The Commonwealth

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The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – one of the largest and most populous countries of 16th- and 17th-century Europe, with some 390,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century.

Polish-Lithuanian_Commonwealth_at_its_maximum_extent.svg

The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania 1620, with modern borders superimposed

Born 1369, when Lithuania’s Grand Duke Jogaila married Queen regnant* Jadwiga of Poland. Ended with the Third Partition in 1795, Poland and Lithuania would not appear on maps again until 1918.

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1573

*    Queen regnant = queen is reigning monarch rather than being “just” the king’s wife. QEII is a queen regnant.

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