Ladislaus IV

Ladislaus IV Ladislaus IV (1596-1648), the son of Sigismund III Vasa and Anne of Habsburg, ascended the Polish throne following the election of 1632. He was in favour of armed moves, unlike the majority of the gentry. He continued to make unsuccessful armed attempts to claim the Swedish crown as well as the crown of Muscovy which he had been offered in 1610. In order to strengthen his position on the Baltic, he built a large fleet. He also planned a war against Turkey, but his plans were defeated by the gentry. His wife, Marie Louise Gonzague, took an active part in political life, and acted for an alliance with France and the introduction of vivente rege election (that is, election during the lifetime of the ruling king). During Ladislaus' reign the Cossacks in the Ukraine started an open rebellion against Poland. Their army under the command of Bohdan Khmelnitski defeated the Polish knights more than once. [art]