Polish-Lithuanian State, 1386-1795

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For four centuries, the Polish–Lithuanian state encompassed a major geographic region comparable to present-day Poland, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, and Romania. Governed by a constitutional monarchy that offered the numerous nobility extensive civil and political rights, it enjoyed unusual domestic tranquility, for its military strength kept most enemies at bay until the mid-seventeenth century and the country generally avoided civil wars. Selling grain and timber to western Europe helped make it exceptionally wealthy for much of the period.

The Polish–Lithuanian State, 1386–1795 is the first account in English devoted specifically to this important era. It takes a regional rather than a national approach, considering the internal development of the Ukrainian, Jewish, Lithuanian, and Prussian German nations that coexisted with the Poles in this multinational state. Presenting Jewish history also clarifies urban history, because Jews lived in the unincorporated "private cities" and suburbs, which historians have overlooked in favor of incorporated "royal cities." In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the private cities and suburbs often thrived while the inner cities decayed. The book also traces the institutional development of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland–Lithuania, one of the few European states to escape bloody religious conflict during the Reformation and Counter Reformation.

Both seasoned historians and general readers will appreciate the many excellent brief biographies that advance the narrative and illuminate the subject matter of this comprehensive and absorbing volume.

University of Washington Press

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Editorial Reviews

A masterful accomplishment.... This very important contribution to the English language literature on this region and these centuries is also, by its balance and perspective, a contribution unmatched in any language.
Canadian Journal of History
Well-planned, well-written, and well-balanced, this work is a major contribution in English-language historiography relating the the history of Poland-Lithuania from the late Middle Ages to the third partition.
In what purports to be the first account in English of four relatively peaceful, prosperous centuries in the region encompassing present- day Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, and Ukraine, Stone (history, U. of Winnipeg) takes a regional rather than nationalist approach to studying the politics, economics, and culture of the multinational state's Jagiellonian, Vasa, and 18th century periods. He examines its distinctive democracy, the under- studied history of Jews living in unincorporated urban areas, and the development of the Roman Catholic Church in a state that managed to escape Reformation-Counter Reformation conflict. Includes historical maps and a bibliographical essay. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295980935
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/2001
  • Series: History of East Central Europe Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 394
  • Sales rank: 499,556
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceMapsPart One: The Jagiellonian Period, 1386-15721. Jogaila/Jagiello2. Jagiello’s Successors: Wladyslaw III, Kazimierz IV, Jan Olbracht, and Aleksander3. Zygmunt I the Old4. Zygmunt II August5. Ecomonics & Society in the Jagiellonian Period6. Artistic Culture & Education in the Jagiellonian Period7. First Interlude: Henri Valois & Stefan BatoryPart Two: The Vasa Period8. Zygmunt II Vasa (Waza)9. Wladyslaw IV10. Jan Kazimierz11. Noble Democracy as a Political System12. Economics & Society in the Vasa Period13. Culture in the Vasa Period14. Second Interlude: Michal Wisniowiecki & Jan III SobieskiPart Three: The Eighteenth Century15. August II16. August III17. Stanislaw August Poniatowski18. Economics &Society in the Eighteenth Century19. Culture in the Eighteenth CenturyEpilogueBibliographical EssayIndex

University of Washington Press

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