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"Polish History- The Napoleonic Age" Topic


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146 hits since 6 Sep 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2019 9:21 p.m. PST

"Even before the revolution, France held a special appeal to the Poles. For centuries Poland was engaged in a long distance love affair with France and in this case distance did make the heart grow fonder. The relationship was only consummated once, in the short-lived and bitter experience of the first elected king, Henri Valios. There were extended flirtations, such as when the French princess Louise Marie married Wladyslaw IV and then his brother John Casimir, bringing with her an extensive entourage of Parisians to the court at Warsaw. One of them, Sobieski's French wife, Marysienka, helped steer Poland in a pro-French direction and Louis XIV even offered the famous hetman the baton of a marshall of France. In the 18th century, France went to war to defend the election of their partisan Stanislaw Leszcynski. After his deposition the French offered him asylum and the Dukedom of Lorraine where the ousted king provided a direct link to Poland with the French Enlightenment. The French Revolution was seen as a kindred, if excessive, spirit during the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth's last attempt at liberation. The French seemed to offer aid to oppressed nations such as Poland with its slogan of "liberty, equality, and fraternity". Through all these interactions French support was more apparent than real, often more of a ruse to further French international policy than a genuine concern about the well-being of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, it should be noted that the motives of the French were of less concern than their actions to the Americans, who used France's hatred of Great Britain to found a nation based on principles diametrically opposed to the old regime…"
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