Against the Odds - Poland-Lithuania AAR
These are the excerpts of letters sent to my beloved Dorothy as I became the King's advisor.
Warsaw, 12th July AD 1700.
Nobody promised us an easy life but recently - mostly for me and you - it became harder to get on with our departure. What is even harder, I must remain in Warsaw for longer as King made me his closest advisor.
How did it happen - you might ask. Then let me tell you.
I was already taking part in the cabinet meetings and proceedings but no one listened to my opinion. That day the King had an argument with one of his man and asked me to give him a judgement on the country priorities.
'My King! - I said. - All we need is peace! Peace is the most desired after a century of constant warfare. The Commonwealth is weakned, it's army powerless and the land burned to ashes. If I may say, Sire, we shouldn't wage any war for some time and cease the hostilities even with our most sworn enemies. We can deal with them later.'
The King didn't answer. But later he called me to cabinet chambers and demanded to convene the ministers.
'All right' - he said. And appointed me to the post of personal advisor.
After long talks we decided to review all the policies. And swore to involve the best people to reshape the country.
So the reform started.
The Prime Minister, Stanislaw Lubomirski, was secure as he did no harm. Jerzy Denhoff, Secretary of Justice, was the most competent man in the cabinet. The worst was the Ministry of Sea, but we had no navy so we left him for now. We had to deal with the financial crisis so we sacked the Secretary of Treasure - PM's brother Hieronim. He was replaced with the most qualified man in the matter, Miloslaw Ciesinski. The King granted him all the necessary powers.
Ciesinski at once decided to rise the taxes for the nobility. But we needed money, more money! And it was not enough. The Treasury was empty.
Trade always bring the wealth, they say. But we also found it secures the borders. In long term Sweden seemed to be the most secure: it was almost as weak as we were and gave as the opportunity to drag the attention of Russia.
'Our talks are complete and - well, a success' - said the Swedish PM to our mission. So we concluded a deal that both sides profit from.
We still could trade with Austria, but recently our relations suffered a serious setback. The diplomacy even didn't try.
The Turks and their Crimean vassals were not even worth of talks. We had no means to answer their potential threats.
Foreign policy seemed to be a challenge. We had the alliance with Russia and Denmark. And these two for sure would drag us into a war. We needed a stronger ally and looked forward to alliance with French. They could be a good detterent for all the Germans.
Our vassals were Courland in the north and Saxony in the west. We decided to leave them be for now.
Austria and Russia remained the biggest threat. Prussia getting stronger every day, a bit smaller. But for the moment we couldn't do much.
We begun on developing the industry: building Iron Works in Rzeszow, Weaver's Cottage in Lodz and Dinaburg.
The army had to wait.
My Dear, hopefully you can come here at least for a while and spend beautyful summer days with me at the banks of Vistula. I'll be home at the harvest.
Avec tout l'amour du monde,
Your husband, Michael.