Jonušas Antanas Višnioveckis apie motinos, brolio ir savo politinių akcijų motyvus (1700–1707 m.)
Volume 7 (2021): Lietuvos Didžioji Kunigaikštystė Giminė. Bendrija. Grupuotė, pp. 18–33
Pub. online: 31 December 2021 Type: Article Open Access
31 December 2021
31 December 2021
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the dukes Wiśniowiecki rose to the ranks of the most influential nobles of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Their interests, political actions, as well as disagreements or frictions within the family, had a significant impact on the course of political life in Lithuanian and Polish state at the time. The state was going through a period of shocks. Lithuania was overwhelmed by the civil war – a majority of the nobility revolted against the hegemony of the magnates Sapiehas, led by other aristocratic families dissatisfied with the Sapieha family. In 1700, the Wiśniowiecki rose to the leaders of this anti-Sapieha camp. In addition, the state became involved in the Great Northern War (1700–1721). The article discusses his motives, as well as of his brother Michał Serwacy and their mother Anna Dolska, for political actions in which they participated in 1700–1707, as presented in the memoirs of Janusz Antoni Wiśniowiecki. It is based on both published memoirs of Janusz Antoni Wiśniowiecki, covering 1700–1710, as well as an unpublished fragment covering the period of 1707–1708. It is revealed how Janusz Antoni explained political decisions of his close relatives and his own. The motives of those political actions in which the views of the members of the Wiśniowiecki family intersected or did not completely coincide are analysed. The motives of the actions of the dukes Wiśniowiecki and their mother during the decisive years of the Lithuanian Civil War (1700), presented in the memoirs of Janusz Antoni Wiśniowiecki, are discussed. Another set of political actions, the interpretation of the motives of which is analysed in the article, consists of the actions of the Wiśniowiecki and their mother that led into a closer relationship with the Swedes and their protégé on the throne of the Polish and Lithuanian state Stanisław Leszczyński, and which eventually ended in the overt crossing of the Wiśniowiecki into the camp of supporters of Leszczyński and the Swedes in 1707. Memoires reveal the obvious friction between the mother and her sons. The property dispute between the sons, especially Michał Serwacy and his wife, Kotryna Dolska, on the one hand, and the dukes’ mother, Anna Dolska, on the other, had to affect the relationships between the members of the Wiśniowiecki family when they were taking political initiatives. Although the mother was more in conflict with the younger son over property matters, there were frictions in political activities with both sons. The positions of the sons and the mother during the Lithuanian Civil War were especially inconsistent, when Anna Dolska suppressed and hindered her sons' initiatives against the Sapiehas. Janusz Antoni Wiśniowiecki tended to explain his mother's actions both during and after the civil war in Lithuania, i.e. when Anna Dolska tried to persuade Hetman of Left-bank Ukraine Ivan Mazepa to support Stanisław Leszczyński and the Swedes, by her personal motives – a desire to marry Kazimierz Jan Sapieha, and later her intention (or just a proposition) to marry Mazepa. Such an interpretation may indicate a tendency towards a simplified interpretation of the mother’s motives. However, it is not appropriate to completely ignore the son's approach to the motives of his mother's actions. The recollections reveal the close co-operation of the two brothers Wiśniowiecki in the political sphere and the efforts of Janusz Antoni to fully justify his younger brother for the accusations of crossing into the Swedish camp, explaining such decision by his selfless desire to save the Homeland and to protect himself and his relatives from the upcoming threats.