Citizenship and Identity in a Multinational Commonwealth: by Karin Friedrich, Barbara Pendzich

By Karin Friedrich, Barbara Pendzich

This quantity seeks to deal with the doubts harboured through the West in regards to the skill of East important ecu states to construct smooth democracies and tolerant societies after the growth of the eu Union eastwards. The culture of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is thereby frequently neglected in favour of the nationalist romanticism and xenophobia of the 19th and early 20th century, which arose from the categorical context of the walls of 1772-95. but citizenship in a multinational context was once a principal topic of the political debate in early glossy Poland-Lithuania. for lots of modern spiritual and nationwide conflicts, this Commonwealth can't be an instantaneous version for imitation, yet may well function a resource of idea as a result of the artistic strategies and compromises it negotiated whereas integrating many religions and ethnicities. participants are James B. Collins, Karin Friedrich, Gershon David Hundert, Joanna Kostylo, Krzysztof Lazarski, Allan I. Macinnes, Barbara M. Pendzich, Felicia Roşu, Barbara Skinner, and Artūras Vasiliauskas.

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Although quantitative research on attendance figures in the local Lithuanian assemblies is based on rather fragmented and often incomplete sources, they provide glimpses of impressive levels of political activism among the poorer szlachta, with at least a third of local noble families of a district regularly involved in sejmik sessions, which took place around four times a year. Protests against delays and occasionally the failure by the king and central authorities to summon the sejmiki were vociferous and well documented.

At the Sejm that was held in the winter of 1556–1557 under Zygmunt August, two proposals for a common tribunal functioning independently from the Sejm were advanced, one by the Senate, the other by the deputies. The former was to be temporary and limited to undecided cases; the latter was to be permanent and to extend its jurisdiction over cities. They both involved electing judges from among senators and deputies alike, but neither of them was put into practice. King Zygmunt August was not eager to have limitations imposed on his judicial prerogatives, and the Polish nobles were not too keen on forcing his hand either.

The manuscript that Pomponne de Bellièvre put together to instruct Henri about Polish affairs pointed to the state of justice in the Commonwealth and ventured expressly to advise against the perpetuation of those courts that had been created during the interregnum: From what [is described] above it is clear that all litigations, both civil and criminal, finish before the king. But during the interregnum two courts 6 7 8 Volumina Legum, II, 21–24, 32–34. See also Kutrzeba, “La Réforme Judiciaire,” 296.

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