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The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788–1792A Political History$
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Richard Butterwick

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250332.001.0001

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Antichrist comes from France

Antichrist comes from France

(p.273) 12 Antichrist comes from France
The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788–1792

Richard Butterwick

Oxford University Press

In the polemics concerning the clergy published in the last year of the Polish Revolution, the principal ecclesiastical protagonist was a Reformed Franciscan friar. Karol Surowiecki saw the Antichrist working through Revolutionary France. Like Augustin Barruel, he blamed the philosophes. Although no millennarian, Michał Poniatowski came to a similar conclusion on France's woes following a stay in Paris. Like Edmund Burke, he blamed the philosophes. The first section of this chapter analyses Surowiecki's polemics, which featured inventive titular metaphors and an all‐out attack on the ‘enlightened eighteenth century’. The second part questions the actual sway of the ‘French contagion’ in the later stages of the Polish Revolution and assesses the role of the revolutionary French minister in Warsaw. The third focuses on the primate, who returned to Warsaw in the late summer of 1791 to resume a key political role, and fought the infection with all his might.

Keywords:   Four Years' Sejm, pamphlets, clergy, Karol Surowiecki, Anti‐Enlightenment, French Revolution, Marie‐Louis Descorches, Primate Michał Jerzy Poniatowski

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