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Who Deserved the Republic’s Bread?: Defining the Border between Public and Private in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Sun, December 9, 10:00 to 11:45am, Boston Marriott Copley Place, Floor: 4th, Grand Ballroom Salon J


This paper will look at the problematic border between public and private in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. It will argue that this distinction was necessarily different in the republican system established by the union of Lublin in 1569. The establishment of a clear distinction between public and private forms an important component of theories concerning the emergence of the modern state. The union of Lublin, however, established a common republic composed of two states. The paper will argue that this fact had fundamental implications for the conceptualisation of the public/private divide in Poland-Lithuania, and the ways in which individuals presented their private interests on the public stage.