Why did the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth Collapse?


in this article, we will talk about that why did the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Collapse? in medieval times Europe was a place where many kingdoms and duties existed in various forms along with other administrative structures like empires or princedoms or other forms the kingdom of Poland existed along with the Duchy of Lithuania at one point the two entities unified the Commonwealth was established by the union of Lublin of 1569.

Why did the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth Collapse

but the crown of Poland in the crown of Lithuania had been in a personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish Queen Hedwig and Lithuania is Grand Duke yahwah formally the crown of the kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a dual state a true confederation of two countries Poland and Lithuania which was in fact ruled by a single monarch who was both king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania at its greatest extent.

this was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th to 17th century Europe at its largest territorial extent in the early 17th century the Commonwealth covered almost 1 million kilometers of land and on this land lived a multi-ethnic population of around 11 million you wouldn’t think it was so much but at the time it was a pretty large population.

 it was still a powerful country at the start of the 18th century with at the end of the century it was wiped from the map there was no Poland nor Lithuania [Music] the Golden Age of the Commonwealth was reached in the early 17th century they had a powerful Parliament which was dominated by Nobles the Commonwealth was able to hold its own against Swede.

thus ardham of Russia and others even launched successful expansionist offensives against its neighbors in several invasions during times of trouble Commonwealth troops entered Russia and managed to take Moscow it was involved in other conflicts and the Commonwealth power began to fade slowly after a series of blows during the following decades.

a major rebellion of Ukrainian Cossacks in the southeastern portion of the Commonwealth began in 1648 it resulted in a Ukrainian request for protection by the Russian Tsar Russian annexation of part of Ukraine gradually supplanted Polish influence the other blow to the Commonwealth was a Swedish invasion in 1655.

the most important battle of that time for them was in 1683 the Battle of Vienna marked the final turning point in between the forces of Christian Europe and the Islamic Ottomans the economic breakdown in the Commonwealth in the second half of the 17th century has often been seen as a result of the destruction of the country caused by Wars.

the solutions adopted resulted eventually in more deterioration of productivity speaking about paper industry agriculture and others the economy of this country was in trouble due to its principal reason the Commonwealth was subjected to constant warfare from 1648 to 1720.

The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth Collapse


the protracted role of the country as a battlefield the quartering of troops and armies combined with the policy of exacting contributions and pillaging during the great northern war greatly deteriorated the economy of the country internal warfare and looting by unpaid Commonwealth troops added to the damage the resource crisis was applied to all parts of the society affecting.

the villages cities and towns industry and manufacturing suffered too as the funds flowing into the state treasury no stability no organization no production not much money to invest epidemic disease outbreaks and population was reduced by a third to seven million people the ordinary people lost their economic base and the powerful and rich class had become the only people to be able to have a significant economic and political activity.

the weakness of central government prevented an introduction of a uniform statewide economic policy the balance of trade remained negative the urban classes had become marginalized and lacked influence as even by the end of the 18th century the population of town residents constituted no more than 50% of the Commonwealth total it was a true degradation of towns which led to the national decline.

another reason for this trouble and for what follows next is actually them in their geographic position we understood that at some point you to some expensive Wars and due to the devastation that followed some bad things happen but we have to consider more details.

than that first of all their geographic position between the German states in the West and Russia in the east and between Sweden in the north in Habsburg in the south where there was a pretty big Ottoman influence at some point so just by looking at this position here we can understand it was a very delicate one it is like you always have to look behind you.

because there could be a possible enemy and being in the center of these great powers it was not a good thing another aspect is their dimensions of course by being a powerful country for years they were prosperous and hard to be conquered but at some point they were too heavy and the problem was that it was somehow sparsely populated.

especially in the eastern portion not to mention that this was a multi-ethnic structure which started between the Polish and the Lithuanians but being populated by others – like Germans Tatars Russians Ukrainians and others the complexity of the Empire in language and administration its dimensions and its G graphic position were the principal reasons for the collapse.


but this was just what could have happened at that point and it did collapse due to what came next the weakened state was aggravated by the election of the king and by the involvement of others in Polish Affairs and it was clear that this big country was in serious trouble in the late 17th century and early 18th centuries.

the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth had been reduced from the status of a major European power to that of a Russian Protectorate or vassal or satellite state with the Russian Tsar effectively choosing polish Lithuanian monarchs during the free elections and deciding the outcome of much of Poland’s internal politics all this created a situation for other powers to take advantage the first partition of Poland took place in 1772 growth.

in the Russian empires power threatening the Habsburgs and the Kingdom of Prussia the administration tried to create reforms to establish a constitution and new laws in order to create some stability in this land but the much desired effect didn’t happen as it was planned this was inspired by the French Revolution and in theory there were some pre Republican reforms Russia saw this.

as an opportunity to intervene against the weakened state after this war other territories were taken by Russia and Prussia in 1793 there were riots and the Polish people turned against the occupying forces of Prussia and Russia the big state was now a small and very weak one this was again a new opportunity for other powers to take all of what was left now as prey Poland became victim of an aggression the Austrian Prussian and Russian representatives met in 1795 to dissolve the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth.

the three conquering powers collaborated and they signed a treaty to divide the land between them the year of 1795 was the end of this Commonwealth and the end of Poland which was wiped from the map as an independent state until 1918 after.

the first world war Russia Austria and Prussia forced the last king Stanislas to abdicate the throne and retire to saint-petersburg millions of Polish were now part of other empires and kingdoms their state was gone the country was ripped apart all these reasons from the geographic position to the poor leadership. at some point and to the Russian Prussians and Austrian aggression led to a Europe without Poland nor Lithuania for more than a century.


in 1918 Poland reappeared again on the map but their peace will last just for 21 years in 1939 a new partition of Poland made again by Russians and the Germans will wipe again from the map the Polish state  which reappeared after the war this could be interpreted as the fourth partition.

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