Was Catherine great?

A question from Yahoo! Answers:

Catherine the great?

please can some body thell me why she was a good ruler and why she was a bad ruler

You tell me. She ascended to the throne by engineering a coup d’état against her husband (who was later murdered by her lover’s brother, although there is no evidence of her involvement in the murder), resisted all attempts to improve the lot of indentured peasants (who at the time comprised the majority of the Russian population) while at the same time giving substantial concessions to the landed gentry, stifled dissidence, both religious and political, and rewarded her lovers with crown properties. Speaking of her, lovers, one of them was Grigori Potemkin, after whom the expression “Potemkin village” was coined. Another was Stanisław Poniatowski, who was eventually (and with Russian military support) installed as a king of Poland…

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