Pact of Vilnius and Radom
The Pact of Vilnius and Radom (Polish: Unia wileńsko-radomska, Lithuanian: Vilniaus-Radomo sutartis) was a set of three acts passed in Vilnius, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and confirmed by the Crown Council in Radom, Kingdom of Poland in 1401. The union amended the earlier act of the Union of Krewo (1385) and confirmed the Ostrów Agreement (1392). Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, became fully in charge of the Lithuanian affairs, while Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland, reserved the rights of an overlord. After the death of Vytautas, Lithuania was to be ruled by Władysław II Jagiełło or his legal heir. The union is generally seen as strengthening of the Polish–Lithuanian union.
Both Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland, and Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, sought to renew the Polish–Lithuanian union, which had existed since 1385. In 1399, Queen Jadwiga of Poland died due to childbirth complications, leaving Władysław II Jagiełło king of a foreign land and without an heir. If Polish nobles forced Władysław II Jagiełło to abdicate the throne, he would return to Lithuania demanding the throne of the Grand Duke. Vytautas would be forced either to return to Duchy of Trakai or launch another civil war. The same year Vytautas suffered a major defeat in the Battle of the Vorskla River against the Golden Horde and faced rebellions in the Principality of Smolensk, Republic of Pskov, and Velikiy Novgorod.
Negotiations began in late December 1400 in Hrodna. The union was signed in three separate acts: one by Władysław II Jagiełło (the original of which did not survive), another by Vytautas and the Lithuanian nobles (in Vilnius on January 18, 1401), and the third by the Polish Royal Council (in Radom on March 11, 1401). It is significant that for the first time the Lithuanian nobles issued a political act in their own name, not merely as witnesses to the Grand Duke's treaties.
Vytautas was instituted as the Grand Duke of Lithuania (magnus dux) while his cousin Władysław II Jagiełło, King of Poland, retained the rights of an overlord (supremus dux). The union legalized the Grand Duchy's independence leaving Vytautas fully in charge of all Lithuanian affairs. However, this independence was to be temporary – after Vytautas' death Lithuania was to be governed by Władysław II Jagiełło or his legal heir. The Polish and Lithuanian nobles agreed not to elect a new King of Poland without consulting each other. At the time neither Władysław II Jagiełło nor Vytautas had heirs, but each hoped to sire legitimate sons that would inherit both the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy (eventually it would be Jogaila who would succeed in this).
Aftermath and evaluations
The renewed alliance stabilized the situation, allowing Vytautas to launch an offensive against the Teutonic Knights and to initiate the first Samogitian uprising. Eventually, the joint Polish–Lithuanian forces achieved a decisive victory against the Knights in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The treaty has been variously interpreted by Lithuanian and Polish historians. Some argued that it was a diplomatic failure on Vytautas' part, as the union blocked the path to his possible coronation as King of Lithuania. Others saw it as a concession by the Poles when their plan to fully incorporate the Grand Duchy into the Kingdom of Poland failed. A third school of thought considered the union to be a mutual compromise: Lithuania abandoned plans for full independence, while Poland abandoned plans for full incorporation of Lithuania into a unitary state. More recent academic works do not exaggerate the union's importance and see it as mere codification of the actual Polish–Lithuanian relations that had existed since 1392.
- This map contains 4 mistakes : 1)- Moldavia wasn't a province of the Polish kingdom, but a principality, vassal of Poland between 1387 and 1497 : the Moldavian prince were not appointed by the polish King but elected by the moldavian Sfat ; 2)- In this time Kilja was on the south side of Chilia arm (today Chilie Veche in Romania, not the new Kilija in Ukraine) ; 3)- Danube delta was moldavian till 1484 and the shoreline was different in 1400 ; 4)- Akkerman is not another town but the turkish name (1484) of Bialgorod. Sources: Hans-Erich Stier (dir.) "Grosser Atlas zur Weltgeschichte", Ed. Westermann 1985, ISBN 3-14-100919-8, "Történelmi atlasz", Magyar Academy 1991, ISBN 963-351422-3 CM, "Atlas istorico-geografic", Ed. Academica 1994, ISBN 973-27-0500-0, Constantin C. Giurescu & Dinu C. Giurescu :" History of the Romanian lands", Ed. Academica 1985, p.209-210, N. P. Comneanu : "Les principautés roumaines à travers les âges", Ed. Payot, Paris 1919 and Lucian Predescu : "Enciclopedia Cugetarea", p.562-563.
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