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Grand Duke Constantine Pavlovich viceroy of Poland - What do you think of him?


ConstantineK 26 | 1,259  
21 Nov 2009 /  #1
I know, I know that as soon as Pole is given opportunity to curse Russian you will find him beyond reproach of idleness...

But anyway what do you think about this illustrous prince who rulled Poland on behalf of his younger brother Russian Emperor Nicolas I?

It is well known that Great Prince was rare Plolonophil... Isn't it true that Poles should pay back him the same?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,269  
22 Nov 2009 /  #2
Roughly, and without consulting any of the books, I may say that the Wielki Książe Konstanty, under which name he is known in Poland, is not much praised here. He is judged to be a man who all too often violated the constitution which was awarded together with the autonomy to the [Congress of Vienna 1815] Kingdom of Poland by the Russian tsar. I remember I read somewhere that Duke Constanty used to humilate officers of the kingdom army during the endless army parades which often led them to commit suicide. The November 1830 insurgents tried to kill him in the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw, but he managed to escape in the clothes of a lady. However, it is a historical fact that thanks to his effort, the kingdom army was so good that it was able to attack and resist the forces of the army of the Russian Empire with success. Some historians even say that the 1830 Uprising had a real chance to win the independence for Poland from the Romanovs' Empire had it not been for the numerous political divisions among the Polish leaders of the Uprising at the time. I also read somewhere that the Grand Duke Constanty in the depths of his heart had supported the Polish forces against the Russians, and was proud every time when - in spite of everything else - "his", after all, congresional army was defeating the Russian forces of his powerful "big brother". I think he had some hopes to install his own autonomous hereditory rule in Poland. When the 1830 Uprising collapsed, he was - as far as I can remember - recalled back to Russia by the tsar.
vetala - | 382  
22 Nov 2009 /  #3
I've heard that he was a pretty interesting guy. He had a habit of of wearing Polish army uniform whenever he was in Russia and Russian uniform during his stay in Poland, just to spite everybody. He also spoke Polish fluently and claimed to be a better Pole than most ethnic Poles. There were also rumours that during the Uprising he had been singing Polish national anthem in front of Russian army officials, one of which got so offended that he handed his resignation.
Ironside 50 | 10,935  
22 Nov 2009 /  #4
ConstantineK
I think that he was mentally unstable and unable to govern and to take firm political stand on any issue.
He was an older brother of the Czar, he didn't become a Russian ruler for a reason.
lesser 4 | 1,311  
22 Nov 2009 /  #5
I've heard that he was a pretty interesting guy.

Sounds like a likeable person to me :)
jonni 16 | 2,485  
22 Nov 2009 /  #6
he didn't become a Russian ruler for a reason.

A large part of that reason was that his second wife was Polish and not Russian. He renounced the succession shortly after marriage. His wife was catholic rather than orthodox, which meant that any children (assuming she wouldn't convert) couldn't succeed to the throne.

He was also seen as being too sympathetic to the Polish cause, and as something of a social reformer, which was very much a political hot potato in C19 Russia.
Ironside 50 | 10,935  
22 Nov 2009 /  #7
A large part of that reason was that his second wife was Polish and not Russian. He renounced the succession shortly after marriage.

Its debatable but that he had mental issues is pretty certain.
jonni 16 | 2,485  
22 Nov 2009 /  #8
By today's standards certainly. By the standards of European royalty at that time, nothing unusual. He did seem to have a military obsession, fed by hero worship by the Russian cavalry, though drilling soldiers in his private rooms was perhaps taking things a bit far.

His conciliatory behaviour to (and even admiration of) the tyrant Bonaparte lost him a lot of support too.
OP ConstantineK 26 | 1,259  
22 Nov 2009 /  #9
I think that he was mentally unstable and unable to govern and to take firm political stand on any issue.
He was an older brother of the Czar, he didn't become a Russian ruler for a reason.

For sure, mental aberrations of Constantine, for I would rather speak of them as aberrations than instability, were a hereditary trait due to his father Paul I and grandfather Peter III. Moreover, Constantine had clearly realized all perils of his potential reign long before the death of his elder brother Alexander I; that was the first cause of his reluctance to take the crown. No doubts he would share the fate of his father and grandfather had he dared to do it.

Though, his Polonophilia serves as clear evidence that his mind was deranged to a certain extent.
Ironside 50 | 10,935  
22 Nov 2009 /  #10
Though, his Polonophilia serves as clear evidence that his mind was deranged to a certain extent

On the contrary it is prove that he had some sense left.
OP ConstantineK 26 | 1,259  
24 Nov 2009 /  #11
Grand Duke Constanty in the depths of his heart had supported the Polish forces against the Russians, and was proud every time when - in spite of everything else - "his", after all, congresional army was defeating the Russian forces of his powerful "big brother".

I know, I know....he was mad....

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