The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788-1792: A Political History

Hardcover | January 1, 2012

byRichard Butterwick

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The Polish Revolution cast off the Russian hegemony that had kept the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth impotent for most of the eighteenth century. Before being overthrown by the armies of Catherine the Great, the Four Years' Parliament of 1788-92 passed wide-ranging reforms, culminating inEurope's first written constitution on 3 May 1791. In some respects its policies towards the Catholic Church of both rites (Latin and Ruthenian) were more radical than those of Joseph II, and comparable to some of those adopted in the early stages of the French Revolution. Policies included taxation of the Catholic clergy at more than double therate of the lay nobility, the confiscation of episcopal estates, the equalization of dioceses, and controversial concessions to Orthodoxy. But the monastic clergy escaped almost unscathed. A method of explaining political decisions in a republican polity is developed in order to show how and why theCommonwealth went to the verge of schism with Rome in 1789-90, before drawing back. Pope Pius VI could then bless the 'mild revolution' of 3 May 1791, which Poland's clergy and monarch presented to the nobility as a miracle of Divine Providence. The stresses would be eclipsed by dechristianizationin France, the dismemberment of the Commonwealth, and subsequent incarnations of unity between the Catholic Church and the Polish nation. Probing both 'high politics' and political culture', Richard Butterwick draws on diplomatic and political correspondence, speeches, pamphlets, sermons, pastoral letters, proclamations, records of local assemblies, and other sources to explore a volatile relationship between altar, throne, andnobility at the end of Europe's Ancien Regime.

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The Polish Revolution cast off the Russian hegemony that had kept the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth impotent for most of the eighteenth century. Before being overthrown by the armies of Catherine the Great, the Four Years' Parliament of 1788-92 passed wide-ranging reforms, culminating inEurope's first written constitution on 3 May 179...

Richard Butterwick is the author of Poland's Last King and English Culture: Stanislaw August Poniatowski, 1732-1798 (OUP, 1998), and numerous articles on the political, religious, cultural, and intellectual history of the Polish-Lithuanian lands in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

other books by Richard Butterwick

Polands Last King and English Culture: Stanislaw August Poniatowski, 1732-1798
Polands Last King and English Culture: Stanislaw August...

Hardcover|Mar 1 1998

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:January 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199250332

ISBN - 13:9780199250332

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroductionPart I: Plunder1. The Commonwealth and the Catholic Church in 17882. The Republican Revolution3. The First Wave of Ecclesiastical Polemics (to the summer of 1789)4. Tax or Offering?5. The Secularization of the Bishopric of CracowPart II: Compromise6. Pamphleteers, Journalists, and the Church: Summer 1789 - Spring 17917. On the Brink of Schism8. A Limited Ecclesiastical Reform9. Une Renaissance de Barbarie? The Autumn of 1790Part III: Providence10. The Law on Royal Towns and the Constitution of 3 May 179111. Propagating and Sacralizing the Providential Revolution12. Antichrist comes from France13. Caesar's Moral Realm14. Ecclesiastical Reform - for the OrthodoxConclusionSelect BibliographyGlossaryIndex