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The hidden Commonwealth: Poland–Lithuania and scottish political discourse in the seventeenth century

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines that Poland-Lithuania had a greater implicit relevance when the Scottish tradition of a commonwealth in opposition to monarchy is matched up to Polish rights of resistance as exercised through a rokosz. The Commonwealth of two nations had maintained an elective monarchy and a common parliament, but also retained distinctive institutions with regard to regional parliaments and separate armed forces. The imposition of serfdom and the reliance on Jews and foreigners to conduct trade within this Commonwealth had encouraged largescale migration from Scotland as well as commercial interaction with Poland-Lithuania from the late sixteenth century. The Commonwealth of two nations also featured in a more positive political light in the later seventeenth century. Scottish politicians arguing in favour of political incorporation were prone to refer to accumulative formations through the absorption of lesser kingdoms and principalities into composite monarchies such as Spain and France.

Keywords: commonwealth; later seventeenth century; Poland-Lithuania political discourse; political incorporation; Scottish political discourse



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