Small 8vo., disbound, pp. 43. Some stains to outer pages; otherwise a good copy in need of rebinding. A very rare and important French translation of the Polish Constitution of 3 May 1791. This was the first constitution of its kind to follow the 1788 ratification of the American Constitution, predating the French Constitution of 3 September by four months. The Irish statesman and political thinker Edmund Burke described it as “the noblest benefit received by any nation at any time”. The first draft of the Constitution was developed in secrecy, with contribution of several co-authors, including, among others, King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, Stanislaw Staszic, Scipione Piattoli and potentially Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz. The Constitution is considered to be the first to combine the clear division of the executive, legislative and judiciary powers with the monarchic republic legal order and thus is seen also as an embodiment of Enlightenment political values. Although the turbulent political climate of Poland and its neighbors at the end of the eighteenth century made it hard for it to endure, and although because of this in 1795 it was annulled, the Constitution of 3 May 1791 has maintained a mythological status, and is still viewed as a national symbol and the culmination of Enlightenment in Polish history and culture – to the extent that in Poland the 3 May continues to be observed as a national holiday. From the original Polish text translations were made into English, French and German. This text is in French.
Forme Constitutionelle décrétée par acclamation dans la séance du 3. mai, & sanctionnée à l’unanimité dans la séance suivante du 5. mai 1791.
SKU: 033914 Category: History Tags: 1791, 3 May, Antiquarian, Constitution, Constitution of May 3, eighteenth century, enlightenment, Forme constitutionelle d?cr?t?e par acclamation dans la s?ance du 3 Mai, Government Act, Grodno Sejm, Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, Konstytucja 3 Maja, law, legal history, liberum Veto, partition, Polish constitution, Polish history, political history, politics, Scipione Piattoli, Stanislaw August Poniatowski, Staszic, The American Constitution, The French Revolution