Provinces of the Russian Empire which divided Russia into provincies and districts which made administration easier.
She also used her "foxy side" for success:
After death of Czarina Elizabeth in 1762 Catherine spent hours with her dead body at church crying and being mourner which made her more popular among her peasants. I really doubt she was really so hearbroken by czarina's death because czarina had imprisoned her and made her life harder (it was pretty much caused by czarina's jealousness to younger and more beutiful Cathrine).
To make sure she won't be deposed from the throne the same way Cathrine deposed her husband she killed another heirs of throne.
Although she had been raised in Lutheran church and she loved her religion after her arrival to Russia she became a member of Russian Orthodox Church and received name of Catherine Alekseyevna.

The queen of England during 16th century Elizabeth I. achieved success too. The wholeera is named after her.
She used her "lion side" by supporting English Protestant Church. There were still some Catholics in the country and the previous queen was Catholic, too. Not only that Elizabeth supported this church but she also made herself Supreme Governor allias the head of the church.
The period of her reign was called the Golden Age. England was succesful country and I believe it was because of Elizabeth's not being afraid of changes. She was pretty liberal queen and it made a space for artists like Shakespeare to show their talent.
Interesting is that the "foxy side" is not always good from the moral point od view. Elizabeth imprisoned her relative, Mary, Queen of Scots, for twenty years and then under pressure of her
politics let her to be killed.


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