Elizabeth Petrovna (1709-62), empress of Russia (1741-62), born near Moscow, the youngest daughter of Peter the Great and Catherine I. She became empress in 1741 by staging a palace revolution that deposed the infant emperor Ivan VIand his mother Anna Leopoldovna, who acted as regent. In 1743 Elizabeth won a historic diplomatic victory when her representative negotiated an advantageous end to the long-standing dispute between Sweden and Russia. She was chiefly responsible for establishing and maintaining the alliance of Austria, France, and Russia that almost defeated Prussia in the Seven Years' War. Until her death, a year before the end of the war, the armies of the alliance had been successful, but soon afterward the alliance disintegrated and Prussia gained the final victory. She named her nephew Peter III as her successor. Elizabeth's nonpolitical achievements include the establishment of the Moscow State University in 1755 and the Academy of Arts at Saint Petersburg in 1757.