Prince Leon Sapieha was one of the most prominent Polish politicians and socio-economic activists of the period of national subjugation. Given that Sapieha was involved in taking most political and economic decisions in Eastern Galicia in the years 1836–1875, his views, beliefs and ideas were of utmost importance for shaping the opinion of the Galician society. The experience of the November uprising brought about Sapieha’s fi rm rejection of an uprising as a means of regaining independence by Poland. Neither did he count on the intervention of the European powers in the Polish interest. He believed that independence could be achieved either as a result of a European war in which the invaders would fi ght on opposite sides, or, alternatively, owing to international treaties. A supporter of organic work, Leon Sapieha held that the main task of the Polish society was to build the political, cultural and economic power of the nation, with the help of the peasants, won over for the national cause. An advocator of public education regardless of sex and state, Sapieha perceived education as the only means of the national awakening of the peasantry and attached fundamental importance to improving the situation of the peasants and other social groups. In the Prince’s view, religious and moral values should be inherent in the socio-economic and political life. Sapieha believed in the distinctiveness of the national identity of Poles and Ruthenians. Both nations were supposed to cooperate closely. His socio-political and economic ideas put Sapieha close to the right, his program almost identical to those of other positivists. Leon Sapieha’s opinions were largely shaped by his social standing, his own experience, education and upbringing he received in the family home. His ideas were to some extent infl uenced by the then political thought, including that of Edmund Burke, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Macaulay. Of great importance were the opinions of Adam Jerzy Czartoryski, Andrzej Zamoyski and Franciszek Ksawery Drucki-Lubecki. Leon Sapieha’s major goal was sovereign Poland.