Jump to Navigation

Poland-Lithuania, Russia and Peter the Great

By Robert Frost | Published in History Review 1998 
Print this article   Email this article

Robert Frost reveals a neglected influence on his reforms.

In August 1698, on the way back from his famous embassy to western Europe, Peter I stopped off at Rawa Ruska in south-east Poland to meet Augustus II, elector of Saxony and the newly-elected king of Poland-Lithuania. Lubricated by four days of stupendously outrageous drinking, Peter and Augustus sealed their friendship with an informal agreement to wage war on Charles XII of Sweden, although it was another fifteen months before Augustus opened hostilities by attacking Riga, and it was not until two years after Rawa that the crushing of the revolt of the strel'tsy and the signing of peace with the Ottoman Empire enabled Peter to enter the war which was to end, twenty-one years later, with the defeat of Sweden and the definitive establishment of Russia as one of Europe's great powers. By the time of his death in 1733, Augustus's ambitious plans lay in ruins, and Poland-Lithuania had been eclipsed by Russia. Sixty-two years later, it no longer existed, after Russia had taken the lion's share of its territory in the partions of 1772, 1793 and 1795.


 This article is available to History Today online subscribers only. If you are a subscriber, please log in.

Please choose one of these options to access this article:

Call our Subscriptions department on +44 (0)20 3219 7813 for more information.

If you are logged in but still cannot access the article, please contact us



About Us | Contact Us | Advertising | Subscriptions | Newsletter | RSS Feeds | Ebooks | Podcast
Copyright 2012 History Today Ltd. All rights reserved.