Importance of Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth in Europe's development?

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,499
Sea of Fate
Reposted from the introduction thread:

Importance of the Polish-lithuanian Commonweath

It took a while since it's weekend :) and, what's more important, the project "History at an acute angle" comprises of two people. Marius, who is a history teacher and me-Peter, I make videos and translate into English.

1. 300 years of two chambers parliament ( first plenary parliament in 1468). Members of the parliament in the lower chamber were chosen during the provincial congresses.
2. Quite a big part of society had influence on the monarch's rein and the choice of the King 8-10% - birth qualification- gentry
3. Experience in the scope of functioning of the nation which was highly ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse - Poland as the country with no stakes

4. England and the Netherlands built the countries on the Polish grain.

5. Unique military art, end of XVI and the beginning of XVII C, being a mixture of Eastern and Western influence.


Wysłane z mojego Redmi Note 5 przy użyciu Tapatalka

Unlike the better known history of the German Reich, Austro-hungarian Empire or French Empire under Napoleon, the Polish-lithuanian Commonwealth doesn't seem as prominent in the history books.

Did it play a major role, or did it just fade away into obscurity?
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,447
SoCal
It played a significant role in halting the Ottoman advance into Europe at Vienna in 1683, no?
 
Jan 2020
2
Rhode Island, USA
It was the buffer-state of all buffer-states. Had the commonwealth flourished rather than fizzled, such a nation would have kept Germany and Russia far apart and perhaps oriented in opposite directions. To my mind, the decline of Sweden and the disappearance of Poland-Lithuania brought about the most volatile “next-door neighbor” situation imaginable for modern Europe.
 
Last edited:
Apr 2010
1,063
evergreen state, USA
I noticed when I was poking around the Austrian Habsburgs, especially Archduchess Maria Theresa's branch, that a female relative married King Sigismund III (Vasa line) of Sweden-Poland-Lithuania. I mean, he was born in Sweden and somehow became King of all of that empire. He was buried in Warsaw, as was his Habsburg wife.
 
May 2017
231
Monterrey
Unlike the better known history of the German Reich, Austro-hungarian Empire or French Empire under Napoleon, the Polish-lithuanian Commonwealth doesn't seem as prominent in the history books.

Did it play a major role, or did it just fade away into obscurity?
In which history books? Swedish imperial adventures include quite a few clashes with Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Same applies for all surrounding powers (and it was not for nothing that AH, Germany and Russia sought to dismantle Poland). England, France and Spain were on the other end of the continent and never had any rivalries with PLC.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,094
Reposted from the introduction thread:

Importance of the Polish-lithuanian Commonweath

Unlike the better known history of the German Reich, Austro-hungarian Empire or French Empire under Napoleon, the Polish-lithuanian Commonwealth doesn't seem as prominent in the history books.

Did it play a major role, or did it just fade away into obscurity?
For Russians, Germans, Austrians, Swedes and Turks, we can assume the history books have rather a lot to offer, considering the PLC was a important presence in much of their history.

It might be more a question of what relative emphasis is put on north, central and eastern European history, compared to western European and Atlantic history?
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,094
I noticed when I was poking around the Austrian Habsburgs, especially Archduchess Maria Theresa's branch, that a female relative married King Sigismund III (Vasa line) of Sweden-Poland-Lithuania. I mean, he was born in Sweden and somehow became King of all of that empire. He was buried in Warsaw, as was his Habsburg wife.
His mother Catherine was the Catholic princess who was heiress to the PLC, while married to the king of Sweden John III. John was quite the intellectual, and personally very interested in theology. On that basis he cobbled together his own version of a compromise between Lutheran Protestantism and Catholicism. Needless to say everyone in Sweden, Protestant and Catholics alike, hated it for not being either or. Sigismund was his only son, raised Catholic and sent down to Poland as a teenager to king over the place – which he hated (not speaking any Polish on arrival).

Had the situation held Sigismund would have united Sweden and the PLC in a personal union under himself. He had that for a while. But he had the misfortune of coming up against his hard-as-nails uncle Charles, eventually Charles IX, father of Gustavus II Adolphus. Sigismund allied himself with the cream of the Swedish higher nobility in a bid to try to defeat Charles. Charles otoh mobilized parliament and religion at the same time, and eventually defeated Sigismund, while settling his score with the High Nobility by literally knocking the block off of the heads of Sweden's leading families. That way he bequeathed a so far very badly fought war with the PLC overseas, and an explosive domestic situation with a potential civil war against the nobility, to son Gustaf to try to settle.
 

Lord Fairfax

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,499
Sea of Fate
It might be more a question of what relative emphasis is put on north, central and eastern European history, compared to western European and Atlantic history?
Yes I think that's the case.
My history books had modern (post-renaissance) European focus on events involving Britain, France, Spain, Germany (and America obviously), while pre-medieval history involves Roman Empire, Greeks, Persians, Byzantine etc.

Although I'm in the commonwealth, most of my history textbooks were American, so perhaps the US didn't see the PLC as important