On 16 September 1668, King John II Casimir abdicated the Polish–Lithuanian throne. He left for France and joined the Jesuits where he became Abbot of Saint-Germain-des-Prés Abbey in Paris which resulted in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth being left without a monarch, making it necessary for a free election.
Royal elections in Poland was the election of individual kings, rather than of dynasties, to the Polish throne. Based on traditions dating to the very beginning of the Polish statehood, strengthened during the Piast and Jagiellon dynasties, they reached their final form in the period of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1572 and 1791. The "free election" was abolished by the Constitution of 3 May 1791, which established a constitutional monarchy.
The pro-French faction, which was backed by Michal Prazmowski and Crown Hetman Jan Sobieski, was strong. During the Convocation, several Sejm members of the szlachta urged the election of a native Piast king instead. There were widespread rumors that supporters of foreign candidates had been bribed. Under the circumstances, the Bishop of Chełmno, Andrzej Olszowski, suggested that instead of a foreigner, a Pole should be elected. Olszowski suggested the candidacy of Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki, who was the son of legendary Ruthenian magnate, Jeremi Wiśniowiecki. Michał Korybut was an exceptional individual, but the Szlachta who were afraid of growing French influences, decided to back him. Local sejmiks urged the nobility to come to Warsaw as pospolite ruszenie.
Hetman is a political title from Central and Eastern Europe, historically assigned to military commanders.
A convocation is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose, mostly ecclesiastical or academic.
The Sejm of the Republic of Poland is the larger, more powerful lower house of the Polish parliament. It consists of 460 deputies elected by universal ballot and is presided over by a speaker called the "Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland". In the Kingdom of Poland, "Sejm" referred to the entire two-chamber parliament of Poland, comprising the Chamber of Envoys, the Senate and the King. It was thus a three-estate parliament. Since the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939), "Sejm" has referred only to the larger house of the parliament; the upper house is called the Senat Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej.
The free election, which took place in May and June 1669 in Wola, near Warsaw, is regarded as the epitome of szlachta anarchy (see Golden Liberty). After heated arguments on June 6, a crowd of nobility electors forced senators to void the candidacy of Louis, Grand Condé. Some senators tried to oppose, but most gave way to the threats and eventually supported the Bishop of Kujawy, Florian Czartoryski, who stated: “The voice of the people is the voice of God”.[ This quote needs a citation ]
Wola is a district in western Warsaw, Poland, formerly the village of Wielka Wola, incorporated into Warsaw in 1916. An industrial area with traditions reaching back to the early 19th century, it is slowly changing into an office and residential district. Several museums are located in Wola.
Golden Liberty, sometimes referred to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles' Democracy or Nobles' Commonwealth was a political system in the Kingdom of Poland and, after the Union of Lublin (1569), in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Under that system, all nobles (szlachta), regardless of rank or economic status, were considered to have equal legal status and enjoyed extensive legal rights and privileges. The nobility controlled the legislature and the Commonwealth's elected king.
Louis II de Bourbon, Prince of Condé was a French general and the most famous representative of the Condé branch of the House of Bourbon. Prior to his father's death in 1646, he was styled the Duc d'Enghien. For his military prowess he was known as le Grand Condé.
On June 17, some districts of Warsaw burned in a fire and rumors soon spread that the fire was intentionally set. Szlachta surrounded the wooden shed in which the senators convened, accusing them of treason and conspiring with foreign envoys. Shots were fired and, as Jan Chryzostom Pasek later wrote in his diaries, “bishops and senators hid themselves under chairs, emerging only after the situation had been defused.”[ This quote needs a citation ]
Jan Chryzostom Pasek was a Polish nobleman and writer during the times of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. He is best remembered for his memoirs (Pamiętniki), which are a valuable historical source about Baroque sarmatian culture and events in the Commonwealth.
Two days later, on June 19, Wiśniowiecki was elected the new king. A Polish nobleman, Jan Antoni Chrapowicki, who participated in the free election, wrote later: “There were different factions: some wanted the Neuburgian, others supported the Lotharingian. Since neither side wanted to resign their candidacy, it was decided that in order to avoid commotion, a Piast will be elected, who turned out to be Michał Korybut Wiśniowiecki. Primate Prazmowski, who was hesitant at the choice, was eventually forced to sing the Te Deum hymn”.[ This quote needs a citation ]
Philip William of Neuburg, Elector Palatine was Count Palatine of Neuburg from 1653 to 1690, Duke of Jülich and Berg from 1653 to 1679 and Elector of the Palatinate from 1685 to 1690. He was the son of Wolfgang Wilhelm, Count Palatine of Neuburg and Magdalene of Bavaria.
The Te Deum is a Latin Christian hymn composed in the 4th century. It is one of the core hymns of the Ambrosian hymnal, which spread throughout the Latin Church with the Milanese Rite in the 6th to 8th centuries, and is sometimes known as "the Ambrosian Hymn", even though authorship by Saint Ambrose is unlikely.
Even though Wisniowiecki won the support of the majority of electors, a faction led by Prazmowski and Sobieski continued to oppose him. The Crowning by the Sejm, which took place in Kraków, was dismissed. The Commonwealth, which suffered from continuous Crimean Tatar raids, was on the brink of civil war. Outbreak of the Polish–Ottoman War (1672–76) changed this situation, ending internal conflicts.
Kraków, also spelled Cracow or Krakow, is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków was the official capital of Poland until 1596 and has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, economic, cultural and artistic life. Cited as one of Europe's most beautiful cities, its Old Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Crimean Tatars are a Turkic ethnic group, who are indigenous people of Crimea and formed in the Crimean Peninsula during the 13th–17th centuries, primarily from Cumans that appeared in Crimea in the 10th century, with strong contributions from all the peoples who ever inhabited Crimea. Since 2014 Crimean Tatars have been officially recognized as an indigenous people of Ukraine. Crimean Tatars are also listed among the indigenous peoples of Russia.
Michael I was the ruler of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 29 September 1669 until his death in 1673. Michael's reign was marked by struggles between the pro-Habsburg and pro-French political factions.
Korybut is a Polish coat of arms. It was used by the Princely House of Wiśniowiecki-Zbaraski and several branches of the House of Nieświcki in the times of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Wiśniowiecki was a Polish princely family of Ruthenian-Lithuanian origin, notable in the history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were powerful magnates with estates predominantly in Ruthenian lands of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and they used the Polish coat of arms of Korybut.
Jan Karol Dolski of Kościesza (1637–1695) was a member of the nobility of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Throughout his life he held a number of posts, including the post of Grand Marshal of Lithuania, Court Marshal of Lithuania and Cup-bearer. He was also the starost of Pinsk and was responsible for extending that town considerably.
Stanisław Kazimierz Dąmbski, was a politically powerful Polish prelate and king-maker. He was in turn, bishop of Chełm, Łuck, Płock, Kujawy and finally, bishop of Krakow.
The free election of 1573 was the first ever royal election to be held in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It gathered approximately 40,000 szlachta voters who elected Henry of Valois king.
The history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1648) covers a period in the history of Poland and Lithuania, before their joint state was subjected to devastating wars in the middle of the 17th century. The Union of Lublin of 1569 established the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a more closely unified federal state, replacing the previously existing personal union of the two countries. The Union was largely run by the Polish and increasingly Polonized Lithuanian and Ruthenian nobility, through the system of the central parliament and local assemblies, but from 1573 led by elected kings. The formal rule of the proportionally more numerous than in other European countries nobility constituted a sophisticated early democratic system, in contrast to the absolute monarchies prevalent at that time in the rest of Europe.
The history of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1648–1764) covers a period in the history of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from the time their joint state became the theater of wars and invasions fought on a great scale in the middle of the 17th century, to the time just before the election of Stanisław August Poniatowski, the last king of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Stanisław Michał Ubysz - chorąży (ensign) of Gostyń, member of parliament of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Stanisław Dunin-Karwicki, also known as Stanisław Karwicki-Dunin or Stanisław Karwicki, of the Łabędź coat of arms, was a Polish noble, politician, and political writer. He held the titles of Cześnik from 1688 and podkomorzy of Sandomierz from 1713 or 1714. He was involved with the Polish Reformed Church and was deputy to several Sejms. He authored the reformist treatise De ordinanda Republica seu de corrigendis defectibus in statu Republicae Polonae.
The second Free Election in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1575/1576. In the night of June 28–29, 1574, King Henri of Valois secretly left Poland to claim the French throne. The Commonwealth was left without a monarch, and the period of interregnum ended with a double election. After few month of negotiations, Anna Jagiellon and Stephen Báthory were elected co-rulers.
The third free election in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1587, after the death of King Stefan Batory. It began on June 30, 1587, when Election Sejm was summoned in the village of Wola near Warsaw, and ended on December 27 of the same year, when King Sigismund III was crowned in Kraków’s Wawel Cathedral.
The 1648 free election in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth began on October 6, 1648, and ended on November 17 of the same year. The new King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania was John II Casimir, the younger brother of previous king, Władysław IV, who had died on May 20, 1648.
On November 10, 1673, Michael Korybut Wiśniowiecki, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, suddenly died in Lwów. The Polish throne was vacant again, so another free election was necessary. As in 1669,the main candidates were French Duke Louis, Grand Conde, Philip William, Elector Palatine, and Charles V, Duke of Lorraine.
On June 17, 1696, King John III Sobieski died in his palace at Wilanów near Warsaw. This meant that another free election was necessary, as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was left without a monarch.
In early 1700, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and Elector of Saxony, Augustus II the Strong began the Great Northern War by attacking Swedish Livonia. Despite Russian support, Saxon army lost several battles, and soon afterwards, forces of the Swedish Empire controlled most of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In June 1703, Augustus II convened the Extraordinary Sejm in Lublin, where he faced widespread criticism. His opponent were led by Primate of Poland, Michał Radziejowski, and sons of late King Jan III Sobieski, Jakub and Konstanty.
On February 1, 1733, the King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania Augustus II the Strong died in Warsaw, leaving the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a monarch. Another royal election was necessary. This time, the Polish – Lithuanian nobility firmly opposed a foreign candidate, such as Portuguese Duke Infante Manuel, Count of Ourem, who was supported by the Russian Empire and the Habsburg Empire.
The general sejm was the parliament of Kingdom of Poland. It had evolved from the earlier institution of wiec. It was one of the primary elements of the democratic governance in the Kingdom of Poland. The sejm was a powerful political institution, and from early 16th century, the Polish king could not pass laws without the approval of that body. The Sejm and the Seimas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was merged into the Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Union of Lublin in 1569.