why did Catherine the Great participated in partition of Poland

Jan 2014
1,196
Singapore
#1
I was always puzzled by this event. It was stupid, unnecessary, unjustifiable and haunted Russia ever since. Including current Ukrainian crisis as this is when Galicia became part of Austia-Hungarian empire and the ugliest form of ukranian nationalism was created.

Why would she do it? Why follow into the schinanigans with Frederick 2. He was Russian enemy for quite a while already. Catherines' s palace coup was targeting to remove her husband, who was supposedly getting too close with Frederick. I just cannot buy the logic of pacifying Hugsburgs. The whole Poland was effectively under Russian control. Austrians were lousy fighters to be afraid of. But the fact that Frederick has won so much out of it and Russia lost enormously is mind blowing.
 
Jan 2014
1,196
Singapore
#3
1.Poland was old and dangeruos enemy. He was destroyed.
In German and Austrian parts, Poland was really destroyed. Russia, on the other hand preserved Polish nobility and statehood.

2.Russian lands and orthodox people were freed from Poland.
Not true. Serfdom in Poland stayed under the Polish Nobility. And those were "orthodox" people that served. When emancipation of serfs happened in 1861 a large chunk of private serfs were emancipated in Poland. AS we know during Alexander I, Poland had special status. Shlyahta experienced considerable freedom. Probably due to their involvement in the Alexander's accession to the thrown (murder of Paul I). His brother Constantine was in effect the ruler of Poland and he was practically polonized. his involvement in Decembrist revolt is quite clear. What is unclear is why Nicholas I didn't arrest him.
 
Jan 2013
5,835
Canberra, Australia
#4
Russia lost enormously
Why do you say that?

In all three partitions, Russia gained by far the greatest amount of territory. Furthermore, until 1918 it never lost any of the territory it gained through the partitions, since the Duchy of Warsaw created by Napoleon was formed out of territory gained by Prussia and Austria, and in 1815 almost all of that territory was given to Russia in addition to what it already had.

The huge amount of territory gained by Russia in the three partitions is an entirely adequate explanation for Empress Catherine's participation in them. The partitions simply completed the process whereby throughout the 18th Century Russia gradually gained control over Poland, which was essentially a failed state due to the selfishness, incompetence and anarchy of the szlachta.




AS we know during Alexander I, Poland had special status. Shlyahta experienced considerable freedom. Probably due to their involvement in the Alexander's accession to the thrown (murder of Paul I). His brother Constantine was in effect the ruler of Poland and he was practically polonized.
Misleading.

That was the case only after 1815, when almost all the Duchy of Warsaw created by Napoleon was joined to the Russian Empire in a personal union as the Kingdom of Poland. That entity was formed out of territory that had been annexed by Prussia and Austria in the partitions.

The territory that Russia gained from the partitions was completely absorbed into the Russian Empire and never had a special status. Even today, none of the territory taken by Russia in the partitions is part of the modern Poland; most of it is now part of Belarus and Ukraine.
 
Apr 2011
6,626
Sarmatia
#6
.......Poland, which was essentially a failed state due to the selfishness, incompetence and anarchy of the szlachta
And this failed state on many fields was in avangarde of European Enlightenment, like for example on the field of education:

[ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commission_of_National_Education]Commission of National Education - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 
Jun 2014
1,221
VA
#7
Part of it was also the fact that she was a reactionary.

Pulaski, Kosciuzko, and others who acted against her took their inspiration from the enlightenment and acted against things in Poland that existed in Russia to like serfdom.

It is notable that when she invaded Poland she found as friends the reactionaries there.

Polish Nationalism was tied to the enlightenment, Poles who didn't believe in the enlightenment had no problem serving Russia's interests.

The Bar Confederation was you could say where ruling Poland through a weak puppet and trying to bribe the influential senator once in awhile stopped being Catherine's idea, enough of the Polish nobility was revealed to no longer like the old order for that to be as secure as directly annexing part of Poland-Lithuania.
 
Jan 2013
5,835
Canberra, Australia
#8
"a failed state"
Define a failed state.
A state that is no longer able to carry out essential state functions, one where the government is no longer able to govern due to being blocked by powerful sectional interests, and which has collapsed into anarchy.

That was the situation in Poland in the 18th Century. Constitutional reforms existed only on paper; there is no way the reformers could have pushed them through against the opposition of the powerful magnates who possessed more military than the Government.
 
Jul 2012
763
Australia
#9
My definition of a state:
.....a political entity that claims a monopoly of the use of force over a defined territory, defending it against other competitors and maintaining law and order within to provide for the necessities of human society.
 
Apr 2011
6,626
Sarmatia
#10
A state that is no longer able to carry out essential state functions, one where the government is no longer able to govern due to being blocked by powerful sectional interests, and which has collapsed into anarchy.

That was the situation in Poland in the 18th Century. Constitutional reforms existed only on paper; there is no way the reformers could have pushed them through against the opposition of the powerful magnates who possessed more military than the Government.

However reformers were able to conduct their reforms such as the reform of education so it wasnt a "failed state" according to your definition. The neighbouring powers were allowing for those reforms which they didnt consider dangerous so the reform of education was allowed but the reform of the army wasnt.
 

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