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Potemkin and Yekaterinoslav - "The Garden of the Empire"

Exhibit Author: SM

Many historians, when looking at Catherine’s annexation of the Crimea, focus solely on her motivations for the annexation being a stepping-stone to accomplish other, father-reaching goals.  This historical focus ignores the important role that Catherine had in mind for the Crimea as an end in and of itself.  The Crimea could be used for exhibiting the fact that she was an Enlightened ruler on par with the great European rulers, and that she was creating an Enlightened empire that would not just copy those of the rest of the world, but be a shining example.  That Catherine valued the Crimea for these purposes can be seen by the actions taken by herself and Potemkin, her main adviser, with relation to this area.

This new land allowed Catherine the opportunity to show her abilities to govern in an Enlightened way in many different aspects.  The more pleasant climate, landscape, vegetation, and the supposed “barbarity” of inhabitants left her ample ways to create her ideal paradise city.  Both Catherine and Potemkin worked hard to create this exemplary city in her conquered territory and make sure that the rest of the world knew of their efforts and accomplishments.

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