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Encyclopedia > Constitution of May 3, 1791
May 3rd Constitution (painting by Jan Matejko, 1891). King Stanisław August (left, in regal ermine-trimmed cloak), enters St. John's Cathedral, where Sejm deputies will swear to uphold the new Constitution; in background, Warsaw's Royal Castle, where the Constitution has just been adopted.
May 3rd Constitution (painting by Jan Matejko, 1891). King Stanisław August (left, in regal ermine-trimmed cloak), enters St. John's Cathedral, where Sejm deputies will swear to uphold the new Constitution; in background, Warsaw's Royal Castle, where the Constitution has just been adopted.

The Constitution of 3 May 1791 (Polish: Konstytucja Trzeciego Maja) is Europe's first modern codified national constitution as well as the second oldest national constitution in the world[1] [2] [3]. It was instituted by the Government Act (Polish: Ustawa rządowa) adopted on that date by the Sejm (parliament) of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was designed to redress long-standing political defects of the federative Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its Golden Liberty. The Constitution introduced political equality between townspeople and nobility (szlachta) and placed the peasants under the protection of the government,[4] thus mitigating the worst abuses of serfdom. The Constitution abolished pernicious parliamentary institutions such as the liberum veto, which at one time had placed the sejm at the mercy of any deputy who might choose, or be bribed by an interest or foreign power, to undo all the legislation that had been passed by that sejm. The May 3rd Constitution sought to supplant the existing anarchy fostered by some of the country's reactionary magnates, with a more egalitarian and democratic constitutional monarchy[1]. At the same time Constitution was translated into lithuanian language[5][2]. Source: from Polish wiki: http://pl. ... Source: from Polish wiki: http://pl. ... Jan Matejko , self-portrait Jan Matejko (aka Jan Mateyko; Free City of Kraków, July 28, 1838 – November 1, 1893, Kraków, was a Polish artist famous for paintings of notable Polish political and military events. ... For other persons named StanisÅ‚aw Poniatowski, see StanisÅ‚aw Poniatowski. ... The ermine (Mustela erminea) is a dark brown weasel, with a distinctive black-tipped tail. ... St. ... This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... Chamber of Deputies is the name given to a legislative body, which may either be the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or the name of a unicameral one. ... Royal Castle in Warsaw Royal Castle after the Warsaw Uprising Royal Castle in Warsaw (Polish Zamek Królewski), is the royal palace and official residence of the Polish monarchs, in Warsaw. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... World map showing Europe Political map Europe is one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to various perspectives about Europes borders. ... In law, codification is the process of collecting and restating the law of a jurisdiction in certain areas, usually by subject, forming the legal code. ... A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ... This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... States currently utilizing parliamentary systems are denoted in orange and red—the former being constitutional monarchies where authority is vested in a parliament, and the latter being parliamentary republics whose parliaments are effectively supreme over a separate head of state. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A map displaying todays federations. ... Golden Liberty (latin: Aurea Libertas, Polish: Złota Wolność, sometimes used in plural form; this phenomena can be also reffered to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles Democracy or Nobles Commonwealth, Polish: Rzeczpospolita Szlachecka) refers to a unique democratic political system in the Kingdom of Poland and later, after the Union of Lublin... Bourgeois at the end of the thirteenth century Bourgeois redirects here; for the composer with that name, see Derek Bourgeois. ... The Lords and Barons prove their Nobility by hanging their Banners and exposing their Coats-of-arms at the door of the Lodge of the Heralds. ... Polish szlachcic. ... In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: the 16th century was a good time for European peasants A peasant, from 15th... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Liberum veto (Latin: free veto) was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that allowed any deputy to a Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify all legislation already passed at it. ... This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... Chamber of Deputies is the name given to a legislative body, which may either be the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or the name of a unicameral one. ... Bribery is a crime defined by Blacks Law Dictionary as the offering, giving, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions as an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal duty. ... Bold textJAMES CHECKLEY Legislation (or statutory law) is law which has been promulgated (or enacted) by a legislature or other governing body. ... In the realist theory of International Relations, the anarchical system that all states find themselves in is the lack of clear organisation of states into a hieracical order that is found within states. ... Reactionary (or reactionist) is a political epithet typically applied to extreme ideological conservatism, especially that which wishes to return to a real or imagined old order of things, and which is willing to use coercive means to do so. ... For a wealthy or powerful business baron, executive, or tycoon, see business magnate Magnate is a title of nobility commonly used in Sweden, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and some other medieval empires. ... Egalitarianism can refer to moral as well as factual theories. ... Democracy is, literally, rule by the people (from the Greek demos, people, and kratos, rule). The methods by which this rule is exercised, and indeed the composition of the people are central to various definitions of democracy, but useful contrasts can be made with oligarchies and autocracies, where political authority... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...



The adoption of the May 3rd Constitution provoked the active hostility of the Polish Commonwealth's neighbors. In the War in Defense of the Constitution, Poland was betrayed by its Prussian ally Frederick William II and defeated by the Imperial Russia of Catherine the Great, allied with the Targowica Confederation, a cabal of Polish magnates who opposed reforms that might weaken their influence. Despite the defeat, and the subsequent Second Partition of Poland, the May 3rd Constitution influenced later democratic movements in the world. It remained, after the demise of the Polish Republic in 1795, over the next 123 years of Polish partitions, a beacon in the struggle to restore Polish sovereignty. In the words of two of its co-authors, Ignacy Potocki and Hugo Kołłątaj, it was "the last will and testament of the expiring Fatherland." This conflict took place in 1792 between Poland and her ally the Kingdom of Prussia, on one side, and the Russian Empire on the other. ... Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia, 1701-1918 Prussia (German: ; Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Lithuanian: ; Polish: ; Old Prussian: PrÅ«sa) was, most recently, a historic state originating in East Prussia, an area which for centuries had substantial influence on German and European history. ... Frederick William II (September 25, 1744 – November 16, 1797), king of Prussia, was known in German as Friedrich Wilhelm II. Frederick William was the son of Augustus William, Prince of Prussia (the second son of King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia) and of Louise Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg. ... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start... Catherine II of Russia Catherine II the Great (Russian: Екатерина II Великая or Yekaterina II Velikaya, 2 May 1729 — 6 November [O.S. 17 November] 1796), born Sophie Augusta Fredericka of Anhalt-Zerbst) — sometimes referred to as an epitome of the enlightened despot — reigned as Empress of Russia for more than three... Categories: Stub | Polish confederations ... The Partitions of Poland (Polish Rozbiór or Rozbiory Polski) happened in the 18th century and ended the existence of a sovereign state of Poland (or more correctly the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). ... ... The Partitions of Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Padalijimas) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Noble Family Potocki Coat of Arms Piława Parents Eustachy Potocki Marianna Kątska Consorts Elżbieta Lubomirska Children with Elżbieta Lubomirska Krystyna Potocka Date of Birth February 28, 1750 Place of Birth Radzyn Podlaski Date of Death August 30, 1809 Place of Death Vienna Count Roman Ignacy Franciszek Potocki (generally known as... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...

Contents


History

Background

The May 3rd Constitution was a response to the increasingly perilous situation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, only a century and a half earlier a major European power and indeed the largest state on the continent. Already two centuries before the May 3rd Constitution, King Zygmunt III's court preacher, the Jesuit Piotr Skarga, had famously condemned the individual and collective weaknesses of the Commonwealth's citizens. Likewise, in the same period, writers and philosophers such as Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski and Wawrzyniec Grzymała Goślicki, and Jan Zamoyski's egzekucja praw (Execution-of-the-Laws) reform movement, had advocated reforms. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Reign in Poland From September 18, 1587 until April 19, 1632 Reign in Sweden From November 17, 1592 until July 24, 1599 Elected in Poland On September 18, 1587 in Wola, today suburb of Warsaw, Poland Coronation in Poland On December 27, 1587 in the Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, Poland Coronation... Preacher is a colloquial term for a clergyman, in particular a local priest, pastor or Minister; one who preaches. ... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ... Skargas Sermon, by Jan Matejko, 1862, oil on canvas, 224 x 397 cm. ... Citizenship is membership in a political community (originally a city but now usually a state) and carries with it rights to political participation; a person having such membership is a citizen. ... The term writer can apply to anyone who creates a written work, but the word more usually designates those who write creatively or professionally, or those who have written in many different forms. ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (Andreus Fricius Modrevius) (ca. ... Wawrzyniec Grzymala Goslicki, Laurentius Grimaldius Gosliscius, 1530-1607, was Polish political thinker and philosopher most known from the book De optimo senatore, 1568 (The Accomplished senator, English translation 1598). ... Noble Family Zamoyski Coat of Arms Jelita Parents Stanisław Zamoyski Anna Herburt Consorts Anna Ossolińska Krystyna Radziwiłł Gryzelda Batory Barbara Tarnowska Children with Barbara Tarnowska Tomasz Zamoyski Date of Birth March 19, 1542 Place of Birth Skokówka, Poland Date of Death June 3, 1605 Place of Death Zamość, Poland Jan... Execution(ist) movement (Polish language: Ruch egzekucyjny, also egzekucja praw (execution of laws), egzekucja dóbr (execution of lands), popularyÅ›ci (popularists), zamoyczycy (Zamoyskis faction) was a political movement of lesser and middle nobility (szlachta) in the Kingdom of Poland (and later, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) in the 16th century. ... A reform movement is a kind of social movement that aims to make gradual change, or change in certain aspects of the society rather than rapid or fundamental changes. ...


By the early 17th century, the magnates of Poland and Lithuania were in near-total control of the Commonwealth — or rather, they managed to ensure that no reforms be carried out that might weaken their privileged status. They looked after their own interests while neglecting the commonwealth. They spent lavishly on banquets, drinking-bouts and other assorted amusements, while the peasants languished in abysmal conditions and the city dwellers were hemmed in by an array of anti-municipal legislation and fared much worse than their thriving Western contemporaries. For a wealthy or powerful business baron, executive, or tycoon, see business magnate Magnate is a title of nobility commonly used in Sweden, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and some other medieval empires. ... A municipality or general-purpose district (compare with: special-purpose district) is an administrative local area generally composed of a clearly defined territory and commonly referring to a city, town, or village government. ... The term Western world or the West can have multiple meanings depending on its context. ...


Many historians hold that a major cause of the Commonwealth's downfall was the peculiar institution of the liberum veto ("free veto"), which since 1652 had in principle permitted any Sejm deputy to nullify all the legislation that had been adopted by that Sejm. Thus deputies bribed by magnates or foreign powers, or simply benighted and content to believe that they were living in some kind of "Golden Age," for over a century paralyzed the Commonwealth's government. The threat of the liberum veto could, however, be overridden by the establishment of a "confederated sejm," which operated immune from the liberum veto. The Four-Year, or "Great," Sejm of 1788–1792, which would adopt the Constitution of May 3, 1791, was such a confederated sejm; and it was due only to that fact that it was able to put through so radical a piece of legislation. Liberum veto (Latin: free veto) was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that allowed any deputy to a Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify all legislation already passed at it. ... Confederated sejm (Polish: sejm skonfederowany) was a form of sejm in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century. ...


By the reign (1764–1795) of Poland's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, the Age of Enlightenment had begun to take root in Poland. The King proceeded with cautious reforms. Fiscal and military "commissions" (ministries) were established. A national customs tariff was instituted. Thoroughgoing constitutional reforms were discussed. However, the idea of reforms in the Commonwealth was viewed with growing suspicion by neighboring countries, which were content with the Commonwealth's impotence and abhorred the thought of a powerful — and more democratic — country hard by their borders. For other persons named Stanisław Poniatowski, see Stanisław Poniatowski. ... The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a larger period which includes the Age of Reason. ... A tariff is a tax on imported goods. ...


Accordingly Empress Catherine the Great of Russia and King Frederick the Great of Prussia provoked a conflict between Sejm conservatives and the King over civil rights for religious minorities. Catherine and Frederick declared their support for the Polish nobility (szlachta) and their "liberties," and by October 1767 Russian troops had assembled outside the Polish capital, Warsaw. The King and his adherents, in face of superior Russian military force, were left with little choice but to bow to Russian demands and accept the five "eternal and invariable" principles which Catherine vowed to "protect in the name of Poland's liberties": the free election of kings; the right of liberum veto; the right to renounce allegiance to, and raise rebellion against, the king (rokosz); and the szlachta's exclusive right to hold office and land, and the landowner's power of life and death over his peasants. Catherine II (Екатерина II Алексеевна: Yekaterína II Alekséyevna, April 21, 1729 - November 6, 1796), born Sophie Augusta Fredericka, known as Catherine the Great, reigned as empress of Russia from June 28, 1762, to her death on November 6, 1796. ... Frederick the Great Frederick II of Prussia (Friedrich der Große, Frederick the Great, January 24, 1712 – August 17, 1786) was the Hohenzollern king of Prussia 1740–86. ... Look up Civil in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The word Civil is derived from the Latin word civilis, from civis (citizen). Used as an adjective, it may describe several fields, concepts, and people: Civil death Civil defense Civil disobedience Civil engineering Civil law Civil liberties Civil libertarianism Civil marriage Civil... For the direction right, see left and right or starboard. ... Polish szlachcic. ... Warsaw (Polish: , (?), in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto StoÅ‚eczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. ... Election of Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki as king of Poland at Wola, outside Warsaw ( 1669). ... Liberum veto (Latin: free veto) was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that allowed any deputy to a Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify all legislation already passed at it. ... A rokosz (ROH-kosh), originally, was a gathering of all the Polish szlachta (nobility), not merely of deputies, for a sejm. ... Polish szlachcic. ...


Not everyone in the Commonwealth agreed with King Stanisław August's decision. On February 29, 1768, several magnates, including Kazimierz Pułaski, vowing to oppose Russian intervention, declared Stanisław August a "lackey of Russia and Catherine" and formed a confederation at the town of Bar. The Bar Confederation opened a civil war with the goal of overthrowing the King and fought on until 1772, when overwhelmed by Russian intervention. February 29 is the 60th day of a leap year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 306 days remaining. ... 1768 was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... For things named to honor Kazimierz Pułaski, see: Pulaski (disambiguation). ... A confederation is an association of sovereign states, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. ... Bar is a town in Ukraine at the Rov river in Podolia. ... Prayer of the Bar Confederates. ...

The First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1772.)
The First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1772.)

The Bar Confederation's defeat set the scene for the next act in the unfolding drama. On August 5, 1772, at St. Petersburg, Russia, the three neighboring powers, Russia, Prussia and Austria, signed the First Partition treaty. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was to be divested of over 30,000 square miles of territory, leaving her 74,000 square miles. This was justified on grounds of anarchy in the Commonwealth and the latter's refusal to cooperate with its neighbors' efforts to restore order. The three powers demanded that the Sejm ratify this first partition, otherwise threatening further partitions. King Stanisław August yielded to duress and on April 19, 1773, called the Sejm into session. Only 102 deputies attended; the rest, aware of the King's decision, refused. Despite protests, notably by the deputy Tadeusz Rejtan, the First Partition of Poland was ratified. Download high resolution version (2000x1568, 268 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (2000x1568, 268 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Partitions of Poland (Polish Rozbiór or Rozbiory Polski) happened in the 18th century and ended the existence of a sovereign state of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... Catherine IIs soldiers in the Russo-Turkish War, by Alexandre Benois. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and Petrograd (Петрогра́д, 1914–1924), is a city located in Northwestern Russia on the delta of the river Neva at the east end of the Gulf of Finland... Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia, 1701-1918 Prussia (German: ; Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Lithuanian: ; Polish: ; Old Prussian: PrÅ«sa) was, most recently, a historic state originating in East Prussia, an area which for centuries had substantial influence on German and European history. ... The Partitions of Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Padalijimas) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... April 19 is the 109th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (110th in leap years). ... 1773 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Tadeusz Rejtan (also in the Old Polish spelling: Tadeusz Reytan) (1742-1780) was a Polish nobleman, a member of confederation of Bar, Member of Sejm for the Nowogród constituency. ...


The first of the three successive 18th century partitions of Commonwealth territory by Russia, Prussia and Austria that would eventually blot Poland from the map of Europe, had made it clear to progressive minds that the Commonwealth must either reform or perish. Even before the First Partition, a Sejm deputy had been sent to ask the French philosophes Gabriel Bonnot de Mably and Jean-Jacques Rousseau to draw up tentative constitutions for a new Poland. Mably had submitted his recommendations in 1770–1771; Rousseau had finished his (Considerations on the Government of Poland[3]) in 1772, when the First Partition was already underway. The Partitions of Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Padalijimas) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... The Partitions of Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Padalijimas) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Prussia, 1701-1918 Prussia (German: ; Latin: Borussia, Prutenia; Lithuanian: ; Polish: ; Old Prussian: PrÅ«sa) was, most recently, a historic state originating in East Prussia, an area which for centuries had substantial influence on German and European history. ... The philosophes (French for philosophers) were a group of French intellectuals of the 18th century Enlightenment. ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 – July 2, 1778) was a Genevan philosopher of the Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. ... Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau Considerations on the Government of Poland – also simply The Government of Poland or, in French, Considérations sur le gouvernement de Pologne – is an essay by French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau concerning the design of a new constitution for the people of Poland. ...


Supported by King Stanisław August, a new wave of reforms were introduced. The most important included the establishment (1773) of a Commission of National Education — the first ministry of education in the world. New schools were opened in the cities and in the countryside, uniform textbooks were printed, teachers were educated, poor students were provided scholarships. The Commonwealth's military was modernized; a standing army was formed. Economic and commercial reforms, previously shunned as unimportant by the szlachta, were introduced, and the development of industries was encouraged. The peasants were given some rights. A new Police ministry fought corruption. Everything from the road system to prisons was reformed. A new executive body was created, the Permanent Council (Polish: Rada Nieustająca), comprising five ministries. Komisja Edukacji Narodowej (KEN, Polish for Commission of National Education) was the central educational authority in Poland, created by the Sejm and king Stanisław August Poniatowski on October 14, 1773. ... Several countries have government departments named the Ministry of Education Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Japan) Ministry of Education (India) Ministry of Education (New Zealand) Ministry of Education (Israel) Ministry of Education (Malaysia) Ministry of Education (Singapore) See also: Minister of Education, Department of Education This is... Polish szlachcic. ... The Permanent Council (Polish Rada Nieustająca) was the highest administrative authority in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1775 and 1789 and the first modern government in Europe. ...

In 1791, the "Great" or Four-Year Sejm of 1788–1792 adopts the May 3rd Constitution at Warsaw's Royal Castle (rebuilt in the 1970s after its deliberate destruction by the Germans in World War II).
In 1791, the "Great" or Four-Year Sejm of 1788–1792 adopts the May 3rd Constitution at Warsaw's Royal Castle (rebuilt in the 1970s after its deliberate destruction by the Germans in World War II).

In 1776 the Sejm commissioned Chancellor Andrzej Zamoyski to draft a new legal code, the Zamoyski Code. By 1780, under Zamoyski's direction, a code (Zbiór praw sądowych) had been produced. It would have strengthened royal power, made all officials answerable to the Sejm, placed the clergy and their finances under state supervision, and deprived landless szlachta of many of their legal immunities. Zamoyski's progressive legal code, containing elements of constitutional reform, failed to be adopted by the Sejm. Download high resolution version (1188x762, 653 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Download high resolution version (1188x762, 653 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Sejm Czteroletni (Four-Year Sejm, also known as Sejm Wielki, the Great Sejm) was a Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth held in Warsaw, inaugurated in 1788. ... Noble Family Zamoyski Coat of Arms Jelita Parents Michał Zdzisław Zamoyski Anna Działyńska Consorts Konstancja Czartoryska Children with Konstancja Czartoryska Aleksander August Zamoyski Stanislaw Kostka Zamoyski Anna Zamoyska Date of Birth October 12, 1716 Place of Birth Biezun, Poland Date of Death February 10, 1792 Place of Death Zamość, Poland... A legal code is a moral code enforced by the law of a state. ... Polish szlachcic. ...


Drafting and Adoption

Events in the world now played into the reformers' hands. Poland's neighbors were too occupied with wars — especially with the Ottoman Empire — and with their own internal troubles to intervene forcibly in Poland. A major opportunity for reform seemed to present itself during the "Great" or "Four-Year Sejm" of 1788–1792, which opened on October 6, 1788, and from 1790 — in the words of the May 3rd Constitution's preamble — met "in dual number," the newly elected Sejm deputies having joined the earlier-established confederated sejm. While a new alliance between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Prussia seemed to provide security against Russian intervention[4], King Stanisław August drew closer to leaders of the reform-minded Patriotic Party. A new Constitution was drafted by the King, with contributions from Stanisław Małachowski, Ignacy Potocki, Hugo Kołłątaj, Stanisław Staszic, the King's Italian secretary Scipione Piattoli, and others. Imperial motto (Ottoman Turkish) دولت ابد مدت Devlet-i Ebed-müddet (The Eternal State) The Ottoman Empire at the height of its power (1683) Official language Ottoman Turkish Capital Söğüt (1299-1326), Bursa (1326-1365), Edirne (1365-1453), Ä°stanbul (1453-1922) Imperial anthem Ottoman imperial anthem Sovereigns Padishah of the Osmanl... Sejm Czteroletni (Four-Year Sejm, also known as Sejm Wielki, the Great Sejm) was a Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth held in Warsaw, inaugurated in 1788. ... October 6 is the 279th day of the year (280th in leap years). ... 1788 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Confederated sejm (Polish: sejm skonfederowany) was a form of sejm in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century. ... For other persons named Stanisław Poniatowski, see Stanisław Poniatowski. ... Patriotic Party (Stronnictwo Patriotyczne) was a Polish political movement during the Four-Year Sejm of 1788-1792 that sought reforms aimed at bolstering Polands independence from Russia. ... Noble Family MaÅ‚achowski Coat of Arms NaÅ‚Ä™cz Parents Jan MaÅ‚achowski Izabela Humiecka Consorts Urszula Czapska Konstancja Czapska Children None Date of Birth August 24, 1736 Place of Birth KoÅ„skie Date of Death December 29, 1809 Place of Death Warsaw StanisÅ‚aw MaÅ‚achowski (1736-1809) was... Noble Family Potocki Coat of Arms Piława Parents Eustachy Potocki Marianna Kątska Consorts Elżbieta Lubomirska Children with Elżbieta Lubomirska Krystyna Potocka Date of Birth February 28, 1750 Place of Birth Radzyn Podlaski Date of Death August 30, 1809 Place of Death Vienna Count Roman Ignacy Franciszek Potocki (generally known as... Noble Family KoÅ‚Å‚Ä…taj Coat of Arms Kotwica Parents Antoni KoÅ‚Å‚Ä…taj Marianna MierzeÅ„ska Consorts None Children None Date of Birth April 1, 1750 Place of Birth NiecisÅ‚owice Date of Death February 28, 1812 Place of Death Warsaw Hugo KoÅ‚Å‚Ä…taj (1750-1812) was a Polish Roman Catholic... StanisÅ‚aw Staszic StanisÅ‚aw Staszic (November 6, 1755 - January 20, 1826) was a Polish priest, philosopher, statesman, geologist, scholar, poet and writer, a leader of the Polish Enlightenment, famous for works related to the Great or Four-Year Sejm (1788-1792) and the May Constitution of Poland adopted by... Scipione Piattoli, an Italian priest and a resident of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, was private secretary to King Stanislaw August Poniatowski. ...


The advocates of the Constitution, under threat of violence from the Sejm's Muscovite Party (also known as the "Hetmans"), and with many contrary-minded deputies still away on Easter recess, managed to set debate on the Government Act forward by two days from the original May 5. The ensuing debate and adoption of the Government Act took place in a quasi-coup d'etat: many pro-reform deputies arrived early and in secret, and the royal guards were positioned about the Royal Castle where the Sejm was gathered, to prevent Muscovite adherents from disrupting the proceedings. The Constitution ("Government Act") bill was read out and passed overwhelmingly, to the enthusiasm of the crowds gathered outside. This article is about the Christian festival. ... A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ...


The fall

The May 3rd, 1791, Constitution remained in effect for only a year before being overthrown, by Russian armies allied with the Targowica Confederation, in the War in Defense of the Constitution. Categories: Stub | Polish confederations ... This conflict took place in 1792 between Poland and her ally the Kingdom of Prussia, on one side, and the Russian Empire on the other. ...


Wars between Turkey and Russia and Sweden and Russia having by now ended, Empress Catherine was furious over the adoption of the May 3rd Constitution, which threatened Russian influence in Poland[5]. Russia had viewed Poland as a de facto protectorate. The contacts of Polish reformers with the Revolutionary French National Assembly were seen by Poland's neighbors as evidence of a revolutionary conspiracy and a threat to the absolute monarchies. The Prussian statesman Ewald von Hertzberg expressed the fears of European conservatives: "[The Poles] have given the coup de grâce to the Prussian monarchy by voting a constitution."[6] The Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792 was a futile attempt by the Ottoman Empire to regain lands lost to Russia in the course of the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774. ... Gustav IIIs Russian War, also known as the Russo-Swedish War, was fought between Sweden and Russia from June 1788 to August 1790. ... A protectorate is, in international law, a political entity (a sovereign state or a less developed native polity, such as a tribal chiefstainship or feudal princely state) that formally agrees (voluntarily or under pressure) by treaty to enter into an unequal relationship with another, stronger state, called the protector, which... During the French Revolution, the National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale) was a transitional body between the Estates-General and the National Constituent Assembly that existed from June 17 to July 9 of 1789. ... In a political sense, conspiracy refers to a group of persons united in the goal of usurping or overthrowing an established political power. ... Ewald Friedrich, Count von Hertzberg (1725 – May 22, 1795), Prussian statesman, who came of a noble family which had been settled in Pomerania since the 13th century, was born at Lottin, in that province. ...

Hanging in effigy of the Targowica Confederation traitors (Warsaw, 1794). Paining by Jan Piotr Norblin.
Hanging in effigy of the Targowica Confederation traitors (Warsaw, 1794). Paining by Jan Piotr Norblin.

A number of magnates who had opposed the Constitution from the start, such as Feliks Potocki and Ksawery Branicki, asked Tsarina Catherine to intervene and restore their privileges abolished under the Constitution. With her backing they formed the Targowica Confederation, and in their proclamation denounced the Constitution for spreading the "contagion of democratic ideas." They asserted that "The intentions of Her Highness the Empress of Russia [Catherine the Great], ally of the Polish Commonwealth, in introducing her army, are and have been none other than to restore to the Commonwealth and to Poles freedom, and in particular to all the country's citizens, security and happiness." On May 18, 1792, over 20,000 Confederates crossed the border into Poland, together with 97,000 veteran Russian troops. File links The following pages link to this file: Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 Targowica confederation Categories: Public domain images ... File links The following pages link to this file: Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 Targowica confederation Categories: Public domain images ... Categories: Stub | Polish confederations ... Warsaw (Polish: , (?), in full The Capital City of Warsaw, Polish: Miasto StoÅ‚eczne Warszawa) is the capital of Poland and its largest city. ... Jan Piotr Norblin de la Gourdaine (French: Jean Pierre) (15 July 1740 - 23 February 1830) was a French-born painter. ... Noble Family Potocki Coat of Arms Piława Parents Franciszek Salezy Potocki Anna Elzbieta Potocka Consorts Gertruda Komorowska Józefina Amalia Mniszech Zofia Celice-Clavone Children with Józefina Amalia Mniszech Pelagia Róża Potocka Szczęsny Jerzy Potocki Witoria Potocka Ludwika Potocka Róża Potocka Konstancja Potocka Stanisław Potocki Oktawia Potocka Jarosław Potocki Wlodzimierz Potocki... Ksawery Branicki can refer to: Franciszek Ksawery Branicki, (1730-1819) was a Polish nobleman, magnate and one of the leaders of the Targowica Confederation. ... Categories: Stub | Polish confederations ... May 18 is the 138th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (139th in leap years). ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


The Polish King and the reformers could field only a 37,000-man army, many of them untested recruits. The Polish Army, under the King's nephew Józef Poniatowski and Tadeusz Kościuszko, did defeat the Russians on several occasions, but the King himself dealt a deathblow to the Polish cause: when in July 1792 Warsaw was threatened with siege by the Russians, the King came to believe that victory was impossible against the Russian numerical superiority, and that surrender was the only alternative to total defeat and a massacre of the reformers. Noble Family Poniatowski Coat of Arms CioÅ‚ek Parents Andrzej Poniatowski Maria Teresa Kinsky Consorts Zelia SitaÅ„ska Zofia Potocka Children with Zelia SitaÅ„ska: Józef SzczÄ™sny Poniatowski; with Zofia Potocka: Karol Józef Poniatowski. ... Tadeusz Kościuszko. ...


On July 24, 1792, King Stanisław August abandoned the reformist cause and joined the Targowica Confederation. The Polish Army disintegrated. Many reform leaders, believing their cause lost, went into self-exile. July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... 1792 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


The King had not saved the Commonwealth, however. To the surprise of the Targowica Confederates, there ensued the Second Partition of Poland. Russia took 250,000 square kilometers, and Prussia took 58,000. The Commonwealth now comprised no more than 212,000 square kilometers. What was left of the Commonwealth was merely a small buffer state with a puppet king and a Russian army. The Partitions of Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Padalijimas) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... A buffer state is a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its sheer existence is thought to prevent conflict between them. ...


For a year and a half Polish patriots bided their time, while planning an insurrection. On March 24, 1794, in Kraków, Tadeusz Kościuszko declared what has come to be known as the Kościuszko Uprising. On May 7 he issued the "Proclamation of Połaniec" (Uniwersał Połaniecki), granting freedom to the peasants and ownership of land to all who fought in the insurrection. March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... 1794 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Kościuszko Uprising took place in Poland in 1794. ... May 7 is the 127th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (128th in leap years). ... Proclamation of PoÅ‚aniec (also known as PoÅ‚aniec Manifesto, Polish: ) issued on May 7, 1794 by Tadeusz KoÅ›ciuszko near the town of PoÅ‚aniec, was one of the most notable events of the KoÅ›ciuszko Uprising in Poland, and is the most famous legal acts in of the...


After some initial victories — the Battle of Racławice (April 4) and the capture of Warsaw (April 18) and Wilno (April 22) — the Uprising was dealt a crippling blow: the forces of Russia, Austria and Prussia joined in a military intervention. Historians consider the Uprising's defeat to have been a foregone conclusion in face of the gigantic numerical superiority of the three invading powers. The defeat of Kościuszko's forces led to the third and final partition of the Commonwealth in 1795. Battle of Racławice Conflict Kościuszko Uprising Date April 4, 1794 Place Racławice, Lesser Poland Result Polish victory The Battle of Racławice was one of the first battles of the Polish Kościuszko Uprising against Russia. ... April 4 is the 94th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (95th in leap years). ... The Partitions of Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Padalijimas) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ...


Legacy

Nevertheless, memory of the world's second modern codified national constitution — recognized by political scientists as a very progressive document for its time — for generations helped keep alive Polish aspirations for an independent and just society, and continues to inform the efforts of its authors' descendants. In Poland it is viewed as the culmination of all that was good and enlightened in Polish history and culture. The May 3rd anniversary of its adoption has been observed as Poland's most important civic, May 3 holiday, since Poland regained independence in 1918. This is a list of notable political scientists. ... The people of Poland took pride in their long history, filled with the struggle to get, keep, and regain freedom—the main value for Poles. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Civic can refer to multiple things: Civics, the science of comparative government Honda Civic, a small car produced by the Honda Motor Co. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... The word holiday has related but different meanings in English-speaking countries. ... Second Polish Republic 1921-1939 The Second Polish Republic is an unofficial name applied to the Republic of Poland between World War I and World War II. When the borders of the state were fixed in 1921, it had an area of 388. ...


Prior to the May 3rd Constitution, in Poland the term "constitution" (Polish: konstytucja) had denoted all the legislation, of whatever character, that had been passed at a Sejm. Only with the adoption of the May 3rd Constitution did konstytucja assume its modern sense of a fundamental document of governance. Bold textJAMES CHECKLEY Legislation (or statutory law) is law which has been promulgated (or enacted) by a legislature or other governing body. ...


The very concept of a codified national constitution was revolutionary in the history of political systems. The first such constitution was the Constitution of the United States of America, written in 1787, which began to function in 1789. The second was the Constitution adopted by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on May 3, 1791. These two charters of government form an important milestone in the history of democracy. Poland and the United States, though distant geographically, showed some notable similarities in their approaches to the design of political systems.[7] By contrast to the great absolute monarchies, both countries were remarkably democratic. The kings of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were elected, and the Commonwealth's parliament (the Sejm) possessed extensive legislative authority. Under the May 3rd Constitution, Poland afforded political privileges to its townspeople and to its nobility (the szlachta), which formed some ten percent of the country's population. This percentage closely approximated the extent of political access in contemporary America, where effective suffrage was limited to male property owners. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Page I of the Constitution of the United States of America Page II of the United States Constitution Page III of the United States Constitution Page IV of the United States Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America and is... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A Spanish kilometre stone A milestone on the Boston Post Road in Harvard Square, Massachusetts, USA Slate milestone near Bangor, Wales A milestone or kilometre sign is one of a series of numbered markers placed along a road at regular intervals, typically at the side of the road or in... The history of democracy traces back from its origins in prehistoric times to its re-emergence and rise from the 17th century to the present day. ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... Polish szlachcic. ...


The defeat of Poland's liberals was but a temporary setback to the cause of democracy. The destruction of the Polish state only slowed the expansion of democracy, by then already established in North America. Democratic movements soon began undermining the absolute monarchies of Europe. The May 3rd Constitution was translated, in abridged form, into French, German and English. French revolutionaries toasted King Stanisław August and the Constitution — not only for their progressive character, but because the War in Defense of the Constitution and the Kościuszko Uprising tied up appreciable Russian and Prussian forces that could not therefore be used against Revolutionary France. Thomas Paine regarded the May 3rd Constitution as a great breakthrough. Edmund Burke described it as "the noblest benefit received by any nation at any time…. Stanislas II has earned a place among the greatest kings and statesmen in history." In the end, the conservatives managed to delay the ascent of democracy in Europe only for a century; after the First World War most of the European monarchies were replaced by democratic states, including the reborn, Second Polish Republic. ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... Liberty Leading the People, a painting by Delacroix commemorating the July Revolution of 1830 but which has come to be generally accepted as symbolic of French popular uprisings against the monarchy in general and the French Revolution in particular. ... This conflict took place in 1792 between Poland and her ally the Kingdom of Prussia, on one side, and the Russian Empire on the other. ... The Kościuszko Uprising took place in Poland in 1794. ... Thomas Paine Thomas Paine (January 29, 1737 – June 8, 1809), intellectual, scholar, revolutionary, deist and idealist. ... Edmund Burke The Right Honourable Edmund Burke (January 12, 1729 – July 9, 1797) was an Anglo-Irish statesman, author, orator and political philosopher, who served for many years in the British House of Commons as a member of the Whig party. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Second Polish Republic 1921-1939 The Second Polish Republic is an unofficial name applied to the Republic of Poland between World War I and World War II. When the borders of the state were fixed in 1921, it had an area of 388. ...


Features

King Stanisław August described the May 3rd Constitution, according to a contemporary account, as "founded principally on those of England and the United States of America, but avoiding the faults and errors of both, and adapt[ed] as much as possible to the local and particular circumstances of the country." Indeed, the Polish and American national constitutions reflected similar Enlightenment influences, including Montesquieu's advocacy of a separation and balance of powers among the three branches of government — so that, in the words of the May 3rd Constitution (article V), "the integrity of the states, civil liberty, and social order remain always in equilibrium" — as well as Montesquieu's advocacy of a bicameral legislature. The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a period which includes the Age of Reason. ... Portrait of Montesquieu in 1728. ... The separation of powers (or trias politica, a term coined by French political thinker Montesquieu) is a model for the governance of the state. ... Montesquieu can refer to: Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu Several communes of France: Montesquieu, in the Hérault département Montesquieu, in the Lot-et-Garonne département Montesquieu, in the Tarn-et-Garonne département This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ...


The Constitution comprised 11 articles. It introduced the principle of popular sovereignty (applied to the nobility and townspeople) and a separation of powers into legislative (a bicameral Sejm), executive ("the King in his council") and judicial branches. Popular sovereignty is the doctrine that the state is created by and subject to the will of the people, who are the source of all political power. ... The separation of powers (or trias politica, a term coined by French political thinker Montesquieu) is a model for the governance of the state. ... A legislature is a governmental deliberative body with the power to adopt laws. ... In government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. ... This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... The judiciary, also referred to as the judicature, consists of justices, judges and magistrates among other types of adjudicators. ...


The Constitution advanced the democratization of the polity by limiting the excessive legal immunities and political prerogatives of landless nobility, while granting to the townspeople — in the earlier Our Free Royal Cities in the States of the Commonwealth Act (Polish: Miasta Nasze Królewskie wolne w państwach Rzeczypospolitej) of April 18, 1791, stipulated in Article III to be integral to the Constitution — personal security, the right to acquire landed property, eligibility for military officers' commissions, public offices, and membership in the nobility (szlachta). The Government Act also placed the Commonwealth's peasantry "under the protection of the national law and government" — a first step toward the ending of serfdom and the enfranchisement of that largest and most oppressed social class. [8] Polity is a general term that refers to political organization of a group. ... Immunity confers a status on a person or body that makes that person or body free from otherwise legal obligations such as, for example, liability for damages or punishment for criminal acts. ... April 18 is the 108th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (109th in leap years). ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... An officer is a member of a military service who holds a position of responsibility. ... The Lords and Barons prove their Nobility by hanging their Banners and exposing their Coats-of-arms at the door of the Lodge of the Heralds. ... Polish szlachcic. ... In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: the 16th century was a good time for European peasants A peasant, from 15th... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ...


The May 3rd Constitution provided for a Sejm, "ordinarily" meeting every two years and "extraordinarily" whenever required by a national emergency. Its lower chamber — the Chamber of Deputies (Polish: Izba Poselska) — comprised 204 deputies and 24 plenipotentiaries of royal cities; its upper chamber — the Chamber of Senators (Polish: Izba Senacka) — comprised 132 senators (voivodes, castellans, government ministers and bishops). This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... A lower house (sometimes known as the first chamber) is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. ... Chamber of Deputies is the name given to a legislative body, which may either be the lower house of a bicameral legislature, or the name of a unicameral one. ... The term plenipotentiary (from the Latin, plenus + potens, full + power) refers to, as a noun, a person who has, or as an adjective that confers, full powers. ... An upper house (sometimes known as a second chamber) is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ... The Polish Senate The Senate (Senat) is the upper house of the Polish parliament. ... A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... For the heavy metal music band see Voivod (band). ... A castellan was the governor or caretaker of a castle or keep. ... A minister or a secretary is a politician who heads a government ministry or department (e. ... A bishop is an ordained member of the Christian clergy who, in certain Christian churches, holds a position of authority. ...

Title page of Piotr Dufour's 1791 edition of the Polish May 3rd Constitution (Government Act).
Title page of Piotr Dufour's 1791 edition of the Polish May 3rd Constitution (Government Act).

Executive power was in the hands of the royal council, called the Guardianship of the Laws (Polish: Straż Praw). This council was presided over by the King and comprised 5 ministers appointed by him: a minister of police, minister of the seal (i.e. of internal affairs — the seal was a traditional attribute of the earlier Chancellor), minister of the seal of foreign affairs, minister belli (of war), and minister of treasury. The ministers were appointed by the King but responsible to the Sejm. In addition to the ministers, council members included the Roman Catholic Primate (who was also president of the Education Commission) and — without a voice — the Crown Prince, the Marshal of the Sejm, and two secretaries. This royal council was a descendant of the similar council that had functioned over the previous two centuries since King Henry's Articles (1573). Acts of the King required the countersignature of the respective minister. The stipulation that the King, "[d]oing nothing of himself, […] shall be answerable for nothing to the nation," parallels the British constitutional principle that "The King can do no wrong." (In both countries, the respective minister was responsible for the king's acts.) Download high resolution version (1272x2156, 338 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1272x2156, 338 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... A minister or a secretary is a politician who heads a government ministry or department (e. ... Internal Affairs can refer to: Internal Affairs, a 1990 movie[1] starring Richard Gere and Andy Garcia and which was set in the Internal Affairs department of the Los Angeles Police Department. ... Kanclerz (Polish for Chancellor, from latin:castellanus) was one of the highest officials in the historic Poland. ... This article is about a journal. ... A military or military force (n. ... The term treasury was first used in classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi or the many buildings put up in Olympia, Greece by competing city-states, to impress each other during the Ancient Olympic Games. ... This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Families 15, See classification A primate (L. prima, first) is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all the species commonly related to the lemurs, monkeys, and apes, with the latter category including humans. ... A Crown Prince or Crown Princess is the heir or heiress apparent to the throne in a royal or imperial monarchy. ... Marszałek sejmu (Sejm Marshal, Marshal of the Sejm) is the title of the Speaker (chair) of Sejm the lower house of Polish parliament since the 15th century. ... King Henrys Articles - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ...


To enhance Commonwealth integration and security, the Constitution abolished the erstwhile union of Poland and Lithuania in favor of a unitary state and changed the government from an individually- to a dynastically-elective monarchy. The latter provision was meant to reduce the destructive, vying influences of foreign powers at each royal election.[9] Under the terms of the May 3rd Constitution, on Stanisław August's death the throne of Poland was to become heraditory and pass to the Frederick Augustus I of Saxony from house of Wettin, which had provided two of Poland's recent elective kings. The term Polish-Lithuanian Union refers to a series of acts and alliances between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that lead to the creation of the Republic of Both Nations in 1569 and eventually to creation of a unified state in 1791. ... A map showing the unitary states. ... In common speech, the word individual most often refers to a person, or, by analogy, to any specific object in a group of things. ... // For other uses, see Dynasty (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Frederick Augustus I of Saxony Frederick Augustus I (or III) of Saxony (December 23, 1750 - May 5, 1827). ... The Wettin dynasty of German counts, dukes, Prince Electors (Kurfürsten) and kings ruled the area of todays German state of Saxony for more than 800 years as well as holding for a time the kingship of Poland. ...


The Constitution abolished several institutional sources of government weakness and national anarchy, including the liberum veto, confederations, confederated sejms (paradoxically, the Four-Year Sejm was itself a confederated sejm), and the excessive sway of sejmiks (regional sejms) stemming from the binding nature of their instructions to their Sejm deputies. Liberum veto (Latin: free veto) was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that allowed any deputy to a Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify all legislation already passed at it. ... A confederation is an association of sovereign states, usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution. ... Confederated sejm (Polish: sejm skonfederowany) was a form of sejm in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century. ... Sejm Czteroletni (Four-Year Sejm, also known as Sejm Wielki, the Great Sejm) was a Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth held in Warsaw, inaugurated in 1788. ... A sejmik (diminutive of the Polish sejm, or parliament) was a regional sejm in the pre-partition Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and earlier in the Kingdom of Poland. ...


The Constitution acknowledged the Roman Catholic faith as the "dominant religion," but guaranteed tolerance of, and freedom, to all religions. The Army was to be built up to 100,000 men. Standing income taxes were established (10% on the nobility, 20% on the church). Amendments to the constitution could be made every 25 years. The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... The cross of the war memorial and a menorah for Hanukkah coexist in Oxford. ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religion, as long as religious activities do not infringe on public order in ways detrimental to society. ... A tax (also known as a duty) is a financial charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... A constitutional amendment is an alteration to the constitution of a nation or a state. ...


The May 3rd Constitution recognized, as integral to itself, the act on Our Free Royal Cities in the States of the Commonwealth that had been passed on April 18, 1791 (Constitution, article III) and the act on regional sejms (Sejmiki) passed earlier on March 24, 1791 (article VI). Some authorities additionally regard as parts of the Constitution the Declaration of the Assembled Estates of May 5, 1791, confirming the Government Act adopted two days earlier, and the Mutual Declaration of the Two Peoples (i.e., of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) of October 22, 1791, affirming the unity and indivisibility of Poland and the Grand Duchy. The provisions of the Government Act were fleshed out in a number of implementing laws passed in May–June 1791 on sejms and sejm courts (two acts of May 13), the Guardianship (June 1), the national police commission (that is, ministry: June 17) and civic administration (June 24). April 18 is the 108th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (109th in leap years). ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... May 5 is the 125th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (126th in leap years). ... The presumable banner of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the coat of arms, called Пагоня in Belarusian, Vytis in Lithuanian and PogoÅ„ in Polish Another version of the Lithuanian banner The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji KunigaikÅ¡tystÄ—, Belarusian: Вялі́кае Кня́ства Літо́ўскае (ВКЛ), Ukrainian: Велике Князівство Литовське (ВКЛ), Polish: Wielkie KsiÄ™stwo Litewskie) was an... October 22 is the 295th day of the year (296th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 70 days remaining. ... 1791 (MDCCXCI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the lower chamber of Polish parliament. ... A sejm court was a court that sat in cases of impeachment--in the words of the May 3rd Constitution of 1791 (article VIII: the judicial authority)--of government ministers [...] charged with breach of law by a deputation designated to examine their deeds [...]. The composition and functioning of sejm courts... Civic can refer to multiple things: Civics, the science of comparative government Honda Civic, a small car produced by the Honda Motor Co. ... Look up Administration in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The May 3rd Constitution remained to the last a work in progress. Its co-author Hugo Kołłątaj announced work underway on "an economic constitution…guaranteeing all rights of property [and] securing protection and honor to all manner of labor…" Yet a third basic law was touched on by Kołłątaj: a "moral constitution," most likely a Polish analog to the American Bill of Rights and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... A bill of rights is a statement of certain rights which, under a societys laws, citizens and/or residents either have, want to have, or ought to have. ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, (French: La Déclaration des Droits de lHomme et du citoyen), was one of the fundamental documents of the French Revolution, defining a set of individual rights (and collective rights of the people vis a vis the state). ...


Holiday

May the 3rd was first declared a holiday (Holiday of the 3rd May Constitution, Święto Konstytucji 3 Maja) on 5th May, 1791. Illegal during the partitions, it was declared a holiday again in the Second Polish Republic in April, 1919. Delegalized by the Nazi Germany and Soviet Union occupiers during the Second World War, after the anti-communist student demonstrations in 1946 it was not supported by People's Republic of Poland, in which it was replaced by the Labor Day on May 1, and delegalized in January 1951. Until 1989, it was a common day for anti-government and anti-communist protests. After the fall of communism, in April 1990 it was restored, and in contemporary Poland it is an official holiday. The word holiday has related but different meanings in English-speaking countries. ... Second Polish Republic 1921-1939 The Second Polish Republic is an unofficial name applied to the Republic of Poland between World War I and World War II. When the borders of the state were fixed in 1921, it had an area of 388. ... Nazi Germany, or the Third Reich, commonly refers to Germany in the years 1933–1945, when it was under the firm control of the totalitarian and fascist ideology of the Nazi Party, with the Führer Adolf Hitler as dictator. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... The Peoples Republic of Poland or Polish Peoples Republic (Polish: Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, PRL) was the official name of Poland from 1952 to 1989, during its period of rule by the Communist party, officially called the Polish United Workers Party (Polska Zjednoczona Partia Robotnicza, or PZPR). ... Labour Day (or Labor Day) is an annual holiday that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. ... The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ...


Notes

  1.   Article IV (The peasants): "we accept under the protection of the law and of the national government the agricultural folk […] who constitute the most numerous populace in the nation and hence the greatest strength of the country [...]."
  2.   John Markoff describes the advent of modern codified national constitutions as one of the milestones of democracy, and states that "The first European country to follow the U.S. example was Poland in 1791." John Markoff, Waves of Democracy, 1996, ISBN 0803990197, p.121.
  3.   It bears noting that the contemporaneous United States Constitution sanctioned the continuation of slavery. Thus neither constitution enfranchised all its adult male population: the U.S. Constitution discriminated against America's slaves, the Polish Constitution — against Poland's peasants.
  4.   King Stanisław August himself had been elected in 1764 with the support of his ex-mistress, Russian Tsarina Catherine the Great — including bribes and a Russian army deployed only a few miles from the election sejm, meeting at Wola outside Warsaw.

For John Markoff, computing and technology writer, see John Markoff John Markoff is Professor of Sociology and History at the University of Pittsburgh. ... The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... Slavery is a condition in which one person, known as a slave, is under the control of another person, group, organization, or state. ... Madame de Pompadour the mistress of King Louis XV of France. ... Tsar (Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian цар, Russian , in scientific transliteration respectively car and car ), often spelled Czar or Tzar and sometimes Csar or Zar in English, is the official Slavonic title designating Emperor in the following states: Bulgaria in 913–1422 (for later usage in 1908–1946, see below) Serbia in... Catherine II (Екатерина II Алексеевна: Yekaterína II Alekséyevna, April 21, 1729 - November 6, 1796), born Sophie Augusta Fredericka, known as Catherine the Great, reigned as empress of Russia from June 28, 1762, to her death on November 6, 1796. ... Bribery is the practice of offering a professional money or other favours in order to circumvent ethics in a variety of professions. ... Election sejm (Polish: sejm elekcyjny) was one of three kinds of special sejm in pre-partition Poland. ... The neutrality of this article is disputed. ...

See also

The current Constitution of France was adopted on October 4, 1958, and has been amended 17 times, most recently on March 28, 2003. ... The history of democracy traces back from its origins in prehistoric times to its re-emergence and rise from the 17th century to the present day. ... Main article: Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth The Nihil novi act adopted by the Polish Diet in 1505 transferred all legislative power from the king to the Diet. ... The Magna Carta redirects here. ... Neminem captivabimus is a legal term in Polish historical law. ... The title page of the Nakaz. ... Swedens Constitution of 1772 took effect through a bloodless coup détat carried out by King Gustavus III, establishing a brief absolute monarchy in Sweden. ... Presidential Palace in Warsaw. ...

References

Inline:
  1. ^ George Sanford, Democratic Government in Poland: Constitutional Politics Since 1989, Palgrave, 2002, ISBN 0333774752, Google print p.11
  2. ^ Lietuvos TSR istorija. T. 1: Nuo seniausių laikų iki 1917 metų. - 2 leid. Vilnius, 1986, p. 222.
  3. ^ Maurice Cranston, The Solitary Self: Jean-Jacques Rousseau in Exile and Adversity, University of Chicago Press, 1997, ISBN 0226118657, Print p.177
  4. ^ Piotr Stefan Wandycz, The Price of Freedom: A History of East Central Europe from the Middle Ages to the Present, Routledge (UK), 2001, ISBN 0415254914, Google Print, p.128
  5. ^ Paul W. Schroeder, The Transformation of European Politics 1763-1848, Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 0198206542, Google print p.84
General:
  • Adam Zamoyski, The Polish Way: a Thousand-Year History of the Poles and Their Culture, New York, Hippocrene Books, 1994.
  • Jacek Jędruch, Constitutions, Elections and Legislatures of Poland, 1493-1993, Summit, NJ, EJJ Books, 1998, ISBN 0781806372.
  • Joseph Kasparek, The Constitutions of Poland and of the United States: Kinships and Genealogy, Miami, American Institute of Polish Culture, 1980.
  • Norman Davies, God's Playground, 2 vols., ISBN 0231053533 and ISBN 0231053517.
  • Paweł Jasienica, Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów (The Commonwealth of the Two Peoples), ISBN 8306010930.
  • John Markoff, Waves of Democracy, 1996, ISBN 0803990197
  • Emanuel Rostworowski, Maj 1791 - maj 1792: rok monarchii konstytucyjnej [May 1791 - May 1792: the Year of Constitutional Monarchy], Warsaw, Zamek Królewski [Royal Castle], 1985.

Adam Zamoyski - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... Jacek JÄ™druch (Warsaw, Poland, 1927 – Athens, Greece, 1995) was a Polish-American nuclear engineer and historian of Polish representative government. ... Józef Kasparek (1915-2002) was a Polish lawyer, historian and political scientist. ... Prof. ... PaweÅ‚ Jasienica was the pen-name of Leon Lech Beynar (November 10, 1909 – August 19, 1970), a Polish amateur historian, journalist, writer, soldier. ...

External links

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Constitution of May 3, 1791
Constitutions of Poland

May 3 • Duchy of Warsaw • Congress Poland • Small (1919)MarchApril • Small (1947) • People's Republic of Poland (1952) • Small (1992) • Current Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... Wikisource – The Free Library – is a Wikimedia project to build a free, wiki library of source texts, along with translations into any language and other supporting materials. ... Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo-en. ... Wikiquote logo Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... Small Constitution of 1919 refers to the Legislation of Sejm from 20 February 1919, regarding entrusting Józef PiÅ‚sudski with further execution of the office of Naczelnik PaÅ„stwa (Polish:). The legislation was published as Dz. ... The Second Polish Republic adopted the March Constitution of Poland on March 17, 1921, after ousting the occupation of the German/Prussian forces in the 1918 Greater Poland Uprising, and avoiding conquest by the Soviets in the 1920 Polish-Soviet War . ... The April Constitution of Poland ( Polish Ustawa konstytucyjna 23 IV 1935) was the general law passed by the act of the Polish Sejm on April 23, 1935. ... The Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997 was Polands first post-communist constitution. ...

Polish-Lithuanian Union

Union of KrewoUnion of Vilnius and Radom • Union of Horodło • Union of Grodno • Union of Kraków and Vilnius • Union of MielnikUnion of LublinMay 3 Constitution The term Polish-Lithuanian Union refers to a series of acts and alliances between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that lead to the creation of the Republic of Both Nations in 1569 and eventually to creation of a unified state in 1791. ... The Union of Krewo (or Union of Krevo) was a a political and dynastic agreement between Queen Jadwiga of Poland and Grand Prince Jagiello of Lithuania and the begining of the Polish-Lithuanian Union. ... The Union of Vilnius and Radom was a set of acts passed in 1401 in Vilnius, Lithuania, and confirmed in Radom later the same year. ... The Union of HorodÅ‚o was a set of acts introduced in the town of HorodÅ‚o in 1413. ... The Union of Grodno of 1432 was one of the acts of the Polish-Lithuanian Union. ... The Union of Mielnik of 1501 was an attempt to reintroduce the broken Polish-Lithuanian Union. ... The Union of Lublin, painted by Jan Matejko The Union of Lublin (Lithuanian: Liublino unija; Belarusian: Лю́блінская ву́нія; Polish: Unia lubelska) - signed on July 1, 1569 in Lublin, united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with the official... May 3rd Constitution (painting by Jan Matejko, 1891). ...


 
 

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