Smolensk War - Background


In 1632, Sigismund III Vasa, the king of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, died. Although the Commonwealth nobility quickly elected Sigismund's son Władysław IV Vasa as their new ruler, Poland's neighbours, expecting delays in the electoral process, tested the Commonwealth's perceived weakness. Swedish king Gustav II Adolph sent envoys to Russia and the Ottoman Empire to propose an alliance and war against the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth was not ready for war. In 1631, the royal army numbered barely 3,000 men; the Smolensk garrison was about 500 strong, and most garrisons in the border area were composed not of regular or mercenary soldiers but of 100 to 200 local volunteers. Aware that Russia was preparing for war, in the spring of 1632 the Sejm (Polish-Lithuanian parliament) increased the army by recruiting an additional 4,500 men; by mid-1632 the deputy voivode (podwojewoda) of Smolensk, Samuel Drucki-Sokoliński, had about 500 volunteers from pospolite ruszenie and 2,500 regular army soldiers and Cossacks. In May the Senate agreed to increase the size of the army, but Grand Lithuanian Hetman Lew Sapieha objected, arguing that the current forces were enough and that war was not likely. Nonetheless the Field Lithuanian Hetman Krzysztof Radziwiłł recruited an additional 2,000 soldiers.

Russia, having recovered to a certain extent from the Time of Troubles, agreed with the assessment that the Commonwealth would be weakened by the death of its king, and unilaterally attacked without waiting for the Swedes and the Ottomans. Russia's aim was to gain control of Smolensk, which it had ceded to the Commonwealth in 1618 at the Truce of Deulino, ending the last Russo-Polish War. Smolensk was the capital of the Commonwealth's Smoleńsk Voivodeship, but it had often been contested, and it changed hands many times during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries (from the days of the Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars). A major supporter of the war was the Tsar's father, Patriarch Filaret, who represented the anti-Polish camp at court. Inspired by the Zemsky Sobor's (Russian parliament's) call for vengeance and reclamation of lost lands, the Russian army sallied west.

Read more about this topic:  Smolensk War

Other articles related to "background":

Eddie Chapman - Background
... Well along into his criminal career he was arrested in Scotland and charged with blowing up the safe of the headquarters of the Edinburgh Co-operative Society ... Let out on bail, he fled to Jersey in the Channel Islands where he attempted unsuccessfully to continue his crooked ways ...
Young, Gifted And Black - Personnel
... piano Billy Preston - Organ Sammy Turner - Background Vocals Hubert Laws - Alto Flute Chuck Rainey - Bass J.R ... Bailey - Background Vocals Carolyn Franklin - Background Vocals Erma Franklin - Background Vocals The Memphis Horns - Ensemble The Sweet Inspirations - Background Vocals Jack Adams - Engineer Howard Albert ... Clark - Background Vocals Cornell Dupree - Guitar Jimmy Douglass - Engineer Tom Dowd - Arranger, Producer Chuck Kirkpatrick - Engineer Eric Gale - Bass ...
Yankee White
... Yankee White is an administrative nickname for a background check given in the United States of America for Department of Defense personnel and contractor employees working with the President and Vice President ... requires, in part, a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) which is conducted under the manuals of the U.S ... Individuals having Yankee White clearances undergo extensive background investigation ...
TurboGrafx-16 - Technical Specifications - Display - Color
... available 512 Colors onscreen Maximum of 482 (241 background, 241 sprite) Palettes Maximum of 32 (16 for background tiles, 16 for sprites) Colors per palette 16 per background palette (colo ...
44 Liquormart, Inc. V. Rhode Island - Background
... In 1985, a liquormart brought a suit against the liquor control commissioner, arguing, among other things, that the first regulation, which prevented the liquormart from advertising its prices, was unconstitutional ... The Rhode Island Supreme Court, however, held that the regulation did not violate the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, or the Sherman Anti-Trust Act ...

Famous quotes containing the word background:

    In the true sense one’s native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home.
    Emma Goldman (1869–1940)

    I had many problems in my conduct of the office being contrasted with President Kennedy’s conduct in the office, with my manner of dealing with things and his manner, with my accent and his accent, with my background and his background. He was a great public hero, and anything I did that someone didn’t approve of, they would always feel that President Kennedy wouldn’t have done that.
    Lyndon Baines Johnson (1908–1973)

    Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)