Declaration of the Powers Concerning the Final Partition of Poland (1795)

[excerpted from Readings in Modern European History, James Harvey Robinson and Charles Beard, eds. (Boston:Ginn and Company, 1908), pp. 57-58]

The efforts which her Imperial Majesty has been obliged to take in order to repress and stifle the revolt and insurrection which broke out in Poland through the spread of the most pernicious doctrines, so dangerous for the tranquillity of the neighboring powers, have been crowned with the most happy and complete success, and Poland has been entirely pacified and conquered by the arms of the Empress. Her Majesty, with a confidence founded upon the justice of her cause, and the means which she resorted to, to assure its triumph, had previously hastened to come to an agreement with her two allies, his Majesty the Emperor of the Romans and his Majesty the King of Prussia, upon the most efficient measures to be taken in order to prevent a revival of such disorders as those which had so justly alarmed them, and of which the germs, continually fermenting in the minds of those who were profoundly imbued with the most perverse principles, could hardly fail to develop sooner or later unless they were prevented by a firm and vigorous government.

These two sovereigns, convinced by past experience of the absolute incapacity of the republic of Poland to give itself such a government, or to live peacefully under its laws so long as it maintained any degree of independence, have in their wisdom and in their love for peace and the happiness of their subjects, reached the conclusion that it was indispensably necessary to have recourse and proceed to a complete partition of this republic among the three neighboring powers. Having learned their views and finding these perfectly in harmony with her own, her Imperial Majesty of all the Russias determined to negotiate first with each of the two high allies above mentioned, separately, and then with the two together, in regard to a definite agreement as to the respective portions which should fall to each as a result of their common resolution.