The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, or Republic of Both Nations, formally the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, after 1791 the Commonwealth of Poland, was a dualistic state, a bi-confederation, of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe.

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dbo:abstract
  • The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, or Republic of Both Nations, formally the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, after 1791 the Commonwealth of Poland, was a dualistic state, a bi-confederation, of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. At its peak in the early 17th century, the Commonwealth spanned some 450,000 square miles (1,200,000 km2) and sustained a multi-ethnic population of 11 million. The union was formalized by the Union of Lublin in July 1569, but the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were in a de-facto personal union since 1386 with the marriage of the Polish female 'king' (as it was she who was crowned as the actual ruler) Jadwiga of Poland and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila, who was crowned King jure uxoris Władysław II Jagiełło of Poland. The First Partition of Poland in 1772 and the Second Partition of Poland in 1793 greatly reduced the nation's size and the Commonwealth disappeared as an independent state following the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.The Union possessed many features unique among contemporary states. Its political system was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power. These checks were enacted by a legislature (sejm) controlled by the nobility (szlachta). This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, and federation. Although the two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, Poland was the dominant partner in the union.The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by relative religious tolerance, guaranteed by the Warsaw Confederation Act 1573; however, the degree of religious freedom varied over time.After several decades of prosperity, it entered a period of protracted political, military and economic decline. Its growing weakness led to its partitioning among its neighbors, Austria, Prussia and the Russian Empire, during the late 18th century. Shortly before its demise, the Commonwealth adopted a massive reform effort and enacted the Constitution of May 3, 1791—the first codified constitution in modern European history and the second in modern world history (after the United States Constitution). (en)
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  • Greek-Catholic St. George's Cathedral in Lwów was constructed between 1746–1762 following the Act of Unification of the Lwów archeparchy with the Holy See. (en)
  • Topographical map of the Commonwealth in 1764. (en)
  • Portrait of the Italian merchant and banker Guglielmo Orsetti. His wealth enabled him to make large loans to the Commonwealth. (en)
  • Portrait of the Greek merchant Constantine Corniaktos, who dealt with international trade, especially from the Ottoman Empire. (en)
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  • Protectorate of the Russian Empire (en)
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  • The location of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1619. (en)
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  • Sigismund II Augustus (en)
  • Stanisław August Poniatowski (en)
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  • "Pro Fide, Lege et Rege" (en)
  • ("For Faith, Law and King'") (en)
  • "Si Deus nobiscum quis contra nos" (en)
  • ("If God is with us, then who is against us") (en)
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  • Kingdom of Prussia (en)
  • Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria (en)
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  • The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, or Republic of Both Nations, formally the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, after 1791 the Commonwealth of Poland, was a dualistic state, a bi-confederation, of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch, who was both the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania. It was one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe. (en)
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  • Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (en)
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