By Robert I. Frost
The Swedish invasion of 1655, identified to Poles ever considering because the 'Swedish deluge', provoked the political and armed forces cave in of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the second-largest country in Europe. Robert Frost examines the explanations for Poland's fall and the behavior of the warfare by means of the Polish govt, and addresses the the most important query of why, regardless of common popularity of the shortcomings of the political method, next makes an attempt at reform failed. conflict has lengthy been visible as an important to the advance of more advantageous platforms of presidency in Europe throughout the 17th century, yet experiences often be aware of states which answered effectively to the demanding situations. a lot should be realized from those who failed, and the paucity of English-language fabric in this vital clash signifies that After the Deluge will entice a huge viewers between historians of Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, and early glossy Europe generally.
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Extra resources for After the Deluge: Poland-Lithuania and the Second Northern War, 1655-1660
Interspersed with Historical Relations and Political Inquiries (London, 1784) p. 15. The saying 'Poland subsists by anarchy' (Polska nierzadem I6 stoi) had long been current within the Commonwealth. ibid. pp. 15, 121. 12 Introduction in Prussia, where he learnt much which he was later to apply on the battlefields of Germany. Before 1648, the Commonwealth's armies had proved perfectly capable of keeping up with the tactical changes of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Its reliance on cavalry was determined not so much by backwardness as by the nature of the enemies it fought and the terrain over which it fought them.
Despite the apparent restrictions on the king, his responsibilities were great and the scope for royal initiative was still wide. Although a diet had to be called every two years and an extraordinary diet could be called at any time, ordinary diets only lasted six weeks, while extraordinary diets were restricted to a fortnight. The diet's shortcomings were evident long before 1652. The king set the agenda through the proposals which he circulated to dietines on summoning the diet, but since much time was consumed by remonstrances or private and local matters, it was often impossible to devote enough attention to government policy.
This attitude left the Commonwealth dangerously exposed. There was no substantial standing army: political considerations prompted the progressive reduction of the number of troops under direct government control. By 1648, these consisted of the royal guard, limited to 1,200 in 1647, a permanent force of 4,200 regulars who garrisoned the Ukraine and the registered Cossacks, reduced to 6,000 in 1638 and unavailable after Khmelnytskyi's rising began. 26 The Commonwealth depended in times of need on locally raised or private forces: the levee-en-masse, consisting primarily of cavalry, units raised and 26 J.