Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Block I Illinois Library Illinois Open Publishing Network

Articles

Vol. 3 (2015)

Catherine II as Female Ruler: The Power of Enlightened Womanhood

DOI
https://doi.org/10.21900/j.vivliofika.v3.584
Published
2015-11-01

Abstract

This article examines some of the complexities of female rule during the reign of Catherine II (1762-1796). It argues that in addition to the Baroque scenarios of power inherited from her predecessors, the German-born Russian empress employed the cultural roles of an “enlightened” woman of merit – a matriarch, a craftswoman, a house manager, and an educator – roles that projected positive values of womanhood, in order to position her femininity as beneficial to the state and to thereby legitimize her authority as a female sovereign.