Adam Jerzy Czartoryski

Adam Jerzy x. Czartoryski, 1770-1861

English: Prince Adam George Czartoryski

A nobleman, statesman, diplomat and writer. He was the elder son of Izabela and Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski.

Adam Jerzy Czartoryski was the Russian Imperial Minister of Foreign Affairs. He played a key role in forming the Third Coalition against Napoleon.

Czartoryski’s most striking ministerial act was a memorial written in 1805, which aimed at transforming the whole map of Europe into a shape similar to what we know today. Its aim was to end the Napoleonic Wars, but at the same time to acknowledge the need of self-determination of the people who fought in them.

After the Congress of Vienna, 1815, Czartoryski drafted the Constitution of the so called Congress Poland, a Russian satellite. Notoriously abused by the tsars, it was in its spirit the most liberal constitution in Europe at that time.

He holds the distinction of having headed, at different times, 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 1830-31 Uprising against Imperial Russia.

After the Uprising’s failure he moved to Paris, where he established a Polish émigré centre at the Hotel Lambert. From there, for 30 years, he supervised Poland’s foreign politics, even though Poland didn’t have the status of a state at that time. Polish political emigrants, including Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Słowacki and Chopin, were among his protegés.

One of his many achievements is Adampol-Polonezköy, a Polish colony on the Asian side of Istambul, the Ottoman Empire. It continues to exist in today’s Turkey.

Czartoryski makes a cameo appearance in Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.


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