Catherine I

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Catherine I,

1683?–1727, czarina of Russia (1725–27). Of Livonian peasant origin, Martha Skavronskaya was a domestic when she was captured (1702) by Russian soldiers. As mistress of Aleksandr D. MenshikovMenshikov, Aleksandr Danilovich, Prince
, 1672?–1729, Russian field marshal and statesman. Of lowly origin, he became an intimate companion of Peter I (Peter the Great), and after the death of François Lefort (1699) he was the czar's chief adviser.
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 she met Czar Peter IPeter I
or Peter the Great,
1672–1725, czar of Russia (1682–1725), major figure in the development of imperial Russia. Early Life

Peter was the youngest child of Czar Alexis, by Alexis's second wife, Natalya Naryshkin.
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 (Peter the Great), who made her his mistress. After her conversion from the Lutheran to the Orthodox Church (when she changed her name from Martha to Catherine), Peter, who had divorced his first wife, married her (1712). In 1724 he had her crowned czarina and joint ruler. Her loyalty and devotion to her difficult husband were remarkable. When Peter died without naming a successor, Menshikov and the imperial guards raised Catherine to the throne. Her policy was dominated by Menshikov. Peter IIPeter II,
1715–30, czar of Russia (1727–30). A grandson of Peter I and the son of the czarevich Alexis, he succeeded on the death of Catherine I. He was too young to rule, but he willingly lent himself to a court intrigue, led by the Gallitzin and Dolgoruki families,
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 succeeded her; her daughter ElizabethElizabeth,
1709–62, czarina of Russia (1741–62), daughter of Peter I and Catherine I. She gained the throne by overthrowing the young czar, Ivan VI, and the regency of his mother, Anna Leopoldovna.
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 became czarina in 1741.
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Catherine I

?1684--1727, second wife of Peter the Great, whom she succeeded as empress of Russia (1725--27)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005