Military Involvement in the Royal Election of 1648 Cover Image

Udział wojskowych w sejmie elekcyjnym 1648 roku
Military Involvement in the Royal Election of 1648

Author(s): Mirosław Nagielski
Subject(s): Military history, Political history, 17th Century
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Cossacks; Chmielnicki’s uprising; Polish Army; the election of Jan Kazimierz; the royal election of 1648

Summary/Abstract: The following paper, which bases its research findings on Sejm journals, presents the involvement of the members of the military in the royal election of 1648, which resulted in the election of Jan Kazimierz. Moreover, the article discusses the attitudes of the civilian part of the society, which tended to be predominantly negative on account of the perceived excessive involvement of the military in the political matters of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. This, in turn, resulted in the involvement of entire military units (according to the calculations of the author, over ten thousand military troops attended the royal election). The election was not the only important matter discussed during the proceedings. Those deliberations included also the discussion on the reasons for the defeat in the battle of Piławce and assigning blame for the defeat to particular people. The article presents the state of the Polish-Lithuanian army as well as the problems it encountered at that time, which were debated during the proceedings, and the solutions to which included instituting new taxes and appointing new leaders. The author points to the hostility of the nobility towards the military, which stemmed from the belief in their incompetence and thirst for personal gain. The problems included predominantly the issues of the costs of the campaign and the attempts on the military’s part at influencing the proceedings. In addition, the article presents the possible solutions — of varying levels of adequacy — for solving the Cossack uprising, pointing out the necessity for appointing new military leaders and increasing the army’s finances through additional taxation. In the conclusion, the author remarks that the military involvement in the royal election could have significantly influenced their proceedings and outcomes.

  • Issue Year: 17/2017
  • Issue No: 12
  • Page Range: 9-23
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Polish