szlachta polska; konfederacja targowicka; rozbiory; historia Polski
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
The Polish nobility’s attitude in the Crown towards the Targowica Confederacy in
the period between May 1792 and January 1793 has been presented in the study. Special
attention has been paid to the process of formation of the provincial structures of
Szczęsny Potocki’s union. The citizens’ attitudes to the confederacy have been shown in
that context. Two major groups of nobility have been presented in the article: one,
which was reluctant to Targowica and prepared for emigration, and the other one,
whose protest against Targowica found its expression in their vanishing from the public
life into the silent asylum of home. Citizens indifferent to the political transformations
which took place in the country as well as those who — under certain conditions
— were willing to collaborate with the new authorities have also been depicted. The size
of each group has also been estimated, at least approximately. Those who, in the
gesture of protests, decided to emigrate, and those who actively cooperated with
Targowica, constituted the minority.
The changes taking place in the particular groups during the first months of
autonomous government of the confederacy have been analysed in the next part of the
work. It turned out that the group dissatisfied with Targowica was growing, and the
group willing to collaborate with the union was decreasing.
The factors influencing the way the Targowica confederacy was perceived by the
nobility have also been discussed in the monograph. The position of Stanislav August
and the success of Russia — end its ally Targowica — in the war with Poland was
relevant in the first period, i.e. till August or September 1792. Later, until January 1793,
the internal politics of the confederacy was full of discrepancies and inconsistencies. It
also economically burdened the citizens, which was connected with the necessity of
maintaining Katherine II’s army and had a great impact on the nobility’s attitude to
Szczęsny Potocki’s union.
The work denies the thesis of the nobility’s massive support for Targowica. Even
those social groups which, as a result of the Great Parliament reforms, were loosing
privileges, such as the nobles not owing estates or starosts of districts, in its mass were
far from supporting the union. Neither does the work confirm the opinion of the
repressive character of the new authorities in the Crown.