After the deluge : Poland-Lithuania and the Second Northern War, 1655-1660


    • Frost, Robert I.


After the deluge : Poland-Lithuania and the Second Northern War, 1655-1660

Robert I. Frost

(Cambridge studies in early modern history / edited by John Elliott, Olwen Hufton, and H.G. Koenigsberger)

Cambridge University Press, 2003

  • : pbk

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"First paperback edition 2003"--T.p. verso

Bibliography: p. 180-202

Includes index



The Swedish invasion of 1655, known to Poles ever since as the 'Swedish deluge', provoked the political and military collapse of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the second-largest state in Europe. Robert Frost examines the reasons for Poland's fall and the conduct of the war by the Polish government, and addresses the crucial question of why, despite widespread recognition of the shortcomings of the political system, subsequent attempts at reform failed. War has long been seen as crucial to the development of more effective systems of government in Europe during the seventeenth century, but studies usually concentrate on states which responded successfully to the challenges. Much can be learned from those that failed, and the paucity of English-language material on this important conflict means that After the Deluge will appeal to a broad audience among historians of Poland, Germany, Scandinavia, Russia, and early modern Europe in general.


  • 1. Introduction: Poland-Lithuania in the mid-seventeenth century
  • 2. The deluge
  • 3. Recovery: July 1655-August 1656
  • 4. The widening conflict: June-December 1656
  • 5. Constructing a coalition: January - December 1657
  • 6. The succession and the failure of the coalition: January - July 1658
  • 7. Political reform
  • 8. Towards a French candidature: 1658-1660
  • 9. Conclusion: the succession and the failure of reform.

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