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Catherine the Great (1729-96) led a life that shows us the importance of diligence, ambition, and sensitivity in a leader. Catherine came from a noble, but relatively poor, family and rose to rule the largest nation in Europe. She became Empress of Russia in 1762 after overthrowing her distant and unpopular husband Peter III. Catherine ensured the loyalty of her people through her thoughtful and responsive leadership. However, she also skilfully introduced her own reforms inspired by the values of the Enlightenment.

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