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Title: Sejmiki koronne wobec problemów wewnętrznych Rzeczypospolitej za panowania Michała Korybuta Wiśniowieckiego (1669-1673)
Authors: Kaniewski, Jacek
Keywords: sejmiki szlacheckie; Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki; parlamentaryzm; XVII wiek
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: In his work the Author researches the Crown assemblies’ (i.e. sejmiks’) attitude toward internal conflicts that the Republic of Poland had to deal with at the time of short but turbulent reign of King Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki (Michael I). However, Wiśniowiecki’s reign was influenced by a destructive pro-French policy of the so-called Malcontents party, who aimed to dethrone the king, and thus elect a candidate who would be designated by Louis XIV of France. Another obstacle that Michał Korybut had to surmount was the Ukrainian conflict between a pro-Polish Cossack hetman, Michał Chanenka, and Piotr Doroszenko, a hetman who strove for a separation between Ukraine and the Republic of Poland. Doroszenko viewed himself as a Turkish subject, which was connected with the aggressive Turkish policy that ultimately led to a war and consequently to a defeat that the Republic of Poland suffered in 1672. The scope as well as other aspects of the research are limited to the Crown territory, which was the Author’s intention. The book is divided into five chapters. Chapter one, comprising five subchapters, transcends the reign of Michał Korybut. The historic narrative delineates the time of John II Casimir (Jan Kazimierz) and Ludwika Maria reign, when the first pro-French party was formed. This newly-formed party was to pave the way for introduction of political reforms which in fact did harm to the privilege of the nobility which was a free (royal) election. The death of Ludwika Maria and the abdication of John II Casimir (Jan Kazimierz) created a need to elect a new candidate to throne. The election of 1669 highly surprised those who favored foreign candidates, as the nobility preferred Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki over the foreigners. The election was opposed by the pro-French camp with Primate of Poland Mikołaj Prażmowski and Crown Hetman and marshal Jan Sobieski. The Malcontents Party, who were favored by Louis XIV of France, aimed to paralyze political plans of the young king and to dethrone him. However, the nobility who stood up for their „own” king was his ally. The chapter makes use of laudas and assemblies’ instructions on the basis of which it depicts the Crown assemblies’ attitude toward anti-royal opposition. The chapter presents chronological development till 1671. Chapter two also falls into five subchapters. It depicts the most dramatic events that took place during Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki’s reign, and concerns the dissolution of two subsequent assemblies (sejmiks) summoned in 1672. The situation prevented from taking any defensive actions that would repel Turkish attacks, which finally led to taking over a significant fortress – Kamieniec Podolski, and to signing a treaty in Buczacz that sanctioned the loss of Podolia and Ukraine by the Republic of Poland. The internal conflicts in the Polish-Lithuanian state became even more complicated, for in 1672 they led to establishment of three confederacies, two of which were pro-royal – in Gołąb and Kobryń; whereas one was anti-royal – in Szczebrzeszyn. Further actions entailed the confederate gathering in Warsaw called by Michał Korybut, which started its sessions on January 4th, 1673. The sessions made it possible to hold talks with the Malcontent party, which paved the way for its transformation into sejm and reaching a national agreement. Chapter three splits into four subchapters which discuss reforms postulated by assemblies (sejmiks) and aimed to improve the political system. Presented at the beginning are bills introduced at Crown assemblies by the monarch, and then – the assemblies’ reaction to a reformatory agenda proclaimed by the court as well as postulates that issued as effects of a creative reflection by Crown assemblies. Chapter four deals with monetary issues. It is divided into six subchapters, the first of which presents a reformatory agenda of improving the monetary system issued by the court. The subsequent subchapters illustrate the views of Crown assemblies on the reasons for the monetary crisis, sanctions for people responsible for that situation, and solutions proposed to remove sub-standard coins from circulation. Two subchapters of chapter five investigate the military issues. The first one presents the assemblies’ attitude toward issues of defense as well as awkward questions of funding the army due to areas of voivodeships and lands aroused tensions between the nobility and hetmans, as well as the army itself. The soldiers who did not receive any money would raid and make illegitimate requisition over the civilians’ possessions. The second subchapter discusses the issue of fortifications. Their role – including the borderland fortifications located in Podolia and Ukraine which were within the range of direct Turkish attacks – was of crucial importance. This was observed by king Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki as well as by the assemblies, especially those located in areas prone to Tatars raids. The author provides an appendix which includes twenty-two attachments (e.g. prices of articles, old weights and measures, prices of luxury items, approximate prices of items, soldiers’ pay in 1673, indirect taxes values (szelężny and czopowy), and certain currency exchange rates.
ISBN: 978-83-8012-168-3
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (WNS)

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