Kariery faworytów królewskich a kariery opozycjonistów w dobie panowania Zygmunta III (1587-1632)
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Almost from the beginnings of his reign Sigismund III tried to create the Royalist Party. The conflict with the mighty Crown Chancellor Jan Zamoyski led to the opposition the main architect of king's election in 1587. In the beginning it was Anna Vasa - his own sister - and a group of Swedes who came with a young king to his new Fatherland who played a decisive role in the environment of the ruler. The men of the great influence on the royal court were also Jesuits from the king's intimate circle. It was very soon, however, that Sigismund realized that in his rule in the Polish Republic he had to lean on the group of loyal magnates from Poland and Lithuania. In this article it was given a detailed analysis of the corporate body of laic and ecclesiastical monarch's favorites. In this group we can find without exception men who played main roles in the history of the Polish Republic. It is enough to call the names of: Andrzej Bobola. Hieronim Gostomski. Zygmunt Myszkowski, Feliks Kryski, Mikołaj Wolski, Stanisław Żółkiewski, Lew Sapieha, Albrycht Stanisław Duke Radziwiłł, Bernard Maciejowski, Maciej Pstrokoński, Marcin Szyszkowski, Wawrzyniec Gembicki, Andrzej Lipski and Jakub Zadzik. They all were men of exceptional education, knowledge of foreign countries and command of foreign languages. All of them were zealous Catholics. Almost all of them were friends and protectors of Jesuits. To king's favorites were also given most important State offices and rich Crown and Church lands. The majority of his favorites served as diplomats in the king's and State's service as well. What is more, the corporate body of Sigismund III's favorites was featured by a great internal solidarity. It is true of course that sometimes there was a lot of animosity among the members of this circle. It had never led, however, to any dangerous conflicts which could have disintegrated the whole group of king's favorites. It is worthy to say too, that in the group of laic favorites of Sigismund III the promotions of only four it's members bore fruit and gave the Senate promotions to their sons in the future. Also in the group of ecclesiastical favorites of Sigismund III only four Bishops were able to acquire places in the Senate for the members of their own families. Another interesting detail is that the majority of Sigismund Ill's favorites died before their protector. During the reign of Vladislaus IV only the youngest continued their careers namely - Jakub Zadzik, Kasper Denhoff and Albrycht Stanisław Duke Radziwiłł. The last from the old guard - Lew Sapieha - died in July 1633. Finally, it is worthy to remark that in the late years of Sigismund III's reign the more and more influent person on the Royal Court was the second king's wife Constance of Austria. For all this time the influence and importance gained also the form mistress of the Royal Couple's children - Urszula Meierin. Another very important connotation is that introvertical, silent and haughty king enclosed himself with men, who could not gain the sympathy and esteem in the eyes of the majority of nobility and magnates. The effect of this was the crump of almost all king's political initiatives both in the internal and international policy. The separated by the Author corporate body of the oppositionists was divided into five groups. The first group consisted of the zealous followers of Archduke Maksymilian during the election of 1587. The majority of them could not approve the reign of Sigismund till the end. It was this way that stopped and finished their careers. The second group consisted of the followers of Crown Chancellor Jan Zamoyski. Pushed back from the Royal Court he had to find support for his policy among the nobility and his magnate friends. Having gathered the big private fortune and a lot of Crown lands during the reign of Stefan Batory he became a great magnate almost independent from the king's will. Among his closest followers there were very influent magnates - Stanisław Żółkiewski (future favorite) and Mikołaj Zebrzydowski. With the Chancellor's Party cooperated the leader of Lithuanian dissidents - Krzysztof Duke Radziwiłł ''Thunderbolt'' as well as the leader of Orthodox believers Konstanty Wasyl Duke Ostrogski and the leader of Crown dissidents Andrzej Leszczyński. All of them were rich magnates from the old and influent families. Apart from that we have to say a word about the leaders of Sandomierz Rebellion (Rokosz) - Janusz Duke Radziwiłł, Zygmunt Grudziński, Jan Szczęsny Herburt, Stanisław Stadnicki and Piotr Gorajski. And finally, the last group of the oppositionists which was analyzed in this article was corporate body consisted of magnates opposite to the king's policy during last years of his reign: Jerzy Duke Zbaraski, Krzysztof Duke Zbaraski, Rafał Leszczyński and Krzysztof Duke Radziwiłł. In the case of the magnates' oppositionists, the king's disgrace could usually stop or only slow down their political careers. For the oppositionists from the middle nobility the same disgrace meant the political and property disaster. Also all oppositionists without any exception received usually the Crown lands less rich if we compare them to the Crown lands gained by the king's favorites. It is worthy to remark too, that to the end of the reign of Sigismond III there were plans of his deposition and put on the throne a candidate most convenient for the opposition. We also have to say that among the oppositionists we could not find any representatives of the Episcopacy. The Bishops properly saw in the king the supporter and protector of the Church. Just to sum up. almost all of the oppositionists gained the popularity during nobility's assemblies, sejmiki and the Diet (Sejm). While the favorites of the king were unpopular and disliked in the country. the oppositionists were usually very popular and adored by the mass of the nobility.