The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth after the First Partition (1772)
Catherine II of Russia, also known as Catherine “The Great”, Frederick II of Prussia who became known as Frederick “The Great”, and Maria Theresa of Austria made an arrangement on August, 1772, according to which half of Polish territory should be divided among the three. In fact, the partition was ratified by the Polish Sejm, one year later, in 1773.
|Frederick II “the Great”, King of Prussia, aged 68|
On August 5, 1772, began the first partition of Poland-Lithuania. The Russian tsarist empire, the Kingdom of Prussia (now Germany), and the Holy Roman Empire based in Austria, rivaled by those Polish territories that were necessary for the expansion.
Growth of Brandenburg-Prussia (1600–1795).
Poland-Lithuania was a failed state full of disorders, gratuities and bribed bureaucrats in high positions. The king was not elected by the "grace of God" but by vote of an assembly or Diet, every time the monarch died. The monarchy was not hereditary. That partition was a literal devouring of a country.
Catherine II by Dmitry Levitsky
Frederick "the Great" of Prussia partition Poland was devised to prevent Austria go to war against Russia, by jealousy of victory that took the Russians against the Turkish-Ottoman Empire and gain territories.
Kaiserin Maria Theresia (HRR)
In addition of distributing Poland, the balance of power in Central Europe was reinstated among the three powers. As Poland had no defense, the Parliament ratified the partition in 1773.
Poland had no ability to defend itself. Therefore, foreign troops entered unhindered. Parliament (Sejm) had to ratify the distribution among the three powers.