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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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Sarmatia and England

Sarmatia and England

(p.15) 1 Sarmatia and England
Poland’s Last King and English Culture

Butterwick Richard

Oxford University Press

In 1744, Stanislaw Poniatowski the elder invited his compatriots to look at England which he said did not differ much in its laws and constitution from Poland. At first glance, the comparison was surprising since Poland was an ultimate 18th-century failure. At second glance, similarities of the two were more apparent. A third look showed essential differences. Both the United Kingdom of Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania had national parliaments, rather than the provincial estates characteristic of most of Europe. In the 1680s, both England and Poland were second-ranking powers. By 1720 England was the equal of France, while Poland had ceased to play an independent role in European affairs. The Polish and English social structures, however, differed vastly.

Keywords:   Stanislaw Poniatowski, United Kingdom, Poland-Lithuania, constitution, parliaments, France, social structure

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