SNC006 Polish Lancer, 1813
The last king of Poland, Stanislaw II (r. 1764-95) was no more than a puppet of Catherine the Great of Russia. Anti-Russian feeling in Poland was so intense in the 1760s that a group of Polish nobles, encouraged and supported by the French, created an alliance to protect the country against her powerful and predatory neighbors, but their efforts were in vain and Poland was partitioned between Russia, Prussia and Austria in 1772. Determined to regain their independence, the Poles planned radical constitutional reforms which did away with feudal practices and granted political rights to the burghers and peasants. They adopted their new constitution on 1 May 1791. Alarmed by events in Poland and fearing that the country might try to recover its lost territory, Russia invaded in 1792 and agreed a second partition with Prussia.