Poland 1648


Map Code: Ax02074

1648 marked the beginning of the ‘Deluge’ (c. 1648–60), a ruinous phase of uprisings and wars. It began with the Zaporogian Cossack independence struggle against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1648–55, supported by Tatars of the Crimean Khanate and disparate disaffected elements within the region, including the peasants. The rebellion resulted in the defeat of the Polish eastern army and, with Russian complicity (Russia wanted to reclaim Polish-annexed territories), the massacre of over a million Polish landlords, Roman Catholics and Jews from 1653–55. Meanwhile, in the summer of 1655, Charles X of Sweden exploited Poland’s vulnerability and, allied with Transylvania, swept into Greater Poland and scored a string of easy victories. Poland eventually drove the Swedes from their territory in 1657. After a series of Russo-Polish Wars (1654–67), Poland took Livonia and the west bank of the Dnieper, while Russia kept the eastern bank of the Dnieper River, Smolensk and Kiev.

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