Wkład szlachty lubelskiej w dzieło reformy państwa w pierwszych latach działalności Sejmu Wielkiego
The Contribution of the Nobility from Lublin to the Work of the State’s Reform in the Early Days of the Activity of the Great Sejm
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The period of the reign of the last Polish king Stanisław August Poniatowski was when the thought of the necessity of radical changes grew in the minds of the nobility. The previous sejm (parliament) underwent degeneration in the course of the former hundred years and that gave rise to numerous pathologies, resulting in considerable weakening of the once powerful state. In the middle of the 1780’s the approaching conflict between Russia and Turkey and the cooling in the relations between our neighbours seemed to favour realization of the aims planned for long. Despite the lack of unequivocal consent on the part of the nobility to introduce a bold project of political changes, the patriotic camp – in agreement with the king – prepared and enforced the Constitution on Third of May, 1792, which was the first principal act in the European continent, and the second in the world. The Third of May Constitution, the preparation and resolution of which was largely aided by representatives of the Lublin voivodship, abolished liberum veto, did away with free election, replacing it with throne inheritance, and introduced a number of modern political solutions, at the same time not infringing – according to the demand of the Lublin nobility – any of the prerogatives of that class.
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