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Encyclopedia > Szlachta
Stanisław Antoni Szczuka, a Polish nobleman

Szlachta (['ʃlaxta] ) was the noble class in Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the two countries that later jointly formed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The nobility arose in the late Middle Ages and existed through the 18th century and into the 19th. Traditionally, its members were owners of landed property, often in the form of folwarks. The nobility enjoyed substantial and almost unrivalled political privileges until the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the late 18th century. Distinctions of nobility were officially abolished by Poland's 1921 March Constitution, though nobility remains widely claimed in various strata of Polish society at home and abroad. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Noble Family Szczuka Coat of Arms Grabie Parents StanisÅ‚aw Szczuka Zofia Szpilewska Neronowiczów Consorts Konstancja Maria Anna Potocka Children with Konstancja Maria Anna Potocka August Michal Szczuka Marcin Leopold Stefan Szczuka Jan Konsty Szczuka Wiktoria Szczuka Maria Anna Szczuka Date of Birth 1652 or 1654 Place of Birth... Image File history File links Szlachta. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuanian: , Ruthenian: Wialikaje Kniastwa Litowskaje, Ruskaje, Å»amojckaje, Belarusian: , Ukrainian: , Polish: , Latin: ) was an Eastern and Central European state of the 12th[1] /13th century until the 18th century. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Landed property or landed estates is a real estate term that usually refers to a property that generates income for the owner without himself having to do the actual work at the estate. ... Folwark is a Polish word for the giant farms (in Latin, latifundia) that were operated in Poland or the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the 14th century into the 20th, whose purpose was to produce surplus produce for export. ... A privilege—etymologically private law or law relating to a specific individual—is an honour, or permissive activity granted by another person or a government. ... The Partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Lietuvos-Lenkijos padalijimai, Belarusian: Падзелы Рэчы Паспалітай) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Year 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... 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 . ...

Contents

History

Etymology

The Polish term "szlachta" designates the "noble class". In official Latin documents the old Commonwealth hereditary szlachta is referred to as "nobilitas" and is equivalent to the English nobility. There used to be a widespread misconception to translate "szlachta" as "gentry", because some nobles were poor. Some were even poorer than the non-noble gentry that declined with the 'second serfdom' and re-emerged after the Partitions. Some would even become tenants to the gentry but still kept their constitutional superiority. But it's not wealth or lifestyle (as with the gentry) but a hereditary legal status of a nobleman that makes you one. A specific nobleman was called a "szlachcic," and a noblewoman, a "szlachcianka." Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Partitions of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Polish: Rozbiór Polski or Rozbiory Polski; Lithuanian: Lietuvos-Lenkijos padalijimai, Belarusian: Падзелы Рэчы Паспалітай) took place in the 18th century and ended the existence of the sovereign Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ...


"Szlachta" derives from the Old German word "slahta" (now "(Adels)Geschlecht," "(noble)family"), much as many other Polish words pertaining to the nobility derive from German words — e.g., the Polish "rycerz" ("knight," cognate of the German "Ritter") and the Polish "herb" ("coat of arms," from the German "Erbe," "heritage"). Poles of the 17th century assumed that "szlachta" was from the German "schlachten" ("to slaughter" or "to butcher"); also suggestive is the German "Schlacht" ("battle"). Early Polish historians thought the term may have derived from the name of the legendary proto-Polish chief, Lech, mentioned in Polish and Czech writings. "Szlachta" is thought by some simply to mean "Lechitians," or "Lech's people" (in modern Polish, "z Lecha"), probably denoting the ruling warrior class in Lech's tribe. Even today, some Ukrainians refer to Poles as "Lakhy" (Lechitians), while the Turks use the term "Lekh." German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Forefather ÄŒech. ...


"Šlėkta" is a derivative from a Polish term used in the Lithuanian language having more or less the same meaning usually with a negative nuance. Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania, spoken by about 4 million native speakers (Lithuanians). ...


Kindred terms that might be applied to an early Polish nobleman were "rycerz" (from German Ritter, "knight"), the Latin "nobilis" ("noble"; plural: "nobiles") and "możny" ("magnate," "oligarch"; plural: "możni"). Some powerful Polish nobles were referred to as "magnates" (Polish singular: "magnat", plural: "magnaci"). It has to remembered however, that not all knights were nobles. The silver Anglia knight, commissioned as a trophy in 1850, intended to represent the Black Prince. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ... Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ... Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ...


Today the word szlachta in the Polish language denotes any noble class in the world. In broadest meaning, it can also denote some non-hereditary honorary knighthoods granted today by some European monarchs. Even some 19th century non-noble landed gentry would be called szlachta by courtesy or error as they owned manorial estates but were not noble by birth. In the narrow sense it denotes the old-Commonwealth nobility. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Origins

See also: History of Poland (966-1385) In the first centuries of its existence, the Polish nation was led by a series of strong rulers who converted the Poles to Christendom, created a strong Central European state, and integrated Poland into European culture. ...

"Union of Lublin" (1569). Painting by Jan Matejko, 1869, Castle Museum, Lublin.
"Union of Lublin" (1569). Painting by Jan Matejko, 1869, Castle Museum, Lublin.

Jan Matejko (1838-1893) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... Jan Matejko (1838-1893) The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... 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... Events January 11 - First recorded lottery in England. ... Jan Matejko , self-portrait. ... For other uses, see Lublin (disambiguation). ...

Polish

The Polish nobility probably derived from a Slavic warrior class, forming a distinct element within the ancient Polonic tribal groupings. This is uncertain, however, as there is little documentation on the early history of Poland, or of the movements of the Slavonic people into what became the territory so designated. The szlachta themselves claimed descent from the Sarmatians (see paragraph 2.2 below) who came to Europe in the 5th century C.E. Around the 14th century, there was little difference between knights and the szlachta in Poland. Members of the szlachta had the personal obligation to defend the country (pospolite ruszenie), thereby becoming the kingdom's privileged social class. The Slavic peoples are the most numerous ethnic and linguistic body of peoples in Europe. ... 17th Century Brazilian Tapuia A warrior is a person habitually engaged in warfare. ... Sarmatia Europea in Scythia map 1697 AD Sarmatia Europæa separated from Sarmatia Asiatica by the Tanais (the River Don), based on Greek literary sources, in a map printed in London, ca 1770 Great steppe in early spring. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with levée en masse. ...


Concerning the early Polish tribes, geography contributed to long-standing traditions. The Polish tribes were internalized and organized around a unifying religious cult, governed by the wiec, an assembly of free tribesmen. Later, when safety required power to be consolidated, an elected prince was chosen to govern. Removal of the veche bell from Novgorod to Moscow in 1478. ...


The tribes were clans (ród) consisting of people related by blood and descending from a common ancestor, giving the ród/clan a highly developed sense of solidarity. (See gens.) The starosta (or starszyna) had judicial and military power over the ród/clan, although this power was often exercised with an assembly of elders. Strongholds called grόd were built where the religious cult was powerful, where trials were conducted, and where clans gathered in the face of danger. The opole was the territory occupied by a single clan. (MANTEUFFEL 1982, p. 44). Rod, sometimes referred to simply as god (Div, Diy; in the Veda Slovena Diy or Dia), is probably the most ancient deity in the Slavic pantheon. ... GENS is an open source emulator for the Sega Genesis (Sega Megadrive). ... The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (or The Republic of the Two Nations, Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów in Polish; Belarusian: Рэч Паспалі́тая) was a federal monarchy-republic formed by the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, between 1569... Reconstructed gord in Biskupin, Poland although it is not Slavonic gord (it is much older), it is good illustration how gords looked like The ancient Slavs were known for building wooden fortified settlements. ...


Before going deeper into the history of Polish nobility, it is important to note use of the English word "knight," which can be misleading as it leads to inevitable comparisons with the British gentry. In comparison, the Polish nobility was a "power elite" caste, not a social class. The paramount principle of Polish nobility was it was hereditary.[1]


Mieszko I of Poland (c. 935 – 25 May 992) utilized an elite knightly retinue from his army, which he depended upon for success in uniting the Lekhitic tribes and preserving the unity of his state. Documented proof exists of Mieszko I's successors utilizing such a retinue, too. Reign From c. ... Events Václav (Saint Wenceslas), Duke of the Bohemians, murdered by his brother, Boleslav I, who succeeds him Gyeonhwon, the king of Hubaekje, is overthrown by his eldest son Singeom. ... Boleslaus I becomes Duke of Poland Battle of Conquereuil - Fulk Nerra defeats Conan I of Rennes, who is killed in the battle. ... Distribution of Slavic peoples by language Lechites or Lekhites (Polish: ) - name for some tribes of West Slavs whose shared quality was the usage of the Lechitic languages. ...


Another class of knights were granted land by the prince, allowing them to serve the prince militarily. A Polish nobleman living at this time before the 15th century was referred to as a "rycerz" (German "ritter"), very roughly equivalent to the English "knight", the critical difference being the status of "rycerz" was strictly hereditary; the class of all such individuals was known as the "rycerstwo". Representing the wealthier families of Poland and itinerant knights from abroad seeking their fortunes, this other class of rycerstwo, which became the szlachta/nobility ("szlachta" becomes the proper term for Polish nobility beginning about the 15th century), gradually formed apart from Mieszko I's and his successors' elite retinues. This rycerstwo/nobility obtained more privileges granting them favored status. They were absolved from particular burdens and obligations under ducal law, resulting in the belief only rycerstwo (those combining military prowess with high/noble birth) could serve as officials in state administration. Ritter is the lowest-ranking title of lower nobility, in German-speaking areas, considered equal to the title Knight. ...


Select rycerstwo were distinguished above the other rycerstwo, because they descended from past tribal dynasties, or because early Piasts' endowments made them select beneficiaries. These rycerstwo of great wealth were called możni (Magnates). Socially they were not a distinct class from the rycerstwo they originated from and to which they would return were their wealth lost. (MANTEUFFEL 1982, pp. 148-149). This article is about a Polish dynasty. ...


The Period of Division, A.D., 1138 - A.D., 1314, nearly 200 years of feudal fragmentation, when Bolesław III divided Poland among his sons, began the social structure allegedly separating great landowning feudal nobles (możni/Magnates, both ecclesiastical and lay) from the rycerstwo they originated from. The prior social structure was one of Polish tribes united into the historic Polish nation under a state ruled by the Piast dynasty, this dynasty appearing circa 850 A.D. BolesÅ‚aw III Wrymouth. ... This article is about a Polish dynasty. ...


Some możni (Magnates) descending from past tribal dynasties regarded themselves as co-proprietors of Piast realms, even though the Piasts attempted to deprive them of their independence.[2] These możni (Magnates) constantly sought to undermine princely authority. In Gall Anonim's chronicle, there is noted the nobility's alarm when the palatine/Magnate Sieciech "elevated those of a lower class over those who were noble born" entrusting them with state offices.[3] Gallus Anonymus (Polish: Gall Anonim) living in 11th and 12th century was the first Polish historian, author of Cronicae et gesta ducum sive principum Polonorum (c. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


Lithuanian

Main article: Lithuanian nobility

In Lithuania Propria, Samogitia and Prussia before the creation of the Lithuanian state by Mindaugas nobles were called 'bajorai' and higher nobility 'kunigai' or 'kunigaikščiai' (Dukes). They were established local leaders, leading war operations. At the process of establishment of the state they gradually became subordinates to Higher Dukes, and later to the King of Lithuania and eventually Grand Duke of Lithuania. Early Lithuanian rulers held the title of didysis kunigaikštis (did-ee-sis kunigaik-sh-tis) (literally great duke), which was equivalent to either grand duke or king. High nobles hold a title of kunigaikštis (duke). ... Map showing changes in the territory of Lithuania from the 13th century to the present day Lithuania proper (Lithuanian: Didžioji Lietuva) is a term used to contrast the main Lithuanian territory with the Lithuania Minor (Lithuanian: Mažoji Lietuva). ... Etnographic regions of Lithuania. ... Old Prussia was the land extending from the south-eastern coast of the Baltic Sea to the Masurian Lakes district, known as Prussia, was called Brus in the 8th century map of the Bavarian Geographer. ... Mindaugas King of Lithuania Mindaugas monument in Vilnius Mindaugas (approximate English transcription [ˈmın. ... King of Lithuania was the title of the ruler of Lithuania. ... The presumable banner of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with the coat of arms, called Пагоня in Belarusian, Vytis in Lithuanian and Pogoń in Polish Another version of the Lithuanian banner The Grand Duchy of Lithuania ( Lithuanian: Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštyst...


After the Union of Horodło Lithuanian nobility acquired equal rights with Polish szlachta, and during centuries began to gravitate towards Polish language, although they did preserve its national awareness of Grand Duchy, and in most cases recognition of their Lithuanian family roots. In the 16th century new established theory amongst Lithuanian nobility was popular, claiming that Lithuanian nobility was of Roman extraction, and the Lithuanian language was just a morphed Latin language. The Union of HorodÅ‚o was a set of acts introduced in the town of HorodÅ‚o in 1413. ... One of the most influential doctrines in history is that all humans are divided into groups called nations. ... Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania, spoken by about 4 million native speakers (Lithuanians). ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...


Process of Polonisation took part, although it lasted quite long time. At first only magnates families were affected, although gradually it evolved to wider group of population. The major effects on the lesser Lithuanian nobility took its place after Russian Empire sanctions removing Lithuania from names of Gubernya's and announcing that "every Lithuanian is a Russian seduced by Poles and Chrisitianty" banning the print in Lithuanian language. Polonization (in Polish: polonizacja) is the assumption, voluntary or involuntary, complete or partial, of the Polish language or another real or supposed Polish attribute. ... Anthem God Save the Tsar! The Russian Empire in 1914 Capital Moscow Language(s) Russian Religion Russian Orthodoxy Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1721–1725 Peter the Great  - 1894–1917 Nicholas II History  - Accession of Peter I May 7, 1682 NS, April 27, 1682 OS²  - Empire proclaimed October 22, 1721 NS, October...


Ruthenian

In Ruthenia the nobility gradually gravitated its loyalty towards the multicultural and multilingual Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the principality of Halych became a part of it. Many noble Ruthenian families intermarried with Lithuanian ones. Ruthenia is a name applied to parts of Eastern Europe which were populated by Eastern Slavic peoples, as well as to various states that existed in this territory in the past. ... The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Lithuanian: , Ruthenian: Wialikaje Kniastwa Litowskaje, Ruskaje, Żamojckaje, Belarusian: , Ukrainian: , Polish: , Latin: ) was an Eastern and Central European state of the 12th[1] /13th century until the 18th century. ... Jackdaw on the coat-of-arms of Galicia alludes to the name of Halych Halych (Russian and Ukrainian: ) is a historic town in Western Ukraine on the Dniester River. ...


The Orthodox nobles' rights were nominally equal to those enjoyed by Polish and Lithuanian nobility, but there was a cultural pressure to convert to Catholicism, that was greatly eased in 1596 by the Union of Brest. See for example careers of Senator Adam Kisiel and Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki. Events February 5 - 26 catholics crucified in Nagasaki, Japan. ... Union of Brest (Belarusian: Берасьце́йская ву́нія) refers to the 1595-1596 decision of the (Ruthenian) Church of Rus, the Metropolia of Kiev-Halych and all Rus, to break relations with the Patriarch of Constantinople and place themselves under the (patriarch) Pope of Rome, in order to avoid the domination of the newly... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Franciszek Jerzy Kulczycki of Sas Coat of Arms (1640-1694; his name often rendered Kolschitzky in German) was a Polish 17th century merchant, spy, diplomat and soldier. ...


Szlachta rise to power

See also Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth#State organisation and politics Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Nobles were born into a noble family, adopted by a noble family (this was abolished in 1633) or ennobled by a king or Sejm for various reasons (bravery in combat, service to the state, etc. - yet this was the rarest means of gaining noble status). Many nobles were, in actuality, really usurpers, being peasants or merchants, who moved into another part of the country and falsely pretended to noble status. Hundreds of such false nobles were denounced by Walerian Nekanda Trepka in his Liber generationis plebeanorium (or Liber chamorum) in the first half of 16th century. Many sejms issued decrees over the centuries in an attempt to resolve this issue, but with little success. It is unknown what percentage of the Polish nobility came from the 'lower' orders of society, but most historians agree that nobles of such base origins formed a 'significant' element of the szlachta. The Lords and Barons prove their Nobility by hanging their Banners and exposing their Coats-of-arms at the Windows of the Lodge of the Heralds. ... Nobilitation means the act of making one a noble - member of nobility social class. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ...


The Polish nobility enjoyed many rights that were not available to the noble classes of other countries and, typically, each new monarch conceded them further privileges. Those privileges became the basis of the Golden Liberty in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Despite having a king, Poland was called the nobility's Commonwealth) because the king was elected by all interested members of hereditary nobility and Poland was considered to be the property of this class, not of the king or the ruling dynasty. This state of affairs grew up in part because of the extinction of the male-line descendants of the old royal dynasty (first the Piasts, then the Jagiellons), and the selection by the nobility of the Polish king from among the dynasty's female-line descendants. “King” redirects here. ... 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... Rzeczpospolita (pronounced: ) is a Polish word for republic or commonwealth, a calque translation of the Latin expression res publica (public affair). The word rzeczpospolita has been used in Poland since at least 16th century, originally a generic term to denote any democratic state. ... Election of Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki as king of Poland at Wola, outside Warsaw ( 1669). ... // For other uses, see Dynasty (disambiguation). ... The Piast dynasty is a line of Kings and dukes that ruled Poland from its beginnings as an independent state up to 1370. ... ...

Jan Klemens Branicki, holding hetman's buława.
Jan Klemens Branicki, holding hetman's buława.

Poland's successive kings granted privileges to the nobility at the time of their election to the throne (the privileges being specified in the king-elect's Pacta conventa) and at other times in exchange for ad hoc permission to raise an extraordinary tax or a pospolite ruszenie. Jan Klemens Branicki This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Jan Klemens Branicki This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This article is about the 18th century Hetman. ... Hetman`s coat of arms Hetman Stanisław Koniecpolski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Hetman was the title of the second highest military commander (after the monarch) used in 15th to 18th century Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, known from 1569 to 1795 as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... The first pacta conventa, acceded to by Henryk Walezy (Henri de Valois), 1573. ... Ad hoc is a Latin phrase which means for this [purpose]. It generally signifies a solution that has been tailored to a specific purpose, such as a tailor-made suit, a handcrafted network protocol, and specific-purpose equation and things like that. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with levée en masse. ...


Poland's nobility thus accumulated a growing array of privileges and immunities:


In 1355 in Buda King Casimir III issued the first country-wide privilege for the nobility, in exchange for their agreement that in the lack of Kazimierz male heirs, the throne would pass to his nephew, King Louis "the Great". He decreed that the nobility would no longer be required to pay 'extraordinary' taxes, or pay with their own funds for military expeditions outside Poland. He also promised that during travels of the royal court, the king and the court would pay for all expenses, instead of using facilities of local nobility. Events January 7 - Portuguese king Afonso IV sends three men to kill Ines de Castro, beloved of his son prince Pedro - Pedro revolts and incites a civil war. ... Buda (German: Ofen, Croatian: Budim, Slovak: Budín, Serbian: Будим or Budim, Turkish: Budin) is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the right bank of the Danube. ... Noble Family or Dynasty Piast dynasty Coat of Arms Piast Eagle Parents WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw I the Elbow-high, Jadwiga Kaliszka, of Gniezno and Greater Poland Consorts Aldona Ona, Adelheid of Hessen, Christina, Jadwiga of Glogow and Sagan Children 5 daughters Date of Birth 1310 Place of Birth Kowal Date... Louis the Great. ... Tax rates around the world Tax revenue as % of GDP Economic policy Monetary policy Central bank   Money supply Fiscal policy Spending   Deficit   Debt Trade policy Tariff   Trade agreement Finance Financial market Financial market participants Corporate   Personal Public   Banking   Regulation        A tax is a financial charge or other levy imposed on...


In 1374 King Louis "the Great" approved the Privilege of Koszyce (Polish: "przywilej koszycki" or "ugoda koszycka") in Košice in order to guarantee the Polish throne for his daughter Jadwiga. He broadened the definition of who was a member of the nobility and exempted the entire class from all but one tax (łanowy, which was limited to 2 grosze from łan (an old measure of land size)). In addition, the King's right to raise taxes was abolished; no new taxes could be raised without the agreement of the nobility. Henceforth, also, district offices (Polish: "urzędy ziemskie") were reserved exclusively for local nobility, as the Privilege of Koszyce forbade the king to grant official posts and major Polish castles to foreign knights. Finally, this privilege obliged the King to pay indemnities to nobles injured or taken captive during a war outside Polish borders. Events June 24 - Dancing mania begins in Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen), possibly due to ergotism King Gongmin is assassinated and King U ascends to the Goryeo throne Births April 11 - Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March, heir to the throne of England (died 1398) Leonardo Bruni, Italian humanist (died 1444... Louis the Great. ... Privilege of Koszyce The Privilege of Koszyce was a set of concessions made by Louis I of Hungary to the Polish szlachta in 1374. ... Statue of KoÅ¡ices coat of arms St. ... This article is about the 14th-century queen and saint. ... Grosz may refer to: Grosh [groÅ¡], a small silver coin issued by a number of countries. ... Ancient Polish weights and measures included: Garniec [1] Grzywna [2] and [3] KamieÅ„ [4] Korzec [5] Krok [6] Kwarta [7] Kwartnik [8] Łan [9] Łaszt [10] Ławka [11] Łokieć [12] Łut [13] Morga [14] Pacierz [15] PiÄ™dź [16] Skojec [17] Staje [18] Stopa [19] Wiardunek [20] ZdrowaÅ›ka [21... Offices in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth article presents the organizational structure and administrative system of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Indemnity is a legal exemption from the penalties or liabilities incurred by any course of action. ...


In 1422 King Władysław II Jagiełło by the Privilege of Czerwińsk (Polish: "przywilej czerwiński") established the inviolability of nobles' property (their estates could not be confiscated except upon a court verdict) and ceded some jurisdiction over fiscal policy to the Royal Council (later, the Senat), including the right to mint coinage. Events January 10 - Battle of Nemecky Brod during the Hussite Wars. ... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw II JagieÅ‚Å‚o. ... Fiscal policy is the economic term that defines the set of principles and decisions of a government in setting the level of public expenditure and how that expenditure is funded. ... A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... MiNT (MiNT is Now TOS) is an alternative operating system (OS) kernel for the Atari ST computer and its successors which is free software. ... Coinage is: A Drinking game also known as Quarters a series of coins struck as part of currency a magazine about numismatics, capitalized: COINage The right or process of making coins The creation of a neologism, or new word; see word coinage The duty or tax on refined tin, abolished...


In 1430 with the Privileges of Jedlnia, confirmed at Kraków in 1433 (Polish: "przywileje jedlneńsko-krakowskie"), based partially on his earlier Brześć Kujawski privilege (April 25, 1425), King Władysław II Jagiełło granted the nobility a guarantee against arbitrary arrest, similar to the English Magna Carta's Habeas corpus, known from its own Latin name as "neminem captivabimus (nisi jure victum)." Henceforth no member of the nobility could be imprisoned without a warrant from a competent court of justice: the king could neither punish nor imprison any noble at his whim. King Władysław's quid pro quo for this boon was the nobles' guarantee that his throne would be inherited by one of his sons (who would be bound to honour the privileges theretofore granted to the nobility). On May 2, 1447 the same king issued the Wilno Privilege which gave the Lithuanian boyars the same rights as those possessed by the Polish szlachta. // Events May 23 - Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne The Ottoman Empire captures Thessalonica from the Venetians First use of optical methods in the creation of Art A map of Europe in 1430. ... Wawel Hill, Old Town, Kraków. ... Events Births June 23 - Francis II, Duke of Brittany Kettil Karlsson Vasa, later Regent of Sweden. ... Brześć Kujawski is a town in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodship, Poland. ... April 25 is the 115th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (116th in leap years). ... Events Foundation of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium Births John II, Duke of Lorraine (died 1470) Edmund Sutton, English nobleman (died 1483) Deaths January 18 - Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, English politician (born 1391) March 17 - Ashikaga Yoshikazu, Japanese shogun (born 1407) May 24 - Murdoch Stewart, 2nd Duke of... WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw II JagieÅ‚Å‚o. ... Magna Carta Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter, literally Great Paper), also called Magna Carta Libertatum (Great Charter of Freedoms), is an English charter originally issued in 1215. ... In common law, habeas corpus (/heɪbiÉ™s kɔɹpÉ™s/) (Latin: [We command that] you have the body) is the name of a legal action or writ by means of which detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment. ... Neminem captivabimus is a legal term in Polish historical law. ... Quid pro quo (Latin for something for something [1]) indicates a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. ... May 2 is the 122nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (123rd in leap years). ... Events March 6 - Nicholas V becomes Pope. ... A boyar (also spelled bojar) or bolyarin was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Russian, Romanian and Bulgarian aristocracy, second only to the ruling princes, from the tenth through the seventeenth century. ...

Polish szlachta (nobles) in Gdańsk. Painting by Wilhelm August Stryowski.
Polish szlachta (nobles) in Gdańsk. Painting by Wilhelm August Stryowski.

In 1454 King Kazimierz IV Jagiellon granted the Nieszawa Statutes (Polish: "statuty cerkwicko-nieszawskie"), clarifying the legal basis of voivodship sejmiks (local parliaments). The king could promulgate new laws, raise taxes, or call for a levée en masse (pospolite ruszenie) only with the consent of the sejmiks, and the nobility were protected from judicial abuses. The Nieszawa Statutes also curbed the power of the magnates, as the Sejm (national parliament) received the right to elect many officials, including judges, voivods and castellans. These privileges were demanded by the szlachta as a compensation for their participation in the Thirteen Years' War. Download high resolution version (813x963, 275 KB)Szlachta polska w Gdańsku painted by Wilhelm August Stryowski 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 (813x963, 275 KB)Szlachta polska w Gdańsku painted by Wilhelm August Stryowski This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... GdaÅ„sk ( ; IPA: ), also known by its German name Danzig ( ) and several other names, is the sixth-largest city in Poland and is Polands principal seaport and the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. ... Polish szlachta (nobility) in GdaÅ„sk, by Stryowski. ... Events February 4 - In the Thirteen Years War, the Secret Council of the Prussian Confederacy sends a formal act of disobedience to the Grand Master. ... Kazimierz IV Jagiellon ((?)Polish: , Lithuanian: ; 1427 - 1492), of the House of Jagiellons, was Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1440 and King of Poland from 1447 to his death. ... The Nieszawa Statutes (Polish: statuty nieszawskie) were a set of laws enacted in the Kingdom of Poland in 1454, in the town of Nieszawa. ... A Voivodship (also voivodeship, Romanian: voievodat, Polish: województwo, Serbian: vojvodstvo or vojvodina) was a feudal state in medieval Romania, Hungary, Poland, Russia and Serbia (see Vojvodina), ruled by a Voivod (voivode). ... 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. ... Promulgation is the act of formally proclaiming new legislation to the public. ... Levée en masse (literally Mass uprising) is a French term for mass conscription. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with levée en masse. ... Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Voivod or (more common) voivoda is a Slavic term initially denoting first in command of a military unit. ... A castellan was the governor or caretaker of a castle or keep. ... The Thirteen Years War (also called the War of the Cities) started out as an uprising by Prussian cities and the local nobility with the goal of gaining independence from the Teutonic Knights. ...


The first "free election" (Polish: "wolna elekcja") of a king took place in 1492. (To be sure, some earlier Polish kings had been elected with help from bodies such as that which put Casimir II on the throne, thereby setting a precedent for free elections.) Only senators voted in the 1492 free election, which was won by Jan I Olbracht. For the duration of the Jagiellonian Dynasty, only members of that royal family were considered for election; later, there would be no restrictions on the choice of candidates. Election of Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki as king of Poland at Wola, outside Warsaw ( 1669). ... Not to be confused with 1492: Conquest of Paradise. ... Casimir II the Just on a painting by Jan Matejko Casimir II the Just (1138 - 5 May 1194; Polish: Kazimierz II Sprawiedliwy) of the Piast dynasty was the youngest son of Boleslaus III of Poland. ... A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... Reign September 23, 1492 - June 17, 1501. ... The Jagiellons were a royal dynasty which reigned in some Central European countries between the 14th and 16th century. ...


In 1493 the national parliament, the Sejm, began meeting every two years at Piotrków. It comprised two chambers: 1493 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... Piotrków Trybunalski is a town in central Poland with 81,200 inhabitants (2004). ...

  • a Senate of 81 bishops and other dignitaries; and
  • a Chamber of Envoys of 54 envoys (in Polish, "envoy" is "poseł") representing their respective Lands.

The numbers of senators and envoys later increased. A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ... Offices in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth article presents the organizational structure and administrative system of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ...


On April 26, 1496 King Jan I Olbracht granted the Privilege of Piotrków (Polish: "przywilej piotrkowski", "konstytucja piotrkowska" or "statuty piotrkowskie"), increasing the nobility's feudal power over serfs. It bound the peasant to the land, as only one son (not the eldest) was permitted to leave the village; townsfolk (Polish: "mieszczaństwo") were prohibited from owning land; and positions in the Church hierarchy could be given only to nobles. is the 116th day of the year (117th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1496 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Reign September 23, 1492 - June 17, 1501. ... Feudalism comes from the Late Latin word feudum, itself borrowed from a Germanic root *fehu, a commonly used term in the Middle Ages which means fief, or land held under certain obligations by feodati. ... Costumes of Slaves or Serfs, from the Sixth to the Twelfth Centuries, collected by H. de Vielcastel, from original Documents in the great Libraries of Europe. ... It has been suggested that Ecclesia (Church) be merged into this article or section. ...


On 23 October 1501, at Mielnik Polish-Lithuanian Union was reformed at the Union of Mielnik (Polish: unia mielnicka, unia piotrkowsko-mielnicka). It was there that the tradition of the coronation Sejm (Polish: "Sejm koronacyjny") was founded. Once again the middle nobility (middle in wealth, not in rank) attempted to reduce the power of the magnates with a law that made them impeachable before the Senate for malfeasance. However the Act of Mielno (Polish: Przywilej mielnicki) of 25 October did more to strengthen the magnate dominated Senate of Poland then the lesser nobility. The nobles were conceded the right to refuse to obey the King or his representatives--in the Latin, "non praestanda oboedientia"--and to form confederations, an armed rebellion against the king or state officers if the nobles thought that the law or their legitimate privileges were being infringed. October 23 is the 296th day of the year (297th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1501 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the town in Bulgaria see Melnik, Bulgaria. ... 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 Mielnik of 1501 was an attempt to reintroduce the broken Polish-Lithuanian Union. ... Election sejm (Polish: sejm elekcyjny) was one of three kinds of special sejm in pre-partition Poland. ... Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ... The expressions misfeasance and nonfeasance, and occasionally malfeasance, are used in English law with reference to the discharge of public obligations existing by common law, custom or statute. ... October 25 is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Polish Senate The Senate (Senat) is the upper house of the Polish parliament. ... Konfederacja (Polish for confederation) was a temporary association formed by Polish nobility (szlachta), clergy or cities in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for the attainment of stated aims. ...

"The Commonwealth's Power at Its Zenith. Golden Liberty. The Election of 1573." Painting by Jan Matejko.
"The Commonwealth's Power at Its Zenith. Golden Liberty. The Election of 1573." Painting by Jan Matejko.

On 3rd May 1505 King Aleksander I Jagiellon granted the Act of "Nihil novi nisi commune consensu" (Latin: "I accept nothing new except by common consent"). This forbade the king to pass any new law without the consent of the representatives of the nobility, in Sejm and Senat assembled, and thus greatly strengthened the nobility's political position. Basically, this act transferred legislative power from the king to the Sejm. This date commonly marks the beginning of the First Rzeczpospolita, the period of a szlachta-run "Commonwealth". The Republic at Zenith of Power. ... The Republic at Zenith of Power. ... 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... Election of Michal Korybut Wisniowiecki as king of Poland at Wola, outside Warsaw ( 1669). ... Year 1573 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... Jan Matejko , self-portrait. ... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... 1505 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Reign December 12, 1501 - August 19, 1506. ... A fragment of this article needs translation from Polish into English. ... Rzeczpospolita (pronounced: ) is a Polish word for republic or commonwealth, a calque translation of the Latin expression res publica (public affair). The word rzeczpospolita has been used in Poland since at least 16th century, originally a generic term to denote any democratic state. ...


In 1520 the Act of Bydgoszcz granted the Sejm the right to convene every four years, with or without the king's permission. Year 1520 (MDXX) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ...


About that time the "executionist movement" (Polish: "egzekucja praw"--"execution of the laws") began to take form. Its members would seek to curb the power of the magnates at the Sejm and to strengthen the power of king and country. In 1562 at the Sejm in Piotrków they would force the magnates to return many leased crown lands to the king, and the king to create a standing army (wojsko kwarciane). One of the most famous members of this movement was Jan Zamoyski. After his death in 1605, the movement lost its political force. 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. ... Year 1562 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... Crown land is a designated area belonging to the Crown, the equivalent of an entailed estate that passed with the monarchy and could not be alienated from it. ... Wojsko kwarciane (quarter army) was the term used for regular army units of Poland (Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth). ... 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 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Until the death of Zygmunt II August, the last king of the Jagiellonian dynasty, monarchs could only be elected from within the royal family. However, starting from 1573, practically any Polish noble or foreigner of royal blood could become a Polish-Lithuanian monarch. Every newly elected king was supposed to sign two documents - the Pacta conventa ("agreed pacts") - a confirmation of the king's pre-election promises, and Henrican articles (artykuły henrykowskie, named after the first freely elected king, Henry of Valois). The latter document served as a virtual Polish constitution and contained the basic laws of the Commonwealth: Reign From April 1, 1548 until July 6, 1572 Coronation On September 15, 1697 in the Wawel Cathedral, Kraków, Poland Royal House Jagiellon Parents Zygmunt I the Old Bona Sforza Consorts Elizabeth of Habsburg (Elżbieta Habsburżanka) Barbara RadziwiÅ‚Å‚ Catherine of Habsburg (Katarzyna Habsburżanka) Barbara Giżycka... The Jagiellons were a royal dynasty which reigned in some Central European countries between the 14th and 16th century. ... Year 1573 was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The first pacta conventa, acceded to by Henryk Walezy (Henri de Valois), 1573. ... Henrician Articles, also known as Henrycian Articles (Polish ArtykuÅ‚y henrykowskie), contained the most important ideals of governance and constitutional laws in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in form of 21 Articles written and voted for by the szlachta in 1573 during the times of interregnum in the town of Kamien... Henry III (French: Henri III; September 19, 1551 – August 2, 1589), born Alexandre-Édouard, was a member of the Valois Dynasty, King of France from May 30, 1574 until his death. ...

  • free election of kings;
  • religious tolerance;
  • the Diet to be gathered every two years;
  • foreign policy controlled by the Diet;
  • a royal advisory council chosen by the Diet;
  • official posts restricted to Polish and Lithuanian nobles;
  • taxes and monopolies set up by the Diet only;
  • nobles' right to disobey the king should he break any of these laws.

In 1578 king Stefan Batory created the Crown Tribunal in order to reduce the enormous pressure on the Royal Court. This placed much of the monarch's juridical power in the hands of the elected szlachta deputies, further strengthening the nobility class. In 1581 the Crown Tribunal was joined by a counterpart in Lithuania, the Lithuanian Tribunal. The constitution of Poland provides for freedom of religion, and the Polish government generally respects this right in practice. ... In politics, a Diet is a formal deliberative assembly. ... Events January 31 - Battle of Gemblours - Spanish forces under Don John of Austria and Alexander Farnese defeat the Dutch. ... For other persons of the same name, see Báthory. ... Crown Tribunall (Polish: Trybunał Koronny) was the second and highest appeal court in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth for most cases, exceptions being the cases were a noble landowner was threatened with loss of life and/or property - then he could appeal to the Sejm court (parliament court). ... Royal court (as distinguished from a court of law) may refer to a number of institutions: A noble court - the household or entourage of a monarch or other ruler The Royal Court of Jersey - the main court of justice of Jersey The Royal Court of Guernsey - the main court of... Events January 16 - English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism April 4 - Francis Drake completes a circumnavigation of the world and is knighted by Elizabeth I. July 26 - The Northern Netherlands proclaim their independence from Spain in the Oath of Abjuration. ... Lithuanian Tribunal (Polish: ) was the highest appeal court for the szlachta of Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ...


Transformation into aristocracy

For many centuries, wealthy and powerful members of the szlachta sought to gain legal privileges over their peers. Few szlachta were wealthy enough to be known as magnates (karmazyni — the "Crimsons", from the crimson colour of their boots). A proper magnate should be able to trace noble ancestors back for many generations and own at least 20 villages or estates. He should also hold a major office in the Commonwealth. Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ... Crimson is a strong, bright, deep red color combined with some blue, resulting in a tiny degree of purple. ... Folwark is a Polish word for the giant farms (in Latin, latifundia) that were operated in Poland or the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from the 14th century into the 20th, whose purpose was to produce surplus produce for export. ... Offices in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth article presents the organizational structure and administrative system of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ...


Some historians estimate the number of magnates as 4% of szlachta number. Out of 1 million of szlachta, tens of thousands of families, perhaps only 200-300 persons could be classed as great magnates with country-wide possessions and influence, and 30-40 of them could be viewed as those with significant impact on country's politics. Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ...


Magnates often received gifts from monarchs, which significantly increased their wealth. Often, those gifts were only temporary leases, which the magnates never returned (in 16th century, the anti-magnate opposition among szlachta were known as the ruch egzekucji praw - movement for execution of the laws - which demanded that all such possessions are returned to their proper owner, the king). One of the most important victories of the magnates was the late 16th century right to create ordynacja's (similar to majorats), which ensured that a family which gained wealth and power could more easily preserve this. Ordynacje's of families of Radziwiłłs, Zamoyski's, Potocki's or Lubomirski's often rivalled the estates of the king and were important power bases for the magnates. This article or section should include material from Tenancy agreement A lease is a contract conveying from one person (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) the right to use and control some article of property for a specified period of time (the term), without conveying ownership, in exchange for... Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ... Ordynat was the title of the principal heir of ordynacja estates (landed property) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Majorat is the he right of succession to property according to age. ... RadziwiÅ‚Å‚ (Lithuanian: ; Belarusian: ; Latin: ) is a family of high nobility which has been powerful and important for centuries, first in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Zamoyski family coat of arms: Jelita. ... Potocki family coat of arms: Pilawa. ... Lubomirski Coat of Arms Lubomirski (plural: Lubomirscy) is the surname of a Polish szlachta (nobility) family. ...


All szlachta privileges were finally abolished after the Second World War under the communist regime of the People's Republic of Poland. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Capital Warsaw Language(s) Polish Government Socialist republic Leaders  - 1948–1956 BolesÅ‚aw Bierut (First)  - 1981-1989 Wojciech Jaruzelski (Last) Prime minister  - 1944-1947 E. Osóbka-Morawski  - 1947-1952 and 1954-1970 Józef Cyrankiewicz  - 1952-1954 BolesÅ‚aw Bierut  - 1970-1980 Piotr Jaroszewicz  - 1980 Edward Babiuch  - 1980-1981...


Szlachta culture

The Polish nobility differed in many respects from the nobility of other countries. The most important difference was that, while in most European countries the nobility lost power as the ruler strove for absolute monarchy, in Poland the reverse process occurred: the nobility actually gained power at the expense of the king, and the political system evolved toward a mix of democracy, oligarchy and aristocracy. This does not cite its references or sources. ... “King” redirects here. ... A political system is a social system of politics and government. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Oligarchy (Greek , Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military prowess). ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      The term aristocracy refers to a form of government where power is hereditary, and split between a small number of families. ...

Polish noblewomen, early 17th century.
Polish noblewomen, early 17th century.

Poland's nobility were also more numerous than those of all other European countries, forming some 10%-12% of the total population and almost 25% among ethnic Poles[1], while in some poorer regions (e.g. Mazowsze, the area centred on Warsaw) nearly 30%. However, according to [2] szlachta comprised around 8% of the total population in 1791 (up from 6.6% in the 16th century), and no more than 16% of the Roman Catholic (mostly ethnically Polish) population. It should be noted, though, that Polish szlachta usually incorporated most local nobility from the areas that were absorbed by Poland-Lithuania (Ruthenian boyars, Livonian nobles, etc.) By contrast, the nobilities of other European countries, except for Spain, amounted to a mere 1-3%. Download high resolution version (862x422, 183 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 (862x422, 183 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Masovia (Polish: Mazowsze) is a geographical and historical region situated in central Poland with its capital in Warsaw. ... Motto: Contemnit procellas (It defies the storms) Semper invicta (Always invincible) Coordinates: Country Poland Voivodeship Masovia Powiat city county Gmina Warszawa Districts 18 boroughs City Rights turn of the 13th century Government  - Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz (PO) Area  - City 516. ...


There were a number of avenues to upward social mobility and the achievement of nobility. Poland's nobility was not a rigidly exclusive, closed class. Many low-born individuals, including townsfolk, peasants and Jews, could and did rise in Polish society up to official ennoblement. Thus Poland's noble class was more stable than those of other countries, and so was spared the societal tensions and eventual disintegration that characterised the French revolution. Each szlachcic had enormous influence over the country's politics, in some ways even greater than what is enjoyed by the citizens of modern democratic countries. Between 1652 and 1791, any nobleman could nullify all the proceedings of a given sejm (Commonwealth parliament) or sejmik (Commonwealth local parliament) by exercising his individual right of liberum veto (Latin for "I do not allow"), except in the case of a confederated sejm or confederated sejmik. Bourgeoisie (RP [], GA []) in modern use refers to the wealthy or propertied social class in a capitalist society. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Democracy describes a series of related forms of government. ... // Events April 6 - Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp for the Dutch East India Company at the Cape of Good Hope, and founded Cape Town. ... 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). ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ... 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. ... 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. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Confederated sejm (Polish: sejm skonfederowany) was a form of sejm in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 18th century. ...


All children of the Polish nobility inherited their noble status from a noble mother and father. Any individual could attain ennoblement (Polish: "nobilitacja") for special services to the state. A foreign noble might be naturalised as a Polish noble (Polish: "indygenat") by the Polish king (later, from 1641, only by a general sejm). ... “King” redirects here. ... Events The Long Parliament passes a series of legislation designed to contain Charles Is absolutist tendencies. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ...

Polish noblemen, early 17th century.
Polish noblemen, early 17th century.

In theory at least, all Polish noblemen were social equals. Also in theory they were legal peers. Those who held 'real power' dignities were more privileged but these dignities were not hereditary. Those who held honorary dignities were higher in 'ritual' hierarchy but these dignities were also granted for a lifetime. Some tenancies became hereditary and went with both privilege and titles. Nobles who were not direct barons of the Crown but held land from other lords were only peers "de iure". The poorest enjoyed the same rights as the wealthiest magnate. The exceptions were a few symbolically privileged families such as the Radziwiłł, Lubomirski and Czartoryski, who sported honorary aristocratic titles recognized in Poland or received from foreign courts, such as "Prince" or "Count." (see also The Princely Houses of Poland). All other szlachta simply addressed each other by their given name or as "Sir Brother" (Panie bracie) or the feminine equivalent. The other forms of address would be "Illustrious and Magnificent Lord", "Magnificent Lord", "Generous Lord" or "Noble Lord" (in decreasing order) or simply "His/Her Grace Lord/Lady XYZ". Download high resolution version (1072x414, 229 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 (1072x414, 229 KB) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ... RadziwiÅ‚Å‚ (Lithuanian: ; Belarusian: ; Latin: ) is a family of high nobility which has been powerful and important for centuries, first in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and later in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Lubomirski Coat of Arms Lubomirski (plural: Lubomirscy) is the surname of a Polish szlachta (nobility) family. ... Czartoryski is the surname of a Polish szlachta ( gentry) family (also known as the Familia Czartoryskich). ... The term prince, from the Latin root princeps, is used for a member of the highest ranks of the aristocracy or the nobility. ... A count is a nobleman in most European countries, equivalent in rank to a British earl, whose wife is also still a countess (for lack of an Anglo-Saxon term). ... The Princely Houses of Poland had some important qualities differentiating them from other princely houses in Europe. ...

Hetman Stefan Czarniecki in crimson bekiesza. Holds buława in right hand. Note crimson boots (buty karmazynowe), a sign of wealth and high status. The crimson color worn by wealthy szlachta prompted the magnates' nickname, "karmazyni" — "the crimson ones."
Hetman Stefan Czarniecki in crimson bekiesza. Holds buława in right hand. Note crimson boots (buty karmazynowe), a sign of wealth and high status. The crimson color worn by wealthy szlachta prompted the magnates' nickname, "karmazyni" — "the crimson ones."

According to their financial standing, the nobility were in common speech divided into: Stefan Czarniecki This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Stefan Czarniecki This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... Hetman`s coat of arms Hetman StanisÅ‚aw Koniecpolski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Hetman was the title of the second highest military commander (after the monarch) used in 15th to 18th century Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, known from 1569 to 1795 as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. ... Noble Family Czarniecki Coat of Arms Łodzia Parents  ? Consorts  ? Children  ? Date of Birth 1599 Place of Birth Czarnce, Poland Date of Death July 18, 1665 Place of Death  ? Stefan Czarniecki, Stephen Czarniecki (1599-July 18, 1665) Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth general and nobleman (szlachcic). ... Hetman Jan Zamoyski in crimson kontusz and blue silk żupan tied with pas kontuszowy. ... Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ...

  • magnates: the wealthiest class; owners of vast lands, towns, many villages, thousands of peasants
  • middle nobility (średnia szlachta): owners of one of more villages, often having some official titles or deputies to sejmiks and even sejm,
  • lesser nobility (drobna szlachta), owners of a part of a village or owning no land at all, often referred to by a variety of colourful Polish terms such as:
    • szaraczkowa - grey nobility, from their grey, woollen, uncoloured zupans
    • okoliczna - nearby nobility, similar to zaściankowa
    • zagrodowa - from zagroda, a farm, often little different from a peasant's dwelling
    • zagonowa - from zagon, a small unit of land measure, hide nobility
    • drążkowa - when gathered, had no comfortable chairs, so they had to sit on fences and the like
    • cząstkowa - partial, owners of only part of a single village
    • panek - little pan (i.e. lordling), term used in Kaszuby, the Kashubian region, also one of the legal terms for legally separated lower nobility in late medieval and early modern Poland
    • hreczkosiej - buckwheat sowers - those who had to work their fields themselves.
    • zaściankowa - from zaścianek, a name for plural nobility settlement, neighbourhood nobility. Just like hreczkosiej, zaściankowa nobility would have no peasants.
    • brukowa - cobble nobility, for those living in towns like townsfolk
    • gołota - naked nobility, i.e. the landless. Gołota szlachta would be considered the 'lowest of the low'.

Note that Polish landed gentry (ziemianie or ziemiaństwo) was composed of any nobility that owned lands: thus of course the magnates, the middle nobility and that lesser nobility that had at least part of the village. As manorial lordships were also opened to burgesses of certain privileged cities, not all landed gentry had a hereditary title of nobility. Polish Magnate (17th century) Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus great, designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities. ... Long and short hair wool at the South Central Family Farm Research Center in Boonesville, Arizona Wool is the fiber derived from the fur of animals of the Caprinae family, principally sheep, but the hair of certain species of other mammals such as goats, alpacas, llamas and rabbits may also... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Kashubians (also Kassubians, or Cassubians, in Kashubian: Kaszëbi) are a Slavic ethnic group living in modern-day northwestern Poland. ... Binomial name Fagopyrum esculentum Moench Common buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant in the genus Fagopyrum (sometimes merged into genus Polygonum) in the family Polygonaceae. ... Cobble is a geologic term for a rock or rock fragment with a grain size with dimensions between 64–256 mm (2. ... Landed gentry is a term traditionally applied in Britain to members of the upper class with country estates often (but not always) farmed on their behalf by others, and who might be without a peerage or other hereditary title. ...


Heraldry

Main article: Polish heraldry

Coats of arms were very important to the Polish nobility. It is notable, that the Polish heraldic system evolved separately from its western counterparts and differed in many ways from the heraldry of other European countries. The history of Polish heraldry is an integral part of the history of the Szlachta, the Polish nobility. ... A modern coat of arms is derived from the medi val practice of painting designs onto the shield and outer clothing of knights to enable them to be identified in battle, and later in tournaments. ...


The most notable difference is that, contrary to other European heraldic systems, most families sharing origin would also share a coat-of-arms. They would also share arms with families adopted into the clan (these would often have their arms officially altered upon ennoblement). Sometimes unrelated families would be falsely attributed to the clan on the basis of similarity of arms. Also often noble families claimed inaccurate clan membership. Logically, the number of coats of arms in this system was rather low and did not exceed 200 in late Middle Ages. The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ...


Also, the tradition of differentiating between the coat of arms proper and a lozenge granted to women did not develop in Poland. Usually men inherited the coat of arms from their fathers. Also, the brisure was rarely used. A lozengy field, in the arms of the former urban district council of Eastwood, Nottinghamshire The lozenge in heraldry is a diamond-shaped charge (an object that can be placed on the field of the shield), usually somewhat narrower than it is tall. ... Cadency is any systematic way of distinguishing similar coats of arms belonging to members of the same family. ...


Sarmatism

The szlachta's prevalent mentality and ideology were manifested in "Sarmatism," a name derived from supposed ancestors of the szlachta, the Sarmatians. This belief system became an important part of szlachta culture and affected all aspects of their lives. It enshrined traditional village life, peace and pacifism; popularised oriental-style apparel (the żupan, kontusz, sukmana, pas kontuszowy, delia); and made the scimitar-like szabla, too, a near-obligatory item of everyday szlachta apparel. Sarmatism served to integrate the multi-ethnic nobility as it created an almost nationalistic sense of unity and pride in the szlachta's "Golden Liberty" (złota wolność). Knowledge of Latin was widespread, and most szlachta freely mixed Polish and Latin vocabulary (the latter, "macaronisms" — from "macaroni") in everyday conversation. Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Sarmatism was the dominant lifestyle, culture and ideology of szlachta (nobility social class) in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 16th century to 19th century. ... Sarmatia Europea in Scythia map 1697 AD Sarmatia Europæa separated from Sarmatia Asiatica by the Tanais (the River Don), based on Greek literary sources, in a map printed in London, ca 1770 Great steppe in early spring. ... Jan Zamoyski in crimson kontusz and blue silk żupan tied with pas kontuszowy. ... Stefan Czarniecki in crimson kontusz. ... WacÅ‚aw Rzewuski wearing a golden-finished kontusz belt Pas kontuszowy sÅ‚ucki. Pas kontuszowy (kontusz belt) was a cloth belt used for compassing a kontusz (a robe-like garment). ... Hetman Jan Zamoyski in a crimson delia and blue silk żupan. ... Scimitar, XVII Century, from India. ... Szabla in general is the Polish generic term for a sabre. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... 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... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ...

Jan Zamoyski, in crimson delia and blue silk żupan.
Jan Zamoyski, in crimson delia and blue silk żupan.

In its early, idealistic form, Sarmatism seemed like a salutary cultural movement: it fostered religious faith, honesty, national pride, courage, equality and freedom. As with any doctrine, however, that puts one social class above others, it eventually became perverted. Late Sarmatism turned belief into bigotry, honesty into political naiveté, pride into arrogance, courage into stubbornness, equality and freedom within the szlachta class into dissension and anarchy. Download high resolution version (476x619, 74 KB)Jan Zamoyski. ... Download high resolution version (476x619, 74 KB)Jan Zamoyski. ... 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... Hetman Jan Zamoyski in a crimson delia and blue silk żupan. ... Jan Zamoyski in crimson kontusz and blue silk żupan tied with pas kontuszowy. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... Dissension is a Magic: The Gathering set, third in the Ravnica Block. ... 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. ...


Religious beliefs

Prior to the Reformation, the Polish nobility were mostly Roman Catholic or Orthodox. Many families, however, soon adopted the Reformed faiths. After the Counter-Reformation, when the Roman Catholic Church regained power in Poland, the nobility became almost exclusively Catholic, despite the fact that Roman Catholicism was not the majority religion in Poland (the Catholic and Orthodox churches each accounted for some 40% of the population, with the remaining 20% being Jews or members of Protestant denominations). Szlachta, as the Commonwealth itself, was extremely tolerant of other religions. There were almost no conflicts based on faith, and szlachta members are known to have intervened several times to pacify religious conflicts in cities and towns. In the 18th century, many followers of Jacob Frank joined the ranks of Jewish-descended Polish gentry. The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. ... The Counter-Reformation or the Catholic Reformation was a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, climaxing at the Council of Trent, partly in reaction to the growth of Protestantism. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church... Jacob Frank. ...

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Category:Coats of arms of families of Poland

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The Wikimedia Commons (also called Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

See also

Over the past millennium, the territory ruled by Poland has shifted and varied greatly. ... The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (properly, the Republic of the Two Nations: in Polish, Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów; in Belarusian, Рэч Паспалі́тая) was a federal monarchic republic comprising the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania, 1569 – 1795. ... Map of Congress Poland. ... The Warsaw Confederation (January 28, 1573) was an important event in the history of Poland, and is considered as the beginning of religious freedom in Poland The religious tolerance in Poland had much longer tradition and was de facto policy during the reign of the recently deceased king Sigismund II... The history of Polish heraldry is an integral part of the history of the Szlachta, the Polish nobility. ... A Polish personal name, like names in most European cultures, consists of two main elements: imię, or the given name, followed by nazwisko, or the family name. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Theodore: Topór-Jakubowski, "15th-Century Polish Nobility in the 21st Century" (WHITE EAGLE: Journal of the Polish Nobility Association Foundation: Villa Anneslie, 529 Dunkirk Road, Anneslie, MARYLAND, The united states of America: The Polish Nobility Association Foundation, 1998), Spring/Summer 1998, page 9.
  2. ^ Norman Davies, "God's Playground: A History of Poland; Volume I: The Origins to 1795" (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), page 224.
  3. ^ TADEUSZ MANTEUFFEL, "The Formation of the Polish State: The Period of Ducal Rule, 963-1194" (Detroit, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.: WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS, 1982), page 149.

Topór - is a Polish Coat of Arms. ... Norman Davies, Warsaw (Poland), October 7, 2004 Norman Davies (born June 8, 1939 in Bolton, Lancashire) is an English historian of Welsh descent, noted for his publications on the history of Poland, Europe and the British Isles. ... Polish 2,500-złoty postage stamp issued 1992, commemmorating the 90th anniversary of Tadeusz Manteuffels birth. ...

References

  • Aleksander Brückner, Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language), first edition, Kraków, Krakowska Spółka Wydawnicza, 1927 (9th edition, Warsaw, Wiedza Powszechna, 2000).
  • MANTEUFFEL, TADEUSZ (1982), The Formation of the Polish State: The Period of Ducal Rule, 963-1194, Detroit, MICHIGAN, U.S.A.: WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... Aleksander Brückner (1856 - 1939) was a Polish Slavic scholar, philologist, lexicographer and historian of literature. ... Słownik etymologiczny języka polskiego (English: Etymological Dictionary of the Polish Language) is an etymological dictionary first published in 1927. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Szlachta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3385 words)
The szlachta enjoyed substantial and almost unrivalled political privileges until the Partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the late 18th century.
The equality among szlachta was no more, as the law systems of the partitioning powers recognized only the privileged aristocracy and treated the poorer szlachta as normal citizens, or extreme cases, peasants.
The szlachta's prevalent mentality and ideology were manifested in "Sarmatism," a name derived from supposed ancestors of the szlachta, the Sarmatians.
Szlachta - Encyclopedia, History, Geography and Biography (3373 words)
The szlachta were formed in the late Middle Ages and existed through the 18th century and into the 19th century.
Traditionally, the szlachta were owners of landed property, often in the form of folwarks.
The Polish word "szlachta" (meaning the "gentle class" or "noble class", an untranslatable term essentially encompassing the idea of gentility or nobility of blood, and treating the English words gentry and nobility as roughly coterminous: a specific nobleman was a "szlachcic," a noblewoman was a "szlachcianka").
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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