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Poland’s Last King and English Culture$
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Richard Butterwick

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207016

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207016.001.0001

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‘Less Showy Means’: From the Confederacy of Bar to the Four Year Seym

‘Less Showy Means’: From the Confederacy of Bar to the Four Year Seym

(p.245) 11 ‘Less Showy Means’: From the Confederacy of Bar to the Four Year Seym
Poland’s Last King and English Culture

Butterwick Richard

Oxford University Press

While the Partition looked unavoidable, Stanislaw August hoped that the Commonwealth might be able to trade its ratification of it for an improved form of government, and that Austria would support his stand. Stanislaw August made clear his preference for a government constructed logically and working harmoniously. The English constitution remained Stanislaw August's preferred model for Poland despite of all its imperfection. His forebodings of English collapse vanished. He continued to think the English constitution is the best in Europe, based upon a wise and moderate liberty that afforded security to all. It was not a vision that was shared by many of his compatriots though. Polish political culture remained firmly republican, albeit with some signs of modernization by the late 1780s, and when Russian control was lifted, the king's carefully built system came crashing down.

Keywords:   the Partition, Austria, English constitution, liberty, Europe, republican

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