Casimir III The Great - Concession To The Nobility

Concession To The Nobility

In order to enlist the support of the nobility, especially the military help of pospolite ruszenie, Casimir was forced to give up important privileges to their caste, which made them finally clearly dominant over townsfolk (burghers or mieszczaństwo).

In 1335, in the Treaty of Trentschin, Kazimierz relinquished "in perpetuity" his claims to Silesia. In 1355 in Buda, Casimir designated Louis I of Hungary as his successor. In exchange, the szlachta's tax burden was reduced and they would no longer be required to pay for military expeditions expenses outside Poland. Those important concessions would eventually lead to the ultimately crippling rise of the unique nobles' democracy in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

His second daughter, Elisabeth, Duchess of Pomerania, bore a son in 1351, Casimir IV of Pomerania. He was slated to become the heir, but did not succeed to the throne, dying childless in 1377, 7 years after King Casimir. He was the only male descendant of King Casimir who lived during his lifetime.

Also, his son-in-law Louis VI the Roman of Bavaria, Margrave and Prince-elector of Brandenburg, was thought as a possible successor as king of Poland. However, he was not deemed eligible as his wife, Casimir's daughter Cunigunde, had died already in 1357, without children.

The Poles repulsed many raids of the Tatar-Mongols. However, Casimir III the Great submitted to the Golden Horde and undertook to pay tribute in order to avoid more conflicts. The 7 Mongol princes were sent by Jani Beg khan to assist Poland.

Casimir had no legitimate sons. Apparently, he deemed his own descendants either unsuitable or too young to inherit. Thus, and in order to provide a clear line of succession and avoid dynastic uncertainty, he arranged for his nephew, King Louis I of Hungary, to be his successor in Poland. Louis was proclaimed king on Casimir's death in 1370, and Casimir's sister Elisabeth (Louis's mother) held much of the real power until her death in 1380.

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