Elizabeth, or Elizabeth Petrovna (1709-1762), empress of Russia, 1741-61. She was the daughter of Peter the Great and Catherine I. Elizabeth gained power by leading a palace revolt against Anna Leopoldovna, regent and mother of the infant Ivan VI. The empress lacked an interest in the day-to-day administration of government, but she showed political ability in her choice of ministers. Like her father, Elizabeth was committed to westernizing Russia. The influence of French culture at court was great. The empress was one of the founders of the University of Moscow.
Under Elizabeth, Russia took a leading part in the Seven Years' War (1756-63). Russian armies were seemingly near victory over Frederick the Great of Prussia when Elizabeth died. Her successor, Peter III, immediately made peace with Frederick.