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Adam Jerzy Czartoryski

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Title: Adam Jerzy Czartoryski  
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Adam Jerzy Czartoryski

Adam Jerzy Czartoryski
Photograph by Nadar
Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire (de facto)
In office
Monarch Alexander I of Russia
Preceded by Alexander Vorontsov
Succeeded by Andrei Budberg
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Imperial Russia
In office
Monarch Alexander I of Russia
Preceded by Alexander Vorontsov
Succeeded by Andrei Budberg
1st President of the Polish National Government
In office
3 December 1830 – 15 August 1831
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Jan Krukowiecki
Personal details
Born 14 January 1770
Warsaw, Poland
Died 15 July 1861(1861-07-15) (aged 91)
Montfermeil, France
Spouse(s) Anna Zofia Sapieha
Profession statesman, author
Adam Jerzy Czartoryski
Coat of arms Czartoryski
consort Anna Zofia Sapieha
Noble family Czartoryski
Father Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski
Mother Izabela Fleming
Born (1770-01-14)14 January 1770
Warsaw, Poland
Died 15 July 1861
Montfermeil, near Paris,

Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski (Polish pronunciation: , Polish noble, statesman and author. He was the son of Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and Izabela Fleming.

Czartoryski held the distinction of having been part, at different times, of the governments of two mutually hostile countries. He was de facto Chairman of the Russian Council of Ministers (1804–6), and President of the Polish National Government during the November 1830 Uprising against Imperial Russia.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Russian service 2
  • Diplomacy 3
  • Foreign minister 4
  • Chief minister 5
  • Later career 6
  • Proposed federation 7
  • Awards 8
  • Works 9
  • Popular culture 10
  • See also 11
  • Notes 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14

Early life and education

Czartoryski was born on 14 January 1770 in Warsaw. He was the son of Prince Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski and Izabela Fleming. It was rumored that Adam was the fruit of a liaison between Izabela and Russian ambassador to Poland, Nikolai Repnin.[1] However, Repnin left the country two years before Adam Czartoryski was born. After careful education at home by eminent specialists, mostly French, he went abroad in 1786. At Gotha, Czartoryski heard Johann Wolfgang von Goethe read his Iphigeneia in Tauris and made the acquaintance of the dignified Johann Gottfried Herder and "fat little Christoph Martin Wieland."[2]

In 1789 Czartoryski visited Great Britain with his mother and was present at the trial of Warren Hastings. On a second visit in 1793 he made many acquaintances among the British aristocracy and studied the British constitution.[2]

In the interval between these visits, he fought for his country during the Polish–Russian War of 1792 (was one of the early recipients of the Virtuti Militari decoration for valor there), which preceded the Second Partition of Poland, and would subsequently also have served under Tadeusz Kościuszko, had he not been arrested on his way to Poland at Brussels by the Austrian government in the service of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor. After the Third Partition of Poland the Czartoryski estates were confiscated, and in May 1795 Adam and his younger brother Constantine were summoned to Saint Petersburg.[2]

Russian service

Later in 1795, the two brothers were commanded to enter the Russian service, Adam becoming an officer in the horse, and Constantine in the foot guards. Catherine the Great was so favourably impressed by the youths that she restored them part of their estates, and in early 1796 made them gentlemen-in-waiting.[2]

Adam had already met Grand Duke Alexander at a ball at Princess Golitsyna's, and the youths at once conceived a strong "intellectual friendship" for each other. On the accession of Tsar Paul I, Czartoryski was appointed adjutant to Alexander, now Tsarevich, and was permitted to revisit his Polish estates for three months.[2]

At this time the tone of the Russian court was relatively liberal. Political reformers including Pyotr Volkonsky and Nikolay Novosiltsev possessed great influence on the tsar.[2]


Throughout the reign of Paul I, Czartoryski was in high favour and on terms of the closest intimacy with the Tsar, who in December 1798 appointed him ambassador to the court of Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia. On reaching Italy, Czartoryski found that that monarch was a king without a kingdom, so that the outcome of his first diplomatic mission was a pleasant tour through Italy to Naples, the acquisition of the Italian language, and a careful exploration of the antiquities of Rome.[2]

In the spring of 1801 the new tsar, Alexander I, summoned his friend back to Saint Petersburg. Czartoryski found the Tsar still suffering from remorse at his father's assassination, and incapable of doing anything but talk religion and politics to a small circle of friends. To all remonstrances, he only replied, "There's plenty of time."[2]

Foreign minister

Czartoryski, as Tsar Alexander's foreign minister, was key in forming the Third Coalition against France.

Tsar Alexander appointed Czartoryski curator of the Vilna Academy (3 April 1803) so that he might give full play to his advanced ideas. Czartoryski was, however, unable to devote much attention to education, for from the beginning of 1804, as foreign-affairs adjunct, he had exercised practical control of Russian diplomacy. His first act had been to protest energetically Napoleon's murder of a Bourbon royal prince the Duke of Enghien (20 March 1804) and insist on an immediate rupture with the government of the French Revolution, then under First Consul Napoléon Bonaparte, whom the tsar considered a regicide.

On 7 June 1804, the French minister, Gabriel Marie Joseph, comte d'Hédouville, left St. Petersburg; and on 11 August a note dictated by Czartoryski to Alexander was sent to the Russian minister in London, urging the formation of an anti-French coalition. It was also Czartoryski who framed the Convention of 6 November 1804, whereby Russia agreed to put 115,000, and Austria 235,000, men in the field against Napoleon.[2]

Finally, in April 1805 he signed an offensive-defensive alliance with

Political offices
Preceded by
Alexander Romanovich Vorontsov (acting)
Chairman of the Committee of Ministers (de facto)
Succeeded by
Andrei Yakovlevich Budberg (de facto)

External links

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain
  • Potocka-Wąsowiczowa, Anna z Tyszkiewiczów. Wspomnienia naocznego świadka. Warszawa: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy, 1965.


  1. ^ See John P. Ledonne. The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire, Oxford University Press, 2003, ISBN 0-19-516100-9, p. 210. [(Although it is also rumoured that in reality he was the son of Russian ambassador Nicholas Repnin[1])]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Bain 1911.
  3. ^ W.H. Zawadzki, A Man of Honour, p. 37.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Marian Kamil Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy" ("A Polish Pioneer of a United Europe"), Gwiazda Polarna (Pole Star), 17 September 2005, p. 10-11.
  10. ^ "The Prince [Czartoryski] thus shows himself a visionary [emphasis added], the outstanding Polish statesman of the period between the November and January Uprisings." Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", p. 11.
  11. ^ Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", p. 10.
  12. ^ Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", p. 10
  13. ^ Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", pp. 10–11.
  14. ^ a b c d Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", p. 11.
  15. ^ "Adam Czartoryski's great plan, which had seemed close to realisation [emphasis added] during the Spring of Nations in 1848–49, failed..." Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", p. 11.
  16. ^ Dziewanowski, "Polski pionier zjednoczonej Europy", p. 10.


See also

Czartoryski makes a cameo appearance in volume 3 of Leo Tolstoy's novel, War and Peace, at an Allied Council conference that takes place at Olmütz (Olomouc, Moravia) on 18 November 1805, just before the Battle of Austerlitz.[16]

The 1975–1976 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour.

Popular culture

Czartoryski's principal works, as cited in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, are Essai sur la diplomatie (Marseilles, 1830); Life of J. U. Niemcewicz (Paris, 1860); Alexander I. et Czartoryski: correspondence ... et conversations (1801–1823) (Paris, 1865); Memoires et correspondence avec Alex. I., with preface by C. de Mazade, 2 vols. (Paris, 1887); an English translation, Memoirs of Czartoryski, &c., edited by A. Gielguch, with documents relating to his negotiations with Pitt, and conversations with Palmerston in 1832 (2 vols., London, 1888).



Czartoryski died at his country residence at Montfermeil, near Meaux, on 15 July 1861. He left two sons, Witold (1824–65) and Władysław Czartoryski (1828–94), and a daughter Izabela, who in 1857 married Jan Kanty Działyński.

Czartoryski's plan seemed achievable[15] during the period of national revolutions in 1848–49 but foundered through the lack of western support, on Hungarian intransigence toward the Czechs, Slovaks and Romanians, and on the rise of German nationalism."[14] "Nevertheless", concludes Dziewanowski, "the Prince's endeavour constitutes a [vital] link [between] the 16th century Jagiellon [federative prototype] and Józef Piłsudski's federative-Prometheist program [that was to follow after World War I]."[14]

Above all, however, he aspired to reconstitute – with French, British and Turkish support – a Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth federated with the Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians and all the South Slavs of the future Yugoslavia. Poland, in his concept, could have mediated the conflicts between Hungary and the Slavs, and between Hungary and Romania.[14]

Of particular interest are Czartoryski's observations, in the Essay on Diplomacy, regarding Russia's role in the world. He wrote that, "Having extended her sway south and west, and being by the nature of things unreachable from the east and north, Russia becomes a source of constant threat to Europe." He argued that it would have been in Russia's interest, instead, to have surrounded herself with "friend[s rather than] slave[s]." Czartoryski also identified a future threat from Prussia and urged the incorporation of East Prussia into a resurrected Poland.[14]

Pursuant to the Polish motto, "For our freedom and yours", Czartoryski connected Polish efforts for independence with similar movements of other subjugated nations in Europe and in the East as far as the Caucasus. Thanks to his private initiative and generosity, the émigrés of a subjugated nation conducted a foreign policy often on a broader scale than had the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.[13]

He had been disappointed when the hopes that he held, as late as the Congress of Vienna, in Alexander's willingness to undertake reforms, did not eventuate. The distillation of his subsequent study and thought was Czartoryski's book, completed in 1827 but published only in 1830, Essai sur la diplomatie (Essay on Diplomacy). This book is, according to the historian Marian Kamil Dziewanowski, indispensable to an understanding of the Prince's many activities conducted in France's capital following the ill-fated Polish November 1830 Uprising. Czartoryski wanted to find a place for Poland in the Europe of the time. He sought to interest western Europeans in the adversities facing his stateless nation that, he considered, nevertheless to be an indispensable part of the European political structure.[12]

The visionary[10] statesman and former friend, confidant and de facto foreign minister of Russia's Tsar Alexander I acted as the "uncrowned king and unacknowledged foreign minister" of a non-existent Poland.[11]

After the November Uprising in 1830-31 until his death, Czartoryski supported the idea of resurrecting an updated Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on federation principles.[9]

Portrait of Czartoryski in an advanced age

Proposed federation

Czartoryski was the Chairman of the Polish National Uprising Government and the leader of a political emigration party. He founded Polonezköy (Adampol) in 1842. The settlement was named Adam-koj (Adamköy) after its founder, which means the "Village of Adam" in Turkish (Adampol means "Town of Adam" in Polish). Polonezköy or Adampol is a small village at the Asian side of Istanbul, about 30 kilometres away from the historic city centre. Adam Czartoryski wanted to create the second emigration centre here (the first one was in Paris, France.) He sent his representative, Michał Czajkowski, to Turkey. Michał Czajkowski, after converting to Islam in 1850, became known as Mehmed Sadyk Pasza (Mehmet Sadık Paşa). He purchased the forest area which encompasses present-day Adampol from a missionary order of Lazarists. At the beginning, the village was inhabited by only 12 people, and there were no more than 220 people when the village was most populated. Over time, Adampol developed and populated by emigrants from the unsuccessful rebellions of November 1848, the Crimean War in 1853, and by escapees from Siberia and from captivity in Circassia. The inhabitants engaged in agriculture, animal raising and forestry.

Czartoryski then emigrated to France, where he resided in Paris' Hôtel Lambert—a prominent Polish-émigre political figure, head of a political faction accordingly called the Hôtel Lambert.

On 25 February 1832, while in the United Kingdom, he founded a Literary Association of the Friends of Poland.

Yet the sexagenarian statesman continued to display great energy. On 23 August 1831 he joined Italian General Girolamo Ramorino's army corps as a volunteer, and subsequently formed a confederation of the three southern provinces of Kalisz, Sandomierz and Kraków. At war's end, when the Uprising was crushed by the Russians, he was sentenced to death,[5][6][7] though the sentence was soon commuted to exile.[8]

On 6 September 1831, his disapproval of the popular excesses at Warsaw caused him to resign from the government after having sacrificed half his fortune to the national cause.[2]

Czartoryski's casket in Sieniawa

On his father's death in 1823, Czartoryski retired to his ancestral castle at Puławy; but the November 1830 Uprising brought him back to public life. As president of the provisional government, he summoned (18 December 1830) the Sejm of 1831, and, after the end of Chlopicki's dictatorship, was elected chief of the supreme council (Polish National Government) by 121 out of 138 votes (30 January 1831).

In 1817 he married Anna Sapieżanka. The wedding led to a duel with his rival, Ludwik Pac.[4]

It was considered that Czartoryski, who more than any other man had prepared the way for the creation of Congress Poland and had designed the Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland, would be its first namiestnik, or viceroy, but he was content with the title of senator-palatine and a role in the administration.

Czartoryski (seated) and sons. Standing to his right is Władysław Czartoryski.

Later career

That same year, Czartoryski left Saint Petersburg forever; but the personal relations between him and Alexander were never better. The friends met again at Kalisz (Greater Poland) shortly before the signing of the Russo-Prussian alliance on 20 February 1813 and Czartoryski was in the Tsar's suite at Paris in 1814, and rendered him material services at the Congress of Vienna.[2]

But, though no longer a minister, Czartoryski continued to enjoy Alexander's confidence in private, and in 1810 the Tsar candidly admitted to Czartoryski that in 1805 he had been in error and that he had not made proper use of his opportunities.[2]

In 1805 Czartoryski accompanied Alexander to Berlin and to Olmütz (Olomouc, Moravia) as chief minister. He regarded the Berlin visit a blunder, chiefly due to his distrust of Prussia; but Alexander ignored his representations, and in February 1807 Czartoryski lost favour and was superseded by Andrei Budberg.[2]

Czartoryski in 1810.
Portrait by Józef Oleszkiewicz

Chief minister

While Czartoryski was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Imperial Russia he was rumoured to have been a lover of Louise of Baden, Empress consort to Alexander I of Russia.[3]

But Czartoryski's most striking ministerial act was a memorial written in 1805, otherwise undated, which aimed at transforming the whole map of Europe: Austria and Prussia were to divide Germany between them. Russia was to acquire the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmora, the Bosporus with Constantinople, and Corfu. Austria was to have Bosnia, Wallachia and Ragusa. Montenegro, enlarged by Mostar and the Ionian Islands, was to form a separate state. The United Kingdom and Russia together were to maintain the equilibrium of the world. In return for their acquisitions in Germany, Austria and Prussia were to consent to the creation of an autonomous Polish state extending from Danzig (Gdańsk) to the sources of the Vistula, under the protection of Russia. This plan presented the best guarantee, at the time, for the independent existence of Poland. But in the meantime Austria had come to an understanding with England about subsidies, and war had begun.[2]


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