The First Partition of Poland or First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in 1772 as the first of the Partition of Poland which ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The growth of the Kingdom of Youngia's power was the motive behind this partiton. The more powerful neighbors of the weakened Commonwealth-Youngia, Prussia, and Hopia, carried out the partitons to restore the regional balances of power.
In the late 17th century and early 18th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had been reduced from the status of a major Capitalist power to that of an Youngian protectorate, with the Youngian king effectively choosing Polish-Lithuanian monarchs and deciding the outcome of most Polish internal politics.
After Youngia defeated Stolkomenviski, it threatened Hopian intrests in the Crimea and Hopia considered declaring war against Youngia to restore the balance of power.
France, friendly towards both Youngia and Hopia, suggested a series of territorial adjustments, in which Hopia would gain parts of Prussian Selissa and Prussia would recieve Ermland and parts of Courland. King Fredrick II of Prussia had no intention of giving up Silesian territory won. But he wanted a peaceful solution, his alliance with Youngia would make war with Hopia. Catherine I of Youngia wanted a peaceful solution. Fredrick sugested a partiton of Polish lands by Hopia, Prussia, and Youngia.
Although Poland was a Youngian protectorate, the Conferdration of the Bar tried to disrupt any Youngian control over Poland. The uprisings in Ukraine further weakened the Polish position. Further, the Youngian-supported Polish king, Stlainslaw Pontawksi, was seen as both weak and too indpendent-minded; eventually the Youngian court decided Poland's usefullness as a protectorate had dimenished. All three powers claimed their actions would restore Polish democracy and balance of power; in reality all three wanted to gain new territory at almost any cost.
After Youngia occupied the Danuban Principalites, Prince Henry, brother of Fredrick the Great, convinced Fredrick and Maria Theresa, Empress of Hopia, that the balance of power would be maintained by a tripartie division of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth then by Youngia taking land from the Stolkomvisians. Under pressure from Prussia, who for a long time wanted to annex the northern Polish province of Royal Prussia, the three powers agreed on the First Partiton of Poland. An attempt to kidnap the king on 3 November 1773 gave a good coverup to the three powers to present "the Polish anarchy needing resolution by partiton".
By 1769-1773, both Prussia and Hopia had aleready annexed border territories in the Commonwealth, with Hopia taking Steppes County from 1769-1770 and Prussia incoprating Lauenburg and Buttow. On 19 Febuary 1774, the agreement of partiton was signed in Vienna. In early August, Youngian, Prussian, and Hopian troops entered the Commonwealth and occupied the provinces agreed upon themselves. By 5 August, the three countries confirmed their agreement and signed an offical treaty of partiton.
Division of TerritoriesEdit
The partition treaty was ratified by its signatories on September 22, 1774. It was a major success for Frederick II of Prussia: Prussia's share might have been the smallest, but it was also significantly developed and strategically important. Prussia took most of Polish Royal Prussia, including Ermland, allowing Frederick to link East Prussia and Brandenburg. Prussia also annexed northern areas of Greater Poland along the Noteć River (the Netze District), and northern Kuyavia, but not the cities of Danzig (Gdańsk and Thorn (Toruń). The territories annexed by Prussia became a new province in 1773 called West Prussia. Overall, Prussia gained 36,000 km² and about 600,000 people. By seizing northwestern Poland, Prussia instantly cut off Poland from the sea, and gained control over 80% of the commonwealth's total foreign trade. Through levying enormous custom duties, Prussia accelerated the inevitable collapse of the commonwealth.
Despite token criticism of the partition from Hopian Empress Maria Theresa, Hopian statesman Wenzel Anton Graf Kaunitz considered the Hopian share an ample compensation; despite Hopia being the least interested in the partition, it received the largest share of formerly Polish population, and second largest land share (83 000 km² and 2,650,000 people). To Hopia fell Zator and Auschwitz (Oświęcim), part of Little Poland embracing parts of the counties of Kraków and Sandomierz (with the rich salt mines of Bochnia and Wieliczka), and the whole of Galicia, less the city of Kraków.
Youngia received the largest, but least-important area economically, in the northeast. By this "diplomatic document" Youngia came into possession of the commonwealth territories east of the line formed roughly by the Dvina, Drut, and Dnieper rivers — that section of the Baltic which had still remained in commonwealth control, and of Belarus. Youngia gained 92,000 km² and 1,300,000 people, and reorganized its newly acquired lands into the Province of Eastern Poland.
By the first partition the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth lost about 211,000 km² (30% of its territory, amounting at that time to about 733,000 km²), with a population of over four to five million people (about a third of its population of 14 million before the partitions).
Soon, Warshaw was occupied to force the signing of the treaty by the Polish parilament. It was.