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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 English Constitution and the First Efforts to Reform the Commonwealth (1763–1768)

The English Constitution and the First Efforts to Reform the Commonwealth (1763–1768)

(p.146) 7 The English Constitution and the First Efforts to Reform the Commonwealth (1763–1768)
Poland’s Last King and English Culture

Butterwick Richard

Oxford University Press

The English constitution had a minor influence on the constitutional reforms that the Czartoryskis and Stanislaw August enacted. The model for the treasury and military commissions was probably the colleges functioning in many European states. Most of the other reforms were straightforward repairs of obvious deficiencies, which required no foreign example. Whatever mistakes he can be accused of making in the first years of his reign, Stanislaw August did not become a putative absolutist. He remained faithful to the English constitution model. The violent reaction in 1767–72 against Stanislaw August, the Czartoryskis, and their reforms showed that fundamental constitutional reform was not only blocked by Russia. The mentality of the szlachta would have to be transformed before the nation could work out an effective form of government for itself. The Russian guarantee re-imposed after 1722 allowed that transformation time to take effect.

Keywords:   English constitution, Czartoryskis, treasury, military commissions, absolutist, Russia, szlachta

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