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Description

Scarce map of Poland, published by Von Reilly.

The map was published during the period when Stanislaw II was attempting to reform Poland and implement a set of modern laws, in tune with the Enlightment.

The Great Sejm convened by Stanisław II August in 1788 successfully adopted the 3 May Constitution, the first set of modern supreme national laws in Europe. However, this document, accused by detractors of harboring revolutionary sympathies, generated strong opposition from the Poland's nobles and conservatives as well as from Catherine II of Russia, who, determined to prevent the rebirth of a strong Poland, set about planning the final dismemberment of the Polish-Lithuanian state. Russia was aided in achieving its goal when the Targowica Confederation, an organization of Polish nobles, appealed to the Empress for help. In May 1792 Russian forces crossed the Commonwealth's frontier, thus beginning the Polish-Russian War.

The defensive war fought by the Poles ended prematurely when the King, convinced of the futility of resistance, capitulated and joined the Targowica Confederation. The Confederation then took over the government. Russia and Prussia, fearing the mere existence of a Polish state, arranged for, and in 1793 executed, the Second Partition of the Commonwealth, which left the country deprived of so much territory that it was practically incapable of independent existence. Eventually, in 1795, following the failed Kościuszko Uprising, the Commonwealth was partitioned one last time by all three of its more powerful neighbors, and with this, effectively ceased to exist.