Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski

Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski (1732-1798), the son of a magnate family, he became king in 1764 as a protege of the Russian empress Catherine II. He was an enlightened man, well educated and sensitive. He did a lot to raise the level of the Polish elites and modernise the country. Politically and from the point of view of its international position, the Polish-Lithuanian state was already in a state of decline, and measures introduced by the king and his enlightened associates served the future rather than the present day. The king was a knowledgeable protector of the arts and culture. He hoped that Poland would preserve its independence thanks to the magnanimity of Catherine the Great. One of his greatest achievements was his active participation in the drafting of the Constitution of May 3rd of 1791. However, when faced with the strong opposition of the empress, he quickly capitulated and agreed to abdicate. His abdication spelt the end of the independent Polish-Lithuanian state. [art]