Talk:History of Poland (1569–1795)

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Old Talk[edit]

How about merging the articles Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and The Noble Republic, since they are related to essentially the same? Besides, I strongly suspect that the term "Noble Republic" is a catchy phrase from a history article, rather than a term really used in these times. Even if not, IMO the proper name of the merged article would be Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, according to the "official" name of the state. Mikkalai 20:55, 21 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I moved The Noble Republic to Nobles' Democracy.
"Noble Republic" is a very poor translation of the Polish term Rzeczpospolita szlachecka. In fact, if you translated it back into Polish, you'd get szlachetna republika which is something very different. Szlachecka doesn't mean "noble" but "ruled by the nobility" so I changed it to "Nobles' " (plural possessive).
Moreover, translating Rzeczpospolita as "republic", especially when talking about this period of Polish history, may be confusing for many English speakers for whom "republic" and "monarchy" are antonyms. So to avoid it, I used the term "democracy" which is correct since the term demokracja szlachecka is also used in Polish.
However, I don't agree with the idea of merging the article with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The latter explains what the PLC was (a sort of federation, as we would say today), while Nobles' Democracy talks about its history. Besides, Nobles' democracy is in fact older then the PLC, as it began in 1505 with the adoption of the Nihil novi act while the PLC was created in 1569 with the Lublin Union act.
--Kpalion 11:22, 30 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Whether or not westerners get confused and think that "republic" and "monarchy" are antonyms, Republic is normally how Rzeczpospolita is normally translated. If we don't want to use that, we ought to use Commonwealth, a synonym for "Republic" which does not necessarily have the connotations of "not having a king". john 17:39, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I wouldn't really mind moving Nobles' Democracy to Nobles' Commonwealth (but not to Nobles' Republic). However both names are equally valid, I think. At least in Poland both Rzeczpospolita szlachecka and demokracja szlachecka are used. --Kpalion 17:57, 1 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Ok, ATM there are only 2 articles on the subject: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is short and deals with the government, and the current Noble's Democracy attempts to cover the period in detail. If they were to be merged, there is a broader issue to be dealt with (concerning similar dual artciles all over history of Poland), see Wikipedia:WikiProject_History_of_Poland/General#History_of_Poland

--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:55, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Currently this article is a mess. It starts with discussing the specific kings reign, then it chages to more general-sounding sections (of which Religious and social tensions gives me the most trouble, since it is the least 'time specific'). We need some consistency in sectioning the article. Perhaps this would be good (italic - to be written from scratch). Divide the article into 4 general sections, each with subsections about the reign of a given monarch:

  • Founding of The Elective Monarchy
    • Henryk II Walezy
    • Stefan Batory
  • House of Vasa
    • Sigismund III Vasa (note: Religious and social tensions section can go here as an introduction)
    • Vladislaus IV Vasa
    • Jan Kazimierz Vasa (note: the Deludge and Eastern Regions of the realm after the Deluge sections go here)
  • Decay of the Commonwealth
    • Michael Korybut Wisniowiecki
    • John III Sobieski
    • Augustus II the Strong
    • Stanislaw Leszczynski (note their comebacks...chronological horror :D)
    • August III Wettin
  • The Three Partitions
    • Stanislaw August Poniatowski

How does it look?

--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:55, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Very good I'd say. This is typical scholarly division this part of history. You shouldn't ask us; you should just do it. Przepla 16:39, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Good idea -- as always. [[User:Halibutt|Halibutt]] 16:47, Oct 3, 2004 (UTC)

Not Europe's first constitution.[edit]

The May 3, 1791 constitution of Poland was not the first constitution in European history. To disprove "every book about Polish history" as Emax put it, I only have to cite an example of a European constitution which predates it. Similarly, despite the fact that I've read numerous articles, books, etc. claiming that "The Godfather" was the first movie Al Pacino was in, I only need to mention "The Panic in Needle Park" (1971) and that settles the fact. It was a movie, and he was in it.

For an example of a pre-1791 European constitution in this case, Sweden was ruled as a parliamentary democracy during the mid-18th century, under the constitution of 1719. [1] The 1719 one was not the first constitution in European history. It wasn't even the first Swedish one. But that doesn't matter, it predates the 1791 one, so the May 3rd constitution can't be "Europe's first written constitution".

It might still be so that the 1791 constitution could be regarded as the first constitution since, as far as I know, it's the first legal document in Europe called a "Constitution" (or konstytucja in this case). The 1719 constitution I mentioned was called Regeringsformen, which is usually translated as "The Instrument of Government". But following this line of reasoning, neither the Constitution of the United Kingdom nor the Constitution of Germany exist, since neither country has a single legal document called a "constitution". But puting "Europe's first legal document called a constitution" in the article would be ridiculous.

I'm not obstinate. I'm willing to compromise, and put "Europe's first modern written constitution" in the article, so as not to offend anyone. This highlights the fact that the 1791 constitution was closer to the constitution of a modern, democratic state than other European constitutions at the time. But why was this reverted the first time? I even cited an example of a predating constitution. —Gabbe 15:49, Jan 10, 2005 (UTC)

The same source (yours): "The first written constitution in the world was the United State's, ratified in 1789, just two years prior to the that of Poland-Lithuania's. Poland-Lithuania was heavily influenced by the changes going on in America at the time of their Great Sejm. The third written constitution in the world was France's in 1795 following the French Revolution, another event highly-influenced by the American bid for independence."--Emax 16:21, Jan 10, 2005 (UTC)
I think that the problem here is the definition of constitution. You are both correct. There were many 'constitution-called documents' before 1795, including many acts in the PLC that bear the same name. On the other hand, what we call constitution today, was first created in USA in 1789, then in PLC and France. I'd like to keep ilinks and other Gabbe's references (the more info, the merrier, I always say), but it should be clearly stated that they are not on the same level as May Constitution (or USA, or French), which are vastly more advanced. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 17:26, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Could you please enlighten me on the "vastly more advanced" bit, since I don't quite understand what you're refering to. In my definition, a constitution is a law which designates how laws are made. It is so-to-speak above all other laws. It states who are in power to create and change laws (kings, parliaments, courts, clerics, assemblies, politburos, whatever), how power is transfered to other (successions, elections, and soforth), and what infrigements to power these people have (citizen's rights).
What makes the US/French/May 3 constitutions so fundamentally different from other "constituitons" [using my definition] preceding them? Is it because these are more explicit? Is it because the rights of the people are vaster, and more akin to what we today require of a free state? Is it because these constitutions created democracies? Because I've read the relevant Wikipedia articles, and other sources, and so far, except for fancy peacock terms from various authors, I don't really see what keeps these constitutions on "a higher level" than earlier ones. —Gabbe 14:38, Jan 13, 2005 (UTC)
Democracy is the operative word. I would take this fight to the US Constitution, if they concede the US constitution was not first, I will concede that Poland's constitution was not second.

--Milicz 04:40, 13 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

And there is always the forgotten Corsican Constitution... --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:39, 14 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name change[edit]

See here for details. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus 19:00, 12 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Yes, this needed to be done for some time. The new title seems fine to me. john k 19:31, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I am glad you agree. Now I am off to fix bad redirects, and the 'noble's democracy' title I'd like to reserve for the article about PLC government and politics - a better descriptive title then for history, I believe. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:39, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)


I don't think you can present the Cossack rebellion as a Ukrainian statehood matter: "The emergency began with an uprising of Ukrainian Cossacks that culminated in a reassertion of an independent Ukraine centered in Kyiv, in spite of Warsaw's efforts to subdue it by force." This is an innaccurate statement at best. While present day Ukraine may be based or inspired by the ideals of the Cossacks of the 17th century, those Cossacks were not attempting to create an independent Ukraine, that idea had not even emerged yet. Ukraine also has roots in the Kievan Rus, but Kievan Rus never tried to create an independent Ukraine. Just as the Commonwealths armies fighting the Cossacks were not trying to create a homogenous Polish state, the political realties were so much different at that time. --Milicz 04:30, 13 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good point. I have yet to edit this article extensively to catch such problems, feel free to fix it. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 18:40, 14 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I gave it a shot, see if the changes I made are accurate.--Milicz 03:03, 16 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sloppy phrase[edit]

Could the author reformulate this sentence to give it some meaning. I have no idea what is its supposed meaning:

On occasion, these campaigns brought Poland to a nearly complete conquest of Russia and the Baltic coast during the Time of Troubles and False Dimitris, had it not been for the military burden imposed by the ongoing rivalry on multiple borders: the Ottoman Empire, the Swedes and the Russians.

TIA, --Irpen 07:06, 24 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The real name of the State is Litva! And the official language in the Grand Principality of Litva was Old Belarusian! PLEASE, WRITE CORRECT NAMES IN THE ARTICLE AND USE THEM !!![edit]

I have a hope that You will agree with me. And I belive that name of each State must be translated for English from the language which the State uses or used. For example: Lietuva - Lithuania, Biełaruś or Беларусь - Belarus, Polska - Poland, Україна - Ukraine, Россия - Russia and etc.

Lithuania is translation from Lithuanian.

Although the Grand Principality of Litva was multi-national State the State language was Old Belarusian: "А писаръ земъский маеть по-руску литерами и словы рускими вси листы, выписы и позвы писати, а не иншимъ езыкомъ и словы." The Statute of GPL 1588. Part 4, article 1.

This article of the Statute of GPL 1588 in contemporary Belarusian: А пісар земскі мае па-руску літарамі і словамі ўсе лісты, выпісы і позвы пісаць, а ня іншым языком і словамі. Only the word "язык" has another equivalent in the modern Belarusian and nowadays used with another meaning.

Not each Ruthenian is Old Belarusian. But the Statutes of GPL and most of State documents in GPL is exactly in Old Belarusian. And it is not Lithuanian for sure:-) And the name of GPL as the Grand Principality of Lithuania is an evident mistake.

The State's name is Grand Principality of Litva.

Wnen Soviet Russia signed agreement with Independent Lithuania in 1920 Lithuanians demanded "to return" their Metrics (archives) of GPL. Famous historic Mitrafan Dounar-Zapolski offered to give Lithuanians ALL DOCUMENTS in Lithuanian. But such documents did not exist. Most of documents were in Old Belarusian, the rest of them were in Polish, Latin and German.

It wasn't exactly Belarusian State. But this nation had dominated. It was rather union of nations.

I think you are patriots and you love your country. You made great job and made nice group. But here you are nationalising history.

So I would appreciate very much if you USE CORRECT NAMES: the Grand Prinsipality of Litva, Polish-Litvian Commonwealth.

Thank you!

P.S. Lithuania is only small half of Litva. And I am sorry but Vilnia is a Lithuanian's town only since 10 October 1939 as a present of Stalin.

Till 1939 Vilnia was a Belarusian cultural center, and the Lithuanians were an ethnical minority there. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not b class[edit]

I've downgraded this article from b to c class. It has large chunks of unreferenced text, and style is poor - lots of single-sentence paragraphs. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 18:18, 12 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


See Talk:Poland in the Early Modern era#Merge. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 04:50, 10 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The text of this article has been merged with History of Poland in the Early Modern era (1569–1795). The result was put there and this article should be eliminated. Orczar (talk) 17:41, 3 March 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]