Die multiplen Strategien Zar Peters I. und seines Wiener Gesandten Johann Christoph von Urbich hinsichtlich der Krone Polen-Litauens 1707–1709


  • Regina Stuber




The Treaty of Altranstädt forced Augustus II to renounce the crown of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth as well as any cooperation with the Tsardom of Muscovy in the context of the Great Northern War. Now Tsar Peter I was isolated facing the military superiority of Sweden. Looking for diplomatic solutions, Peter I pursued multiple strategies, building a political counterweight to Sweden in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth being one of particular importance. The election of a pretender to the Polish crown by the Sandomierz Confederation under the patronage of Peter I developed into a crucial part of Russian diplomacy. Johann Christoph von Urbich was accredited as a Russian envoy in Vienna at a time when the efforts of the Tsar to enthrone an anti-king to Stanisław Leszczyński stalled. Based on the resources of this experienced diplomat, changes of strategy were discussed. The discrepancy between the Tsar’s high expectations and the limits set by pragmatic politics put the new envoy into a situation in which he had to develop networks for initiatives of his own. His correspondence with the Saxon court and with Jan Szembek, the Polish Vice-Chancellor of Augustus II, show that the diplomat entered into special relations with them. These multiple loyalties only existed for a limited time, but were concurrent with his commitment to Peter I.

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