Stanislav II August Ponjatovski
November 30, 2021
Stanisław August Poniatowski (Polish: Stanisław August Poniatowski; 17 January 1732 - St. Petersburg, 12 February 1798) was the last Polish king. During his reign (1764-1795) he was forced into three divisions of Poland in 1772, 1793 and 1795. He abdicated after signing the third division.
Lover of Catherine the Great
He was born in Wolczyn in present-day Poland. By 1752 he had become a member of the Sejm. He attracted attention with his oratory. His uncle Czartoryski is most responsible for his career, who sent him to St. Petersburg in 1755, accompanied by the British ambassador. There, with the help of the Russian chancellor, he received accreditation at the Russian court as the ambassador of Saxony. With the help of the British ambassador, he met Catherine the Great, who was 26 at the time and was not in power yet. Stanislav attracted the attention of Catherine the Great, who then left all the other lovers.
King of Poland
After the death of Augustus III, a coup d'etat from Poland followed, which was carried out by the Czartoryski family with the help of the Russian army. As early as September 7, 1764, Stanislaw August was elected King of Poland and Lithuania. He was crowned in Warsaw on November 25, 1764. His uncles Czartoryski had different wishes for another of their nephews to be king, but when Stanislav became king they did not create problems.
At that time, Poland was under the very strong influence of its neighbors Russia and Prussia. Russia controlled a large part of the Polish nobility. Stanislav started some economic reforms. He supported the reform program of his uncles until 1766, when he quarreled with them. With his reforms, he annulled the effect of the liberum veto, according to which every MP could block the decisions of the Sejm. One part of the nobility was dissatisfied with the abolition of the liberum veto and, with the help of Russia and Prussia, hoped for change.
War and the first division of Poland
The Russian ambassador in Warsaw, Nikolai Repnin, had great power, so the nobility inclined to Russia forced the Sejm to adopt Repnin's constitution in 1767. Prior to that move, they captured and expelled opponents of the constitution. At that session, decisions were not made by the principle, liberum veto, but by the confederal principle of the majority. With Repnin's constitution, they annulled the king's reforms and returned to the old principle of liberum veto. Religious freedoms for Orthodox and Protestants have been restored. Cons