interregnum after the death of Jan III Sobieski; Melchior de Polignac; election
Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
M. Markiewicz, R. Skowron, F. Wolański (red.), „Pecunia nervus belli : z dziejów dyplomacji i stosunków międzynarodowych w XV-XVIII wieku” (S. 146-164). Katowice : Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego.
The interregnum following John III Sobieski’s death was not only long but was also marked
by a vicious political struggle exposing the deficiencies of the candidates proposed for the
crown. It was predicted from the beginning that the election may end up in a split, or even war.
Indeed, the summer of 1697 witnessed the split resulting in high tension, political struggle and
incidents – opponents were threatened and there was some bloodshed, but it never escalated to a civil or external war. The sources, especially French, show that, although many were predicting
war, either with willingness or fear, in fact, none intended to take up arms. Instead, they were
looking abroad for military and financial help. Otherwise, no one would fight, and there was not
a chance of getting French money, of which Louis XIV informed his emissary. The charges put
forward to the French ambassador by Prince Conti’s supporters concerning France’s falling short
of their expectations can be acknowledged as justified. It was the empty promises of money that
made them persevere, which was pointless since the French money was never going to come. In
view of this, the Poles’ readiness to take up arms was rather moderate. It could have been boosted
by the flow of money from Versailles. However, as there was no money, there was no chance of
war from the beginning.