The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was formed by the 1569 Union of Lublin between the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and lasted until 1795. The new commonwealth was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe.
The new union possessed features unique among contemporary states: the Commonwealth's political system (known alternately as the Noble's Democracy or Golden Freedom) was characterized by strict checks upon monarchical power. These checks were enacted by a legislature (Sejm) controlled by the nobility (szlachta). This idiosyncratic system was a precursor to modern concepts of democracy, constitutional monarchy, and federation. The two component states of the Commonwealth were formally equal, yet Poland was the dominant partner in the union.
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was marked by high levels of ethnic diversity and by unusual religious tolerance, though the degree of religious tolerance varied over time.
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1632
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was ruled by King Władysław IV Vasa. The Commonwealth, which had a vested interest in a buffer region in Saxony and Brandenburg between the growing greed of the King of Sweden Gustavus Adolphus and their own borders, sent a token force to assist with the defense of Saxony. Gustavus used this as a pretext for war against Poland, and the great Grand Hetman Stanislaw Koniecpolski. During this war, Jeff Higgins found out that the Commonwealth had access to radio technology after he found a broken radio that he recognized as not belonging to any USE unit.
The Commonwealth also faced enemies from within. Along with the Cossacks, a pro-USE resistance movement began stirring up trouble within the country.
However, the Commonwealth's biggest problem may have been its own internal structure. Under the principle of liberum veto, any member of the Sejm could veto any proposed action. Also, the Commonwealth's great magnates had private armies which could be, and sometimes were, used in independent adventures.
The actions of the Polish King have only made things worse. By hiring the mecenary Holk and refusing to parley with his cousin, he had negatively affected the Commonwealth.
This has the unfortunate consequence of forcing Lukasz and Jozef (Stanislaw's nephew) to aid the USE in capturing Lower Silesia from Holk's mercenaries, as the Polish villages there would be safe under the control of the new German Nation.
Despite being invaded by the USE, many Poles of the lower classes have positive opinions of the American Up-timers while having negative ones on their own government