The Polish Constitution of the 3rd of May 1791, while never actually instituted, remains nonetheless an object of great pride in the history or Poland. It is recognized as the second earliest document of its kind, created just a few years after the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Polish Constitution was created during one of the most tragic and traumatic moments in the country’s history. The Republic of Poland, after the first partition had become only a shadow of its former self as a sovereign state. The loss of huge territories to powerful neighbors, resulted in a crisis of escalating proportions. Parliament was in a state of paralysis and the king’s rule had been rendered impotent as reflected in the weakness of Poland’s military.