The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788-1792: A Political History (Hardback)
  • The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788-1792: A Political History (Hardback)
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The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 1788-1792: A Political History (Hardback)

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£96.00
Hardback 392 Pages / Published: 01/12/2011
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The Polish Revolution cast off the Russian hegemony that had kept the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth impotent for most of the eighteenth century. Before being overthrown by the armies of Catherine the Great, the Four Years' Parliament of 1788-92 passed wide-ranging reforms, culminating in Europe's first written constitution on 3 May 1791. In some respects its policies towards the Catholic Church of both rites (Latin and Ruthenian) were more radical than those of Joseph II, and comparable to some of those adopted in the early stages of the French Revolution. Policies included taxation of the Catholic clergy at more than double the rate of the lay nobility, the confiscation of episcopal estates, the equalization of dioceses, and controversial concessions to Orthodoxy. But the monastic clergy escaped almost unscathed. A method of explaining political decisions in a republican polity is developed in order to show how and why the Commonwealth went to the verge of schism with Rome in 1789-90, before drawing back. Pope Pius VI could then bless the 'mild revolution' of 3 May 1791, which Poland's clergy and monarch presented to the nobility as a miracle of Divine Providence. The stresses would be eclipsed by dechristianization in France, the dismemberment of the Commonwealth, and subsequent incarnations of unity between the Catholic Church and the Polish nation. Probing both 'high politics' and political culture', Richard Butterwick draws on diplomatic and political correspondence, speeches, pamphlets, sermons, pastoral letters, proclamations, records of local assemblies, and other sources to explore a volatile relationship between altar, throne, and nobility at the end of Europe's Ancien Regime.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199250332
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 758 g
Dimensions: 240 x 164 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
The wealth of facts and the lucidity of analysis open new perspectives on the history of an event that wasas it turns outknown rather incompletely until now. * Maciej Janowski, Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences,Warsaw. *
[Butterwick] has done wonderful work in presenting the large pamphlet literature on church affairs * Larry Wolff, Times Literary Supplement *
[a] major accomplishment in confirming that the religious dimension of the Polish Revolution was, in its way, no less than that pertaining in France and no less significant in shaping its outcome. * Dr Nigel Aston, Reviews in History *
Butterwick's mastery of the primary and secondary literature is evident on every page. * Michael Printy, Slavonic and East European Review *
Butterwick's mastery of the politics of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the last years of its existence is truly unparalleled, and his intimate knowledge of the personalities, issues, and maneuvrings of what he calls the "Polish Revolution" is grounded in an awe-inspiring breadth of archival resources. * Brian Porter-Szucs, Canadian Slavonic Papers *
if Polish history is not to be so exotic in wider European discourse, one wishes for more books like this. [] [it] provides a precise analysis of the political process and simultaneously achieves a synthesis, with a precise writing style and a gentle sense of humour shining through the whole. [] This highly recommended book will be indispensable for anybody interested in enlightened Catholicism. * Almut Bues, Historische Zeitschrift *
The main strength of Butterwick's book is his meticulous analysis of "decision making in a republican polity." [...] Butterwick has undertaken a great task. Polish specialists have stressed that what he offers is more than just an analysis of the ecclesiastical debates of the Sejm; it is rather a new synthesis of the history of the Sejm itself [... ] The wealth of facts and the lucidity of analysis open new perspectives on an event that was - as it turns out - known rather incompletely until now. * Maciej Janowski, American Historical Review *
an important book to draw our attention to this alternative revolutionary road. * Karen Friedrich, English Historical Review *
an unquestionable model of scholarship on an important and underexplored subject in European, Polish and Church history, and therefore deserves to be read by specialists in all these fields. * Petro Nungovitch, Central Europe *
Butterwick demonstrates a deft mastery of the culture, piety, and politics of eighteenth-century Poland ... His analysis of this material is discerning and fair-minded. A gifted writer, he highlights the comic, tragic, and ironic dimensions of the human endeavors he describes. * Robert E. Alvis, Church History *
For a variety of reasons, The Polish Revolution and the Catholic Church, 17881792 - the condensed English-language version of a 988-page Polish-language tome - is an exceptionally important book with lessons for a wide academic audience. * Piotr H. Kosicki, The Journal of Modern History *

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