THE CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM OF THE DUCHY OF WARSAW
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The author describes the political consequences of the war campaign of 1806/1807 in the result of which Napoleon established the Duchy of Warsaw, being in fact a continuance of the Polish Commonwealth in part of its territory. Then there was created a Polish state with limited sovereignty and dependent on the French Empire. Over time, the Poles had gradually got used to treat the Duchy of Warsaw as their own state, in the hope of extending its territory in result of subsequent war campaigns of Napoleon. Their expectations were partly met in effect of the campaign of 1809. At that time, part of Galicia was incorporated into the Duchy of Warsaw. In the face of another war campaign, a new legal regime was established. Poland was expected to be restored within its pre-partition boundaries. However, as a result of the defeat of the Great Army in 1812, a Russian military occupation was imposed on the territory of the Duchy of Warsaw (1813-1915). The description of the constitutional system of the Duchy of Warsaw constitutes the main part of the article. The author presents the origins and circumstances in which the constitution was given by Napoleon in Dresden.. He pointed out similarities with and distinctions among the Constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw of 22 July 1807 and other Napoleonic constitutions. He enumerates systemic principles contained in the basic law and describes the position of state organs within the system of government, including the king, ministers and the Council of Ministers, the Council of State, the Sejm, local government and self government administration as well as the judiciary. He also deals with religious issues and social order of the Duchy of Warsaw. Finally, he discusses the discrepancy between the constitutional and actual system of government of the Duchy of Warsaw..
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