Catherine the Great Net Worth at Death – Salary, Income, Earnings

Catherine the Great Net Worth

Catherine the Great had an estimated net worth of $1.5 trillion in today’s dollars. Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, served as empress of Russia for more than three decades in the late 18th century after overthrowing her husband, Peter III. 

Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, was born in 1729 in Prussia and married into the Russian royal family in 1745. Catherine orchestrated a coup to become empress of Russia in 1762, shortly after her husband ascended to the throne as Peter III.

Catherine is remembered primarily for her romantic liaisons, but she also expanded Russian territories and sought to modernize Russian culture through progressive views on the arts and education. She died in 1796, after more than three decades as Russia’s absolute ruler.

To calculate the net worth of Catherine the Great, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets.

All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities. 

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Catherine the Great
Net Worth: $1.5 Trillion
Monthly Salary: $100 Million
Annual Income: $5 Billion
Source of Wealth: Empress

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

German Princess and Ambitious Mother

Catherine II began her career as a minor German princess. Sophie Friederike Auguste was her birth name, and she grew up in Stettin, in the small principality of Anhalt-Zebst. Her father, Christian August, a prince of this tiny dominion, rose to prominence as a general under Frederick William I of Prussia.

Catherine II’s mother, Princess Johanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, was uninterested in her daughter. Johanna instead focused her attention and energy on Catherine’s younger brother, Wilhelm Christian, leaving Catherine to be cared for by her governess, Babette.

Johanna came to see her daughter as a way to move up the social ladder and improve her own situation after Wilhelm Christian died at the age of 12. Johanna had relatives in other royal courts in the region, so she brought Catherine along on visits to look for potential suitors. Catherine, on the other hand, saw marriage as a means of escaping her domineering mother.

A military chaplain tutored Catherine in religious studies, but she questioned much of what he taught her. She also learned three languages: German, French, and Russian, the latter of which came in handy when Catherine’s mother wrangled an invitation from Elizabeth of Russia to St. Petersburg.

Introduction to Russian Royal Family

In 1744, a teenage Catherine traveled to Russia with her mother to meet the empress; Elizabeth had previously been engaged to Johanna’s older brother, who died of smallpox, and she felt a connection to Johanna’s family. She wanted to see if Catherine was a good match for her heir, Peter.

When Catherine fell ill, Elizabeth insisted on a course of treatment that included multiple bloodlettings. This caused friction between Johanna and Elizabeth, but after her recovery, Catherine ingratiated herself with the Russian empress.

Despite her deeply Lutheran father’s objections, Catherine continued her relationship with Grand Duke Peter and converted to the Russian Orthodox faith. Along with her new religion came a new name: Yekaterina, or Catherine.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Husband and Heir

Catherine II married Russia’s Grand Duke Peter on August 21, 1745. They were not a happy couple, however, because Peter was immature and juvenile, preferring to play with toy soldiers and mistresses over his wife. Catherine II developed her own interests, which included a lot of reading.

After years of infertility, Catherine II finally gave birth to a son, Paul, on September 20, 1754. The child’s paternity has been a source of much debate among scholars, with some claiming that Paul’s father was actually Sergei Saltykov, a Russian noble and member of the court, and others pointing to Paul’s resemblance to Peter as proof of their relationship. In any case, Catherine had little time with her first-born son; Elizabeth took over the child’s upbringing soon after his birth. Catherine went on to have three more children.

Empress of Russia

Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, became empress consort of Russia when her husband, Peter III, ascended to the throne on December 25, 1761, following the death of his aunt, Elizabeth of Russia. Catherine soon staged a coup, forcing Peter to abdicate after only six months on the throne, and she was crowned Empress of Russia on July 9, 1762.

In addition to his strained relationship with his wife, Peter had alienated other nobles, officials, and the military with his staunch support for Prussia, and had enraged the Orthodox Church by seizing their lands.

During Peter’s brief reign, Catherine II plotted with her lover, Gregory Orlov, a Russian lieutenant, and other powerful figures to exploit discontent with Peter and rally support for his deposition.

When Peter ascended to the throne, he was openly cruel to his wife and contemplated pushing her aside to allow his mistress to rule alongside him.

A few days after his resignation, he was strangled at Ropsha, one of Peter’s estates, by Catherine’s co-conspirators. It’s unclear what role the empress played in her husband’s death.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Catherine II’s Early Reign

Catherine sought to appease the military and the church in order to avoid being deposed by opposing forces early in her reign. She recalled troops sent by Peter to fight Denmark and promoted and rewarded those who had supported her as the new empress.

Despite her religious skepticism, she returned the church’s land and property that Peter had taken, though she later reversed her position and made the church part of the state.

Catherine modeled herself on the beloved ruler Peter the Great, claiming to be following in his footsteps. To honor him, she later commissioned the creation of a sculpture known as the Bronze Horseman.

Nakaz and Reform Attempts

While Catherine believed in absolute monarchy, she did make some social and political reforms. She drafted a document known as the “Nakaz” outlining how the country’s legal system should function, calling for the abolition of capital punishment and torture, as well as the declaration of equality for all men.

Catherine had also attempted to address the country’s dire situation of serfs, workers who were owned by landowners for life. Any suggestion of changing the feudal system was met with outrage by the Senate.

Following the completion of the Nakaz, Catherine convened delegates from various social and economic classes to form the Legislative Commission, which met for the first time in 1767.

The commission produced no laws, but it was the first opportunity for Russians from across the empire to express their concerns about the country’s needs and problems. Eventually, the Nakaz became known for its ideas rather than its immediate impact.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Education and the Arts

Many Europeans saw Russia as backward and provincial at the time of Catherine’s accession. She attempted to change this negative perception by expanding educational opportunities and the arts. Catherine established a boarding school for girls from noble families in St. Petersburg and later advocated for the establishment of free schools in towns throughout Russia.

Catherine was passionate about the arts and supported numerous cultural projects. She had a theater built in St. Petersburg for opera and ballet performances, and she even wrote a few librettos. She was also an avid art collector, and many of her acquisitions were displayed at the Hermitage, a royal residence in St. Petersburg.

Catherine was an avid reader who was particularly fond of Enlightenment philosophers and writers. She corresponded with the French writer Voltaire, and writer Denis Diderot visited her in Russia. Diderot, in fact, gave the empress her nickname, “Catherine the Great.” Catherine, who had literary ambitions of her own, wrote about her life in a collection of memoirs.

Foreign Affairs and Military Campaigns

Russia expanded its borders during Catherine’s reign. She made significant gains in Poland, where she previously installed her former lover, Polish count Stanislaw Poniatowski, on the throne. The main point of contention between Russia and Poland was the treatment of many Orthodox Russians in the country’s east. Catherine gave parts of Poland to Prussia and Austria in a treaty signed in 1772, while retaining control of the eastern region.

The actions of Russia in Poland triggered a military conflict with Turkey. Catherine demonstrated to the world that Russia was a formidable power with numerous victories in 1769 and 1770. In 1774, she signed a peace treaty with the Ottoman Empire, adding new lands to the empire and giving Russia a foothold in the Black Sea.

Gregory Potemkin, a war hero, became Catherine’s trusted advisor and lover.

In her name, he ruled over newly acquired territories in southern Russia, establishing new towns and cities and establishing the country’s navy. Potemkin also encouraged Catherine to seize control of the Crimean peninsula in 1783, thereby strengthening Russia’s position in the Black Sea.

Catherine clashed with the Ottoman Empire again a few years later. From 1787 to 1792, the two countries fought each other.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Later Rule

Catherine reversed policy and greatly expanded upper-class power with the Charter of the Nobility in 1785, forcing a large number of citizens into the oppressive conditions of serfdom.

Catherine had been Russia’s absolute ruler for several decades by the mid-1790s. She had a strained relationship with her son and heir, Paul, due to her power grab, but she adored her grandchildren, particularly the oldest, Alexander. Catherine maintained an active mind and a strong spirit in her later years.

Romantic Life

Catherine II’s love life has been the subject of much speculation and misinformation. Although the rumors of bestiality were debunked, the empress did have a number of relationships during her reign.

Catherine could not remarry after her husband died because it would jeopardize her position, and she had to appear chaste in public. Behind the scenes, however, she appeared to have a voracious sexual appetite.

Catherine had approximately 12 lovers during her lifetime, according to most accounts. She had a system for running her affairs, frequently bestowing gifts, honors, and titles on those she admired in order to gain their favor.

Catherine always found a way to get her new love out of her hair at the end of each relationship. Potemkin, perhaps her most significant lover, was her favorite for many years and remained lifelong friends after their passions faded.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Death and Legacy

Catherine was discovered unconscious on the floor of her bathroom in mid-November 1796. She was thought to have had a stroke at the time.

Catherine, Russia’s great empress, survived until the next night but never regained consciousness. She passed away on November 17, 1796. Her coffin was laid in state next to that of her late husband, Peter III, at the Winter Palace.

Her son, Paul, had his father’s remains interred there, giving Peter III the funeral honors he had not received after his assassination. Catherine II and Peter III were both laid to rest at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Catherine is often remembered for her romantic relationships rather than her many accomplishments. Historians have also chastised her for failing to improve the lives of serfs, who made up the majority of the Russian population.

Nonetheless, Catherine made significant contributions to Russia, introducing educational reforms and championing the arts. Catherine, as leader, also expanded the country’s borders through military might and diplomatic skill.

Related Lists of Celebrities’ Net Worth

Or, browse all celebrities’ net worth

Who Are The 30 Richest People In The World?

The list of the world’s richest people can change from year to year, depending on their current net worth and financial performance. Here is the current list of the 30 richest people in the world, based on the latest Forbes list, and some interesting facts about each of them.

Learn More: Top 30 Richest People In The World

Leave a Comment

COVID-19 Took My Waiter Job, Then I Made 5-Figures From Home...Discover How I Did It!