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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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The Influence of the English Constitution on the Constitution of 3 May 1791

The Influence of the English Constitution on the Constitution of 3 May 1791

(p.275) 12 The Influence of the English Constitution on the Constitution of 3 May 1791
Poland’s Last King and English Culture

Butterwick Richard

Oxford University Press

Opponents of hereditary succession did not deny English freedom, but argued that a hereditary throne in Poland would lead to slavery. The majority of reformers justified a hereditary throne by citing England, but also wished to reduce the royal prerogative yet further. The ‘English model’ served as a pretext for certain reforms, especially for the introduction of hereditary succession to the throne. Stanislaw August stressed that the new law, passed unanimously, solemnly reiterated the Law on Government and therefore envoys who opposed the Constitution of 3 May would be contradicting themselves. The English influence upon the Constitution of 3 May was less than Stanislaw August would have wished. The king himself was most interested in the English example in the key spheres of the Seym and the royal prerogative.

Keywords:   hereditary succession, slavery, Constitution, Seym, English model

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