Royal Prussia

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Prusy Królewskie
Königliches Preußen

Royal Prussia
Province of the Kingdom of Poland
(Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569)

1466 — 1772

Flag of Prussia


Location of Prussia
Map of Royal Prussia (light pink)
Government Monarchy
 - Established October 191466
 - Loss of autonomy 1 July 1569
 - Annexed August 51772

Royal Prussia (German: ; Polish: Prusy Królewskie) was a province of the Kingdom of Poland and then the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1569 to 1772. Royal Prussia included Eastern Pomerania, Chełmno Land (Kulmerland), Malbork Voivodeship (Marienburg), Gdańsk (Danzig), Toruń (Thorn), and Elbląg (Elbing).


[edit] History

[edit] Thirteen Years' War

During the Thirteen Years' War ("War of the Cities"), the Prussian Confederation, led by the cities of Gdańsk (Danzig), Elbląg (Elbing), and Toruń (Thorn), as well as gentry from Chełmno Land (Kulmerland) asked for Polish support against the Teutonic Order's rule in February 1454. The rebellion also included major cities from the eastern part of the Order's lands, such as Kneiphof (Knipawa), a part of Königsberg (Królewiec). The war ended in October 1466 with the Second Treaty of Toruń, which provided for the Order's cession to the Polish crown of its rights over the western half of Prussia, including Eastern Pomerania (Pomerelia) and the districts of Elbląg (Elbing), Malbork (Marienburg), and Chełmno (Kulm).

[edit] Kingdom of Poland

Royal Prussia enjoyed substantial autonomy in its affiliation to the crown of Poland - it had its own Diet, treasury and monetary unit and armies. It was governed by a council, subordinate to the Polish king, whose members were chosen from local lords and wealthy citizens.

The Bishopric of Warmia had claimed the title of imperial Prince-Bishopric status, supposedly given by Emperor Charles IV. Although this claim seems unsupported by any document, it was in wide use in the 17th century. The bishopric continued defending this status until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.

The eastern part of Prussia remained under the rule of the Order and its successors, becoming the Duchy of Prussia in 1525 when the Order's Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg adopted Lutheranism and secularised the land as its hereditary ruler. In 1618 the duchy was inherited by John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg. It remained under Polish (and briefly Swedish) suzerainty and the rulers of Brandenburg had to swear formal allegiance to the Polish Crown. Brandenburg achieved sovereignty over the duchy in the Treaty of Wehlau (1657)

[edit] The Commonwealth

History of Brandenburg and Prussia
Northern March
pre-12th century
Old Prussians
pre-13th century
Margraviate of Brandenburg
1157-1618 (1806)
Duchy of Prussia
Royal Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
Free State of Prussia
1947-1952 / 1990-

As a result of the Union of Lublin in 1569, Royal Prussia's autonomy was abolished and the region was united with the Polish crown. Prussian electors became senators and representatives to the Polish parliament, the Sejm.[1]

After the incorporation to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, local diets (Sejmik) were organised for:

The main task of the Sejmiks was the election of MPs for the Sejm of Poland. Royal Prussia was allocated 10 MPs (167 total).

[edit] The Partitions

During the First (1772) and Second (1793) Partitions of Poland, Royal Prussia was gradually annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. Its territory largely made up the Province of West Prussia created in 1773.

[edit] See also

[edit] Further reading

  • Karin Friedrich, The Other Prussia: Royal Prussia, Poland and Liberty, 1569-1772, Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-521-58335-7.
  • Gerard Labuda (ed.), Historia Pomorza, vol. I–IV, Poznań 1969–2003 (also covers East Prussia) (Polish)
  • W. Odyniec, Dzieje Prus Królewskich (1454–1772). Zarys monograficzny, Warszawa 1972 (Polish)
  • Dzieje Pomorza Nadwiślańskiego od VII wieku do 1945 roku, Gdańsk 1978 (Polish)

[edit] External links