Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791

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Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791[edit]

Mostly a self-nom (I just have to thank logologist for translating my writing into beautiful English :D). One of my shorther works (yep, I am afraid it is below the 32kb treshold), I think it is still pretty comprehensive. As always, I appreciate your comments (PR, to little suprise, seems pretty quiet to my comment requests anyway). Assuming this passes FAC, I would like to propose this for 3rd May main page :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 00:52, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Could we shorten the title to just say Polish Constitution of 1791? Or is it conventional to call it by the full date? Everyking 01:13, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Object. Neutrality: I am uneasy with the declarative and unequivocal stance taken regarding intentions in the introduction and article; is there no disagreement on those? I specifically see a number of passages as representing one point of view or lacking attribution/statement of opinion as fact:
      • I don't know what 'intentionts' you have in mind, but I will reply to all specific objections below: --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • I mean the way in which the Constituion's goals and the intentions of neighbors hostile to it are stated as absolute fact; it struck me as very strong, and not knowing anything about the topic I as a reader was a little on-edge for bias after that. Perhaps that's accurate, I don't know--I don't object anyway. 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • As far as I know - and I have found no sources to contradict this - this is correct. Btw, do you object or don't you? I am confused here...--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:12, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • I don't, it was a comment. 119 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "The magnates looked after their own interests and not for the good of the nation."
      • I can't find that very sentence in the text, but it is an undisputable fact - i.e. stated in every single source I can find, from Polish history books (pre and post communist) to English sources like Davies book in references or various external links. I suppose the above sentence - if it were in the text - could be changed to 'majority of the magnates', as there were always notable exceptions. The gist of it is, however, correct - feel free to show me sources proving me wrong, though.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "It is often stated that a principal cause of the Commonwealth's downfall was the peculiar institution of the liberum veto..." Can you be more specific on who states that?
      • Found it, rest is as above. Most of the given references will mention this. In such case I don't think I need to footnote the sentece to the several references - or rather all of the refence section? If you think the sentence should be rewritten due to weasel wording, feel free to do so. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • Not a footnote, but attribution in the sentence itself would fix any weasel words. Below, the text states that the nobility was ignorant--that is an opinion without attribution. 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • As I wrote, I can attribute it to all and any of the references. It is a fact. The liberum veto, this is. The word ignorant has also been replaced to make it less 'personal', but all of the facts you mention are, I repeat again, repeated in every single source I can find. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:12, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • I'm not challenging the accuracy of what you have, here or in points below. But that the principal cause of the Commonwealth's downfall was liberum veto is an interpretation, an opinion. So who argues this should be attributed. I'm only asking that "It is often stated" be replaced with "[X] states that", even if it is broadly "Historians agree that...". 119 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
              • Glad we are getting somewhere. I have changed the sentence (and several others you mention) to 'historians....'. Since in all those cases I cannot find a single source that would say otherwise, I think that it is not a weasel usage, but a normal NPOV statement. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:19, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "deputues bribed by magnates, foreign powers, or simply ignorant and believing they were living in the 'Golden Era'"
    • "Despite courageous protests"
      • Well, what is wrong with that? There were protests, protesters faced the risk of being beaten/dying and such, and they are regarded as 'heroes' by any source I can find, again including all the references. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • It's without attribution though; we are saying the protests were courageous, but that's taking one opinion as fact. If what you mean is that Poles at the time or now regard them as courageous protests, then I think it should be attributed. 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "which can be regarded as the pre-constitution"
    • "The Uprising defeat was inevitable in face of gigantic numerical superiority of the three invading empires."
      • Again - as above (referenced in many sources). Besides, I can't see what is objectionable in this sentence? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • It's an opinion. Was their defeat inevitable? I'm looking for attribution. "Historians consider the Uprising's defeat to have been inevitable..." 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • Well, I have yet to find a work dealing with the uprising which would say it had a chance of success. Of course, this is not a counterfactual history discussion, isn't it? Do suggest how you would rewrite the sentence. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:12, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • I do not dispute the accuracy of your summary, but its content is an opinion which should be attributed under NPOV. Above I suggested something like ""Historians consider the Uprising's defeat to have been inevitable...", which changes its meaning from 'Wikipedia's editors say that this interpretation is accurate', to 'historians generally say that this interpretation is accurate'. 119 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "an amazingly progressive document for its time"
      • Again, as above. Ok, it is a strong endorement, but it is not only my personal opinion, but a statement of the given references. Feel free to show me sources contradicting me and stating it was a minor, unimportant and normal document for its times and I will change the above sentence. Still, I agree it is perhaps a bit too much, I have replaced 'amazingly' with 'very'. Is it better now? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • However it is worded, it is an opinion and I think should be attributed. 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • Should I attribute every single sentence? This was never a FA requirement, and it is rather ridiculus. Constitution is praised - in various phrases - in every source I can find. Should I toss a coin and attribute it to random reference? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:12, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • I think you are misrepresenting my argument. No, not everything need be attributed, but opinions must be according to NPOV. To clarify, I do not mean that "attributed" involves showing a reference, proving a fact, but rather saying who holds this opinion. 119 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
              • I see. You have a point, glad we could make it past the initial confusion. I think I fixed it now: 'recognised by political scientists as'. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:19, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "Russian Empress Catherine was furious to see the effects of the Constitution"
      • She wasn't happy, that's for sure. Perhaps furious is a too strong word, again, though. How do you suggest we change it? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • Can you factually state how she was said to be angry, what she did or said as a result? 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • I don't recall the details, but several sources state so. For example, here is an online source that you can check and which states that. Or borrow one of the referenced books. Or show me a reference proving me wrong. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:12, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • I was just thinking of contentious articles like George W. Bush, where saying he was "furious" would likely result in an edit war over the 'truth' over what is really a hard thing to qualify, his emotions. So I think it is best to show how she was "furious" rather than simply characterising her reaction as that. But it's perhaps an overreaction, I'll strike it. 119 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • "It should be remembered that the contemporaneous United States Constitution sanctioned the continuation of slavery." I don't understand how this is relevant to the footnoted section? To me, it appears to have been included only to say that the Polish Constitution was progressive.
      • I left it from the time before I begun rewritting the article, but it does seem useful. After all, it is a note to the sentence which states that peasants were not given equal rights under the constitution - it seems logical to show that the only other contemporary constitution similarly limited political power of some other social class. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 10:50, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
        • The footnoted main text says that the May 3rd constitution took steps towards the enfranchisement of serfs, then the footnote states "It should be remembered" that the United States sanctioned slavery. There's no comparison in the main text or footnote, no explanation of relevancy--I don't see what this is supposed to do but subtly advocate an opinion that the May 3rd constitution was progressive. 119 18:39, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
          • Well, it was (don't think so? give me your source). I really don't understand your arguments. If you think the phrasing is somehow misleading, rephrase it. If you think the facts are wrong, give me the sources. You have yet to propose a single improvement. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:12, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • Whether it was progressive or not is an opinion. If you disagree on that, can you explain? I do not understand how this sentence contrasting the United States' sanctioning of slavery with Poland's enfranchisement of serfs serves any purpose but showing the document to be progressive. If this is its purpose, it would be an original argument and also not neutral. If this is not its purpose, then perhaps the relevance of this sentence to the article should be explained. 119 20:41, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
            • Let me explain what I want to achieve, and then you can help me reword it. I want to show that both contemporary constitutions did not enfranchise all adult population (male): while US excluded slaves, Polish excluded serfs. Perhaps it is because I try to include in the very same paragraph the notion that nonetheless May constitution improved serfs fate (by limiting serfdom and such, compared to pre-May Constitution times) this becames unclear? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:19, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
              • I think I misunderstood then. I think the footnote should be expanded to show its relevance, but this is not an objection I have now. 119 03:56, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
119 03:25, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. 119 03:56, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • commentsupport could we please have more inline citations which allow us to work out in which reference to look up different facts for verification. Mozzerati 05:49, 2005 Apr 27 (UTC)
  • Support Halibutt 17:50, Apr 29, 2005 (UTC)
  • Support Balcer 01:01, 30 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Support logologist 11:54, 1 May 2005 (UTC)