1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Czartoryski, Adam George, Prince

CZARTORYSKI, ADAM GEORGE, Prince (1770–1861), Polish statesman, was the son of Prince Adam Casimir Czartoryski and Isabella Fleming. After a careful education at home by eminent specialists, mostly Frenchmen,[1] he first went abroad in 1786. At Gotha he heard Goethe read his Iphigenie auf Tauris, and made the acquaintance of the dignified Herder and “fat little Wieland.” In 1789 he visited England with his mother, and was present at the trial of Warren Hastings. On a second visit in 1793 he made many acquaintances among the English aristocracy and studied the English constitution. In the interval between these visits he fought for his country during the war of the second partition, and would subsequently have served under Kosciuszko also had he not been arrested on his way to Poland at Brussels by the Austrian government. After the third partition the estates of the Czartoryskis were confiscated, and in May 1795 Adam and his younger brother Constantine were summoned to St Petersburg; later in the year they were commanded to enter the Russian service, Adam becoming an officer in the horse, and Constantine in the foot guards. Catherine was so favourably impressed by the youths that she restored them part of their estates, and in the beginning of 1796 made them gentlemen in waiting. Adam had already met the grand duke Alexander at a ball at the princess Golitsuin’s, and the youths at once conceived a strong “intellectual friendship” for each other. On the accession of the emperor Paul, Czartoryski was appointed adjutant to Alexander, now Cesarevich, and was permitted to revisit his Polish estates for three months. At this time the tone of the Russian court was extremely liberal, humanitarian enthusiasts like Peter Volkonsky and Nikolai Novosiltsov possessing great influence.

Throughout the reign of Paul, Czartoryski was in high favour and on terms of the closest intimacy with the emperor, who in December 1798 appointed him ambassador to the court of Sardinia. On reaching Italy Czartoryski found that the monarch to whom he was accredited was a king without a kingdom, so that the outcome of his first diplomatic mission was a pleasant tour through Italy to Naples, the acquisition of the Italian language, and a careful exploration of the antiquities of Rome. In the spring of 1801 the new emperor Alexander summoned his friend back to St Petersburg. Czartoryski found the tsar still suffering from remorse at his father’s assassination, and incapable of doing anything but talk religion and politics to a small circle of private friends. To all remonstrances he only replied “There’s plenty of time.” The senate did most of the current business; Peter Vasilevich Zavadovsky, a pupil of the Jesuits, was minister of education. Alexander appointed Czartoryski curator of the academy of Vilna (April 3, 1803) that he might give full play to his advanced ideas. He was unable, however, to give much attention to education, for from the beginning of 1804, as adjunct of foreign affairs, he had the practical control of Russian diplomacy. His first act was to protest energetically against the murder of the duc d’Enghien (March 20, 1804), and insist on an immediate rupture with France. On the 7th of June the French minister Hédouville quitted St Petersburg; and on the 11th of August a note dictated by Czartoryski to Alexander was sent to the Russian minister in London, urging the formation of an anti-French coalition. It was Czartoryski also who framed the Convention of the 6th of November 1804, whereby Russia agreed to put 115,000 and Austria 235,000 men in the field against Napoleon. Finally, on the 11th of April 1805 he signed an offensive-defensive alliance with England. But his most striking ministerial act was a memorial written in 1805, but otherwise undated, which aimed at transforming the whole map of Europe. In brief it amounted to this. Austria and Prussia were to divide Germany between them. Russia was to acquire the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmora, the Bosphorus with Constantinople, and Corfu. Austria was to have Bosnia, Wallachia and Ragusa. Montenegro, enlarged by Mostar and the Ionian Islands, was to form a separate state. England and Russia together were to maintain the equilibrium of the world. In return for their acquisitions in Germany, Austria and Prussia were to consent to the erection of an autonomous Polish state extending from Danzig to the sources of the Vistula, under the protection of Russia. Fantastic as it was in some particulars, this project was partly realized[2] in more recent times, and it presented the best guarantee for the independent existence of Poland which had never been able to govern itself. But in the meantime Austria had come to an understanding with England as to subsidies, and war had begun.

In 1805 Czartoryski accompanied Alexander both to Berlin and Olmütz as chief minister. He regarded the Berlin visit as a blunder, chiefly owing to his profound distrust of Prussia; but Alexander ignored his representations, and in February 1807 he lost favour and was superseded by Andrei Eberhard Budberg. But though no longer a minister Czartoryski continued to enjoy Alexander’s confidence in private, and in 1810 the emperor candidly admitted to Czartoryski that his policy in 1805 had been erroneous and he had not made a proper use of his opportunities. The same year Czartoryski quitted St Petersburg for ever; but the personal relations between him and Alexander were never better. The friends met again at Kalisch shortly before the signature of the Russo-Prussian alliance of the 20th of February 1813, and Czartoryski was in the emperor’s suite at Paris in 1814, and rendered his sovereign material services at the congress of Vienna.

On the erection of the congressional kingdom of Poland every one thought that Czartoryski, who more than any other man had prepared the way for it, would be its first governor-general, but he was content with the title of senator-palatine and a share in the administration. In 1817 the prince married Anna Sapiezanko, the wedding leading to a duel with his rival Pac. On the death of his father in 1823 he retired to his ancestral castle at Pulawy; but the Revolution of 1830 brought him back to public life. As president of the provisional government he summoned (Dec. 18th, 1830) the Diet of 1831, and after the termination of Chlopicki’s dictatorship was elected chief of the supreme council by 121 out of 138 votes (January 30th). On the 16th of September his disapproval of the popular excesses at Warsaw caused him to quit the government after sacrificing half his fortune to the national cause; but it must be admitted that throughout the insurrection he did not act up to his great reputation. Yet the energy of the sexagenarian statesman was wonderful. On the 23rd of August he joined Girolano Ramorino’s army-corps as a volunteer, and subsequently formed a confederation of the three southern provinces of Kalisch, Sandomir and Cracow. At the end of the war he emigrated to France, where he resided during the last thirty years of his life. He died at his country residence at Montfermeil, near Meaux, on the 15th of July 1861. He left two sons, Witold (1824–1865), and Wladyslaus (1828–1894), and a daughter Isabella, who married Jan Dzialynski in 1857. The principal works of Czartoryski are Essai sur la diplomatie (Marseilles, 1830); Life of J. U. Niemcewiez (Pol). (Paris, 1860); Alexander I. et Czartoryski: correspondance ... et conversations (1801–1823) (Paris, 1865); Mémoires et correspondance avec Alex. I., with preface by C. de Mazade, 2 vols. (Paris, 1887); an English translation Memoirs of Czartoryski, &c., edited by A. Gielguch, with documents relating to his negotiations with Pitt, and conversations with Palmerston in 1832 (2 vols., London, 1888).

See Bronislaw Zaleski, Life of Adam Czartoryski (Pol.) (Paris, 1881); Lubomir Gadon, Prince Adam Czartoryski (Pol.) (Cracow, 1892); Ludovik Debicki, Pulawy, vol. iv.; Lubomir Gadon, Prince Adam Czartoryski during the Insurrection of November (Pol.) (Cracow, 1900). (R. N. B.) 

  1. Among them was the famous democrat Dupont de Nemours.
  2. e.g. Austria obtained Bosnia, and Montenegro has been enlarged.