ah, Ze Nobles. (Szlachta in Polish)
believe me, they haven't done much for the country, that we, the Poles, can be proud of, now.
It is fact that so called `Golden Freedom` gave unrestricted privileges for nobilities (szlachta) and Sejm (Polish Parlament) and limited competences of king.
Few examples of Henrician Articles:
The king must convene the Sejm (Polish parliament) at least every two years for six weeks,
The king had no right to create new taxes, tariffs or such without approval of the Sejm,
The king had no right to call a pospolite ruszenie (mobilisation of armed forces) without approval of the Sejm,
The king had no right to declare war or peace without approval of the Sejm,
King was only pawn in game for authorities of magnates.
But Glowa my friend, you must understand that `schlachta` obviously was based on traditional Polish (Slavic) political doctrine (on different morale values, natural, tribal, essence of true freedom and democracy). That doctrine once was very sucessfull, let`s say in time of glorious/prosperious days of Slavic civilization, in time when our ancestors consolidate on vast territory from Europe to the Eurasia and Asia.
Long period of time (for even thousends of years) such a system (or similar- which maybe in time of schlachta already was deformed in attempts of reform) existed and was functional. Then, things changed in global enviroment, any attempt for reform of old and traditional political system on enormous territory (`schlachta` system as reflection of it) was very limited and needed a lot of time. But, our Slavic ancestors didn`t have time, we were defeated and divided from advancing agressive newcomers, we were enslaved. And, history was written by winners, as always.