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Convocation Sejm (1764)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Convocation Sejm of 1764 was a session of the Sejm (parliament) of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It took place in Warsaw from 7 May to 23 June, and was a confederated convocation sejm, tasked with preparing a new royal election to fill the throne of the Commonwealth. It carried out a series of reforms to the Commonwealth government.

The Sejm was led by Sejm marshal, Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski. Familia party of Czartoryski magnate family, backed by the Russian Empire (whose military forces were occupying parts of the Commonwealth) forced an election of their candidate (Stanisław August Poniatowski). In protest at the presence of Russian forces, and influence of Russian ambassador to the Commonwealth, Herman Karl von Keyserling, many opposition deputies left the session - in the end the Sejm passed its decisions with only 80 deputies (out of 300) and 7 senators (out of 136). The Sejm approved the cession of the territory of the Commonwealth to Russia, made in the Eternal Peace Treaty of 1686.[1]

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  • Free Royal Election


Eligibility was known in medieval and the early modern age, however there was nowhere such processing as there was here. That means open and public elections by the commonalty of citisens and what`s more, so numerous citisens. Elections are taking place under the sky, "Sub Deo", So providence is close to the electors. At the beginning there was sung "Veni Creator Spiritus" and after, thank the Holy Spirit for the inspiration on knees. Help of the providence could be useful in 1573, when the nobles right to election was questioned. Since Jagiello election was made by the Royal Council, "Senate". Decission belonged to the several dozens of lords. There was serious danger that magnatery will dominate elections. This was unacceptable for the paricipants of the "Execution movement", who knowed what means to share responsibility for the state. They didn`t wanted to be puppets, but the real electors. "We`re all defending Republic, we`re all decideing about our ruler." Such privillage was issued by the "Seym" in the constitution of 1538. Since then the future elections should be "free", without the internal pressure. Pressure of existing King, so there cannot be election during the monarch`s life. NO !!! NEVER !!! NO !!! Decission about the shape and place of the elections was made after Sigismund August died. Nobility maintained state during 'interregnum' and called the Elective meeting to Warsaw. The choice of Warsaw prejudged two things. During the "Seym" of Lublin Union, when there were joined Poland and Lithuania, people were looking for a place of the common diet, which would connect, not separate both. Warsaw is in Masovia, district which was recently merged with the Crown back than. It had comfortable connections. First election took part on the right side of Vistula, on the field of "Kamion" (present "Kamionek"). Since the second, elections will be on the field of "Wola" (Will), the "Great Wola". Participation was expensive and difficult, especially for the citizens from borderlines of "Rzeczpospolita". Under that communication`s conditions, it needed often two weeks to reach that field. Technical issues, preparation of the field, so called "trench", senator`s "Shop", cleaning after all of that... There was comeing lots of people. Elective Seyms were lasting about 50 days. Often the poorest were leaving first. There was whole "game", sometimes typical 'obstruction', to hold the people as long as possible, proceeding other issues, to tire these electors they, exhausted, would go back to thier places and make it easier to decide for the magnates. Election`s field was always place of the political games, sometimes bloody, unti foreign armies were participating Election remained one of the most important evidences of the civic participation in the politics If not the disaster of "partitions", we will be now proudly saying that we worked out the best way of choosing the head of state, exactly in the free and open... Elections

Reforms and decisions

  • Stanisław August Poniatowski elected the new king of the Commonwealth, replacing interrex Władysław Aleksander Łubieński
  • Emperor titles of Russian Tsar and King of Prussia were recognized
  • private tariffs were abolished
  • general tariff for public treasury was introduced
  • liberum veto was abolished for discussions of financial and military matters
  • unified system of measurements was introduced
  • tax system was reformed (kwarta, head tax)
  • Jewish Council of Four Lands was discontinued as it failed to deliver collected taxes
  • Commissions of Treasury and Military were created
  • hetmans powers were limited
  • crown lands (królewszczyzna) were to be reviewed for incompetent management to increase public revenue
  • special privileges (serwitoriaty) of some royal craftsman were abolished, along with royal enclaves (jurydyki) near cities but not subject to municipal laws and regulations


  1. ^ Jacek Staszewski, August II Mocny, Wrocław 1998, p. 100.
This page was last edited on 25 April 2021, at 20:20
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