Remarks on the Reformatory Plans of King John Casimir
Keywords:John II Casimir, reforms, liberum veto, election “vivente rege”, abdication
The article presents the reformatory ideas of King John Casimir in the years 1655–1658. They are worth mentioning, although they had no chance of being realized. Due to the danger of war the King proposed that the military obligation should be exceeded not only on noblemen, but the Sejm should impose it on representatives of lower estates. The towns should have been transformed into “fortresses of the Commonwealth”, well prepared for effective defence. Also peasants would have to bear new military obligation, by serving in the re-modelled “Lands’ infantry”. In his oath on April 1st, 1656 the King pronounced a considerable limitation of feudal obligations over peasants, such as serfdom. After the war with Sweden he didn’t return to these ideas. In the ﬁeld of the Commonwealth’s political system, the King proposed limitation of the “liberum veto” system in the Sejm and the reform of free election of the King. These proposals, especially the idea of the election “vivente rege”, i.e. the election of the King during the reign of the previous monarch, were strongly contested by noblemen. King John Casimir decided to abdicate.
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