160. Miscellaneous cont. 1
“Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.”
Poland and its neighbors. On May 3, 1791, the draft Constitution was adopted by the Sejm with a simplified procedure. The day of approval of the Constitution was appointed at the initiative of the "patriots" who took advantage of the fact that during this period the majority of opposition participants were absent from the meeting of the Sejm while still on vacation. This caused protests from the reactionary camp, but 2 days later, under pressure from the gentry and petty bourgeoisie, the new constitution was officially declared a "Government Law", and, in addition, the Sejm by a special law established that all protests and protests against the Constitution have no force.
“...it's true that some if the most terrible things in the works are done by people who think, genuinely think, that they're doing it for the best, especially if there is some god involved.”
“Politics is a cold head, a dead heart, and dirty hands.”
“When the Russian tsar is fishing, Europe can wait,”
Small wonder that the protests started almost immediately. Of course, formally,
Constitution may look like everybody’s gain but was it? King’s executive power was limited but “The king will have the supreme right to command the country's armed forces during the war and appoint commanders of troops, but subject to their possible change at the will of the people. His duty will also be to assign officer ranks, appoint officials, in accordance with the text of the law below, appoint bishops and senators in accordance with the text of the same law, as well as ministers as first officials of the executive branch. The guardian or royal council attached to the king to comply with, (preserve) force and enforce laws will consist of: 1) a primas as the head of the Polish clergy and as the chairman of the education commission, which can be replaced in the Royal Rada by the first ex ordine (in order) bishop who (primas and his deputy) cannot sign resolutions; 2) five ministers, i.e. the Minister of Police, the Minister of the Press, the Minister of War, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of the Press (Chancellor) for Foreign Affairs; 3) two secretaries, one of whom is in charge of the security protocol and the other of the protocol of foreign affairs, both without a decisive vote.”
The King is in charge of all military appointments and the ministers who, as the members of a royal council, are responsible for overseeing implementation of the laws. A new army is a regular modern institution and not the old noble militia which, as far as the Constitution is involved, seemingly ceases to exist. And, while a King in his executive capacity had to just execute the laws, in his capacity of a chairman of the Senate he had a right to propose the laws. So, what exactly stands between the king and absolute power? The judicial institutions? Ministry of education overseen by the Church? Sejm with “.... Chamber of Senators consisting of bishops, voivodes, castellans and ministers chaired by the king”
and having a right on postpone any decision of a lower chamber until the next sejm (aka, by 2 years)? Small wonder that quite a few magnates were opposite to happy. One of the most eloquent of its opponents, Prince Antoni Stanisław Czetwertyński-Światopełk said: “There is a coffin of liberty in it, and I don't agree to accept it. If my civil jealousy remains without consequences, then at least witness that I protested and cried
”. Another very important figure among its opponents was The Great Hetman Franciszek Ksawery Branicki (on the painting above figure in a military costume at the front with his back to the viewer).
Another major figure was Count Stanisław Szczęsny Feliks Potocki, lieutenant-general of the Polish Army and general of the crown artillery . Actually, he was in the most peculiar position. After the Partition historic estate of his family in Galicia ended up in the Austrian territory, with which he was very unhappy, and the huge estates in the right bank Ukraine were now in Russia, leaving him “only” with those in Poland. However, nobody prevented him from using his now Russian estates centered on Tulchin where he built a palace.
In Ukraine, Potocki owned about one and a half million hectares and the annual profit of the estates was 3 million zlotys. So he was figuratively speaking sitting on two and perhaps even three chairs. He was well received at the imperial court and most probably could expect support from it.
Not that the lower level szlachta was uniformly excited because the liberum veto was abolished and with it gone a need of the big figures to please all their noble “electorate” and the same goes for the fact that the Burghers received the right to acquire land and hold military and civilian positions, and got reserved seats in the Sejm and the executive commissions for the treasury, police and the judiciary. A simplified procedure of gaining a noble status was making the yesterday’s merchants equal to the members of the old nobles families and, in practice, “more noble” because the new one had money and most of the old ones did not. Some of the most zealous personages in all social groups were unhappy with a fact that the dissidents are getting some rights. Of course nobody was interested in the serfs’ opinion but while they got some vague promises of a legal protection they also became “eligible” to being conscripted into the army and a newly established police made fleeing from an owner much more difficult.
But the problems were not just at home. At the news of the constitution the King of Prussia Friedrich Wilhelm II broke his alliance with the PLC leaving it pretty much on its own. Of course, at that time Austria was busy elsewhere and neither Russia nor Sweden were, at least immediately, intended to interfere into the Polish domestic affairs but all this could easily change.
However, none of there trifles unduly concerned the victorious progressive “patriots”, at least for a short while.
In Russia “the new broom” was sweeping clean. Emperor Paul did not have an intention to depart from his predecessors general course but he was fully intended upon the tidying the things. The versta polls were just the first step in that direction followed by the similar painting of the police booths.
This actually resulted in a temporary disfavor of Moscow’s famous head of police, Arkharov. Paul deeply respected his professional skills and soon after the coronation during official reception he took off his own star of St. Alexander and presented Arkharov with it, which was a sign of a great favor. But, in his zeal to please, Arkharov overdid the things. Knowing Paul’s favor of the stripped posts, police booths and other things “official” he decided to go a step further and during Paul’s absence from the capital ordered owners to paint doors of their houses the same way. Upon return Paul saw the results and asked about the reason for such an imbecility. He was told that this was Arkharov s initiative and got extremely pissed off: “Does he consider me to be an idiot to order such a thing?” Arkharov was removed from his position and appointed a governor of one of the provinces where he spent the next few years.
However, besides these silly episodes, a lot of work had been done on improving the roads and bridges, paving the main streets in the big cities (he knew the realities of life well enough not to try to improve all
got a well organized fire-fighting service with the capital being broken into the districts, each with its own headquarters, a team of the well-trained firefighters, and the signal system showing area and strength of a fire (and a need for the help from other districts). The provincial cities had been ordered to establish their own services based upon Moscow’s model. In the country with predominantly wooden buildings the fires were something of an often happening natural disaster, which sometimes was destroying the big parts of the cities.
Another area requiring attention were the paper money printing of which started running amok during the last few years of Paul’s father with a resulting lowering of their value comparing to the silver coin. Serious devaluation did not happen yet so, after issuing a declaration that the paper currency is an issue of a public trust which could not be betrayed, Paul put a temporary stop on a further printing and the measures were taken to remove certain amount of them out of the circulation restoring parity with the silver coin.
Well, being himself, Paul also regulated the dress code forbidding some “revolutionary” fashions. However, for a while this was pretty much an extent of his anti-revolutionary activities and appeals from the members of the 1st Coalition went nowhere. An argument that the revolutionary disease may spread over Europe had been routinely met with an answer: “when the Russian tsar is busy with his own affairs, Europe can wait”. Of course, it did look like the French are gaining some territory but they were too far away and situation in Poland required much greater attention.
Back to Poland.
Opposition to the new Constitution assembled at Targowica and declared confederation. Should they be backed by a military force or not? The “patriots” were making noises about return of the lost territories and, with a visible absence of logic, had been mostly concerned about the lands lost to Russia and Sweden while trying to restore an alliance with the King of Prussia. There was an intensive exchange of the letters between Moscow and Stockholm  and some of the confederacy members had been traveled to these capitals to advocate their case.
Potocki was elected chief, or marshal of the confederacy. His advisers at first were the great Hetman Francis Xavier Branitsky and hetman polny Severin Rzhevussky, who had been the nominal commanders of the army in accordance with their positions. Those opposed to the confederation were declared enemies of the fatherland. Tribunals, commissions and all kinds of judicial institutions operating in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were considered abolished. Instead, confederation courts were established to judge state crimes, that is, the reluctance to join a confederation. Following the main confederation, provincial, in the voivodeships, with voivodeship marshals and advisers were formed. The Sejm that created the constitution on May 3 was declared usurping and illegal, and the very act of drafting the constitution was called a conspiracy. Most of the tax revenues had been going to the confederacy. However, the confederacy was noticeably lacking a military force of its own.
On the opposing side, the “constitutional” party after seemingly getting an upper hand was seemingly paralyzed. They started the diplomatic talks with Prussia, Austria and even the Ottomans but to no avail. Which more or less left the new army. Formally, it should have 100,000 but actually was approximately 70,000 strong which also should be a considerable force. The army was divided into two parts: crown and Lithuanian. The first numbered 60 thousand people, the second 20,000, including infantry - 50,000 and cavalry - about 30 thousand people. There were about 200 guns. The army was not trained properly, the regiments were incomplete, with one battalion instead of two.
The Lithuanian army was commanded by a lieutenant general, Duke Ludwig of Württemberg, a man without abilities who was in secret contact with the Prussian government. After his resignation due to illness, Lieutenant General Józef Judicki was appointed commander of the army.
The crown army was commanded by Major General, Prince Józef Poniatowski, nephew of Polish King Stanisław August Poniatowski. This army was spread along the Russian border, which was giving some reasons for worrying about its further intentions.
Nothing was decided, yet.
 At the Polish Sejm of 1784, Potocki announced that he was giving the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth an artillery regiment and would ensure its further maintenance.
 ITTL Gustav III is not being assassinated.