Elizabeth was a Russian princess, the daughter of Peter the Great and his second wife, Catherine I. Catherine was a main in the household of Peter and naturally they fell in love. They married the first time in a secret and later in public. She rose from a low rank to the highest possible. They had two children that survived, Anna and Elizabeth. The two daughters will both have claim to the throne. Peter had twelve children and only these two survived.
Peter was a cruel man he even tortured his son and killed him but when it came to Elizabeth they had a pretty close connection. Elizabeth was a copy of her father, she thought like him. She had a fine education and was naturally brilliant, but not much resources were spent on her because nobody thought that a woman not of pure noble birth would could inherit the throne.
She was considered a beautiful woman, there are a lot of compliments regarding her. She had great love towards western Europe. She would later have the most exquisite gatherings and would have a wardrobe of 16 000 dresses. She wore 6 different dresses each day and never wore the same dress twice. She loved the luxurious lifestyle and people were invited from all over to come for her gatherings. She tagged the guests clothes so that they wouldn’t wore them twice. An interesting thing is that a lot of infrastructure would be developed in Russia, her advisors would use her luxurious taste to make her to build roads, boats, etc. so they can increase the speed for the transport.
Peter wanted to marry his daughters but high positions always request a marriage with a better background. They were still daughters of a previous maid. Eventually his daughters got married to some nobleman. After the marriage their parents suddenly died, Elizabeth was only 17 years of age, this was in 1727.
On the throne currently was Peter II, but he suddenly died and the throne was taken over by Anna, ruling from 1730 – 1740, note that this wasn’t the sister of Elizabeth, it was their cousin. There was a natural rivalry between them and another thing was that Elizabeth had a lot of lovers which made Empress Anna mad for some reason.
During the reign of Anna, Elizabeth was plotting and gathering support. She knew that Anna would pass away and when she did Elizabeth wanted to be ready. While Anna died the next ruler was Ivan VI, her son even though he was an infant. A regency was made but this couldn’t stop what Elizabeth started. It was a bad year for the Russian state and the plotting of Elizabeth made it really easy to grab the throne. She had the right people that made this possible, she gained power and took the throne without causing bloodshed. Elizabeth also made a promise that her reign would never see an execution and this promise was hard but she kept it throughout.
When she got to the throne she was thirty three years old and had no experience in ruling a country. The Russian state was in a really bad place back then and was hard to keep it stable. First Elizabeth exiled the German advisers that were in the court. She was crowned on 25 April 1742 in Dormition Cathedral. But as mentioned above she was her fathers daughter. He was a great ruler that made some great reforms for the country, she had the same ability about managing.
The senate a creation by Peter was abolished before and now she reconstituted it. The first act she did was to stop the war with Sweden. A war costed money and Russia being in a bad state must not waste money on something useless. A peace treaty was signed in 1743 and she gave some territories to Sweden. A key player here was Bestuzhev, he was her advisor and had a huge benefit in stabilizing the country. He made some big changes that made this possible, but I will not get into detail here about that.
The Seven Years’ War
Elizabeth played a key role in the big events of this war. This war was fought between two alliances, on one side we have Great Britain and Prussia, on the other were France, HRE, Russia. This was a huge war that took a lot of lives and the end it’s really interesting.
I’m not gonna get much into detail here but Fredrick the Great from Prussia was going to lose the war. Russian forces were in the territory of Fredrick the Great and a couple of days were needed until Prussia fell, but by a miracle the Russian queen died from her illness and the throne was ascended by her heir called Peter III. Peter would later have a wife called Catherine and she would have claim to the throne and be known as Catherine the Great. This was pure luck regarding the ruler of Prussia, he wrote in his journal that the forces are pushing onward and the enemy shall soon reach it’s final destination and kill him.
Elizabeth could be considered a pretty serious ruler and her time of reign is fair. There were no executions, many luxurious parties, economic growth, etc. Russia was starting to grow in power properly and her modernization process was really moving forward.