At which point was dissolution of Polish state inevitable?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Jan Olbracht, Aug 9, 2019.

?

When was dissolution of Polish state inevitable?

  1. The very begining of Polish statehood

    4 vote(s)
    4.0%
  2. The time of baptism of Poland-Mieszko I converted to wrong religion

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. The time of feudal fragmentation

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. End of Piast rule

    2 vote(s)
    2.0%
  5. Personal Union with Lithuania

    2 vote(s)
    2.0%
  6. Some point during Jagiellon reign

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Creation of PLC

    2 vote(s)
    2.0%
  8. Elector of Brandenburg allowed to inherit Ducal Prussia

    5 vote(s)
    5.0%
  9. Deluge

    9 vote(s)
    8.9%
  10. Lubomirski's rebellion

    1 vote(s)
    1.0%
  11. Great Northern War

    9 vote(s)
    8.9%
  12. War of Polish Succession

    5 vote(s)
    5.0%
  13. Seven Years War

    9 vote(s)
    8.9%
  14. Bar Confederation

    3 vote(s)
    3.0%
  15. First Partition

    34 vote(s)
    33.7%
  16. Third May Constitution

    9 vote(s)
    8.9%
  17. Other

    7 vote(s)
    6.9%
  1. Coley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Unfortunately I think geography did the Polish people no favors.No real mountain passes to choke off invaders (Switzerland),and nice plains for calvary or tanks.
     
  2. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    The Central European Plain - voted "most likely to be invaded" and "best place to have a war in" for 1500 years running.
     
    King_Arthur and Johnrankins like this.
  3. marcinL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    There are those fancy things called "fortifications" that could have delayed or stopped the invaders had Poles bothered to collect some taxes and build more of them.
     
    The Undead Martyr and TeePee like this.
  4. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    Western border of Poland (practically zero natural barriers) was among the most stable ones and remained almost unchanged from the time of Władysław Łokietek all the way to Partitions.
     
  5. marcinL Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    PLC was doomed when Poles passed the 3rd May Constitution and then sat on their laurels congratulating each other instead of working day and night to prepare for inevitable Russian riposte, and when the inevitable came, they quickly gave up and surrendered themselves to Catherine's tender mercies.
     
  6. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    Would they fight to the bitter end and then some, consequences would be interesting-second partition would be final one, PLC would cease to exist two years earlier, but-Austria missed second partition. Russia and Prussia would divide PLC between themselves and Prussia would end with such amount of Polish lands that it would change into Polish-German state instead of German one.
     
    Istariol, Ran, Ciniad and 3 others like this.
  7. steno19 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    A war in defense of the May 3rd Constitution was doomed to end in failure and an even worse position for Poland than OTL. Without any true foreign support (of which the only possible candidate was France, who certainly had to intention of marching troops into Poland to fight Russia) their was never hope of victory. You’d be better off avoiding a confrontation until Catherine’s death and try to get a better deal out of Paul. Portraying the Poles as lazy for not fighting a hopeless war when better options are available doesn’t really make sense.
     
  8. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    The only thing that could save them was having a strong state with a modern administration and army. They could still be weaker than the neighbors but a high cost of the invasion would be a deterrent and, if the PLC is a “normal” state, it is not being considered by the neighbors as a pain in the butt with which normal diplomatic dealings are impossible and to which the accepted rules do not apply.

    As was already mentioned, the PLC did not have major natural obstacles on its borders and neither such obstacles nor fortifications would save them against invasion: armies of the XVIII century had been penetrating the defensive lines and taking fortresses built by Vauban, tossing the Rhine and Danube and fighting their way through the Alps.
     
    TeePee and steno19 like this.
  9. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Yes, some people do not like him :)-)) but, objectively, he found himself reaping the fruits of his predecessors’ labor. His father and brother managed to turn pretty much “cabinet war” with Tsardom into a national conflict, lost Livonia to Sweden and allowed situation on Ukraine to deteriorate into the full-scale war with participation of the Crimea, Ottomans and Tsardom.

    Crisis was already there before he became a king.
     
    Ran, Johnrankins and steno19 like this.
  10. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Allowing Brandenburg to unite with Prussia was a mistake on Sigismund III's part. As soon as that was allowed to happen, Prussia began it's ascendency to a position where it threatened the existence of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Ironically, the Prussians wanted to stay with Poland and even requested that Sigismund III block the unification, but he refused.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  11. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    It was not easy to like John Casimir, although things would not be that bad if not his wife, who was more unpopular than him and failed to give him heir (in such case there would not be civil war over VR, even if King and Queen would try to organize VR campaign for their son-something, that even John Casimir would find pointless and counter-productive, and obviously they would not get French money for their campaign).
    The fact, that Władysław IV messed things with Tatars and Cossacks due to his attempts to restore Byzantine Empire does not make his brother innocent.
     
    Ran and steno19 like this.
  12. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    Question of Ducal Prussia was screwed by several Polish kings, starting from Sigismund Augustus. Ironically, only Henri de Valois was not willing to allow Brandenburgian Hohenzollerns to inherit it. Hohenzollerns for long time were underestimated, not only by Poles.
     
  13. Nathan Bernacki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2016
    Why were they underestimated?
     
  14. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    To start from “liking”, you can te-read two first books of the Trilogy to find that at least one well-known Pole did like him (giggle).

    Nobody says that he was “innocent” but his brother not just “messed” with Tatars and Cossacks, he and their father made a dedicated effort to create a national level hatred of the Poles in Russia and produce situation in which revenge from Tsardom was just a matter of time. One may say that conflict on Ukraine was a byproduct of the processes which kings of the PLC could not seriously change but conflict with Tsardom was their and so was its fundamental screwup which, for a while looked (deceptively) as a gain. Deluge was bad but it was not JC who lost Livonia.
     
    Ran and steno19 like this.
  15. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    I think with such deep crisis in Russia it would not be easy for any king to not use opportunity to get involved. Temptation was too strong. That propably would require ToT to be avoided. Also, memory of Livonian War (which was such serious threat, that enforced Lithuanians to accept Union of Lublin, something, that would not be accepted if Lithuanians were not afraid of possibility of Ivan IV marching to Vilnius. Union of Lublin avoided also could work in such case-Lithuanians would not invade Moscow on their own even during ToT) played role, and Swedish involvement in Russian affairs too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
    Ran likes this.
  16. Jan Olbracht Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2012
    Location:
    Polska
    Brandenburg was not seen as candidate for great power and Hohenzollerns were seen as friends of PLC and had family ties with Polish monarchs (and few times were even close to getting Polish crown).
     
  17. kasumigenx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    I think Poland needs secure borders, I.E. Upper Silesia, East Prussia, and Pomerellia which Austria and Russia were okay for Poland to acquire at least as condominiums.
     
  18. Daedwartin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2014
    It also helps Brandenburg is rather poor historically. So they were considered to be barely a threat to the PLC at the time. And Prussia is completely disconnected from Brandenburg, which doesnt even have a coastline at the time. If it really comes down to it, they can far more easily retake Prussia than Prussia could connect to Brandenburg. Then Frederick the Great Elector happened and Brandenburg-Prussia started to put together the state that would be part of the doom of the PLC.
     
  19. lokaloki Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    It seems, Great Northern War was too heavy for PLC. Many cities were burnt out, economic suffered much, many peoples killed or died.
    If Sweden win, and PLC is the ally of Sweden (if Civil war in Poland 1704-1706 finished very fast, for example - or better do not happen t ll) - I think, it is the very good point for re-born of PLC. And Russia may become something like late Ottoman Empire, without real power.
     
  20. alexmilman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    “Involvement” is understandable but screwing things up completely in a process of doing so is a totally different issue. There was a clear possibility for Wladislav to became a Tsar but instead he decided to take Russian throne by conquest for himself, which made it a national issue for the Russians. And his conquest of Smolensk produced a reason for the future wars.

    Wladislav, with his military successes, just escalated hostility. And, BTW, while the Romanovs did learn the lessons and started modernization of their army, the PLC did only minimal changes and its infantry never grew into a serious force.
     
    Ran likes this.