Bar, Confederation of

Bar, Confederation of,

union formed in 1768 at Bar, in Podolia (now in W Ukraine), by a number of Polish nobles to oppose the interference of Catherine IICatherine II
or Catherine the Great,
1729–96, czarina of Russia (1762–96). Rise to Power

A German princess, the daughter of Christian Augustus, prince of Anhalt-Zerbst, she emerged from the obscurity of her relatively modest background in 1744
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 of Russia in Polish affairs. Headed by the Pulaski family and supported by the Roman Catholic clergy, it sought to defend Polish independence, the Polish constitution, the rights of the landed gentry, and Roman Catholicism. Further, it endeavored to impose Roman Catholicism, as opposed to Orthodox Eastern beliefs, on the serfs of right-bank Ukraine (W of the Dnieper), which was then under Polish rule. Working against the confederation's policies was the Polish king, Stanislaus IIStanislaus II,
1732–98, last king of Poland (1764–95). He was born Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski. His mother was a member of the powerful Czartoryski family, which furthered Stanislaus's career. He was (1756–58) Polish ambassador to St.
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, whose election (1764) had been sponsored by Catherine and who at her request had conceded to non-Catholics the rights of freedom of worship and participation in the Polish government. Incensed by the confederation's hostile intentions toward them, the right-bank Ukrainians rose up (1768) in the rebellion of the Koliyivshchyna (see UkraineUkraine
, Ukr. Ukraina, republic (2015 est. pop. 44,658,000), 232,046 sq mi (601,000 sq km), E Europe. It borders on Poland in the northwest; on Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova in the southwest; on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the south; on Russia in the
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). Catherine sent Russian forces to suppress the rebellion, however, in the fear that it might spread among serfs under her control. In 1770 the confederation declared King Stanislaus deposed. Supported to a minor degree by France and more effectively by the Ottoman Empire, which declared war on Catherine, the confederation fought a bitter war against Russia until 1772, when its effective resistance was ended by the first partition of Poland (see Poland, partitions ofPoland, partitions of.
The basic causes leading to the three successive partitions (1772, 1793, 1795) that eliminated Poland from the map were the decay and the internal disunity of Poland and the emergence of its neighbors, Russia and Prussia, as leading European powers.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bar, Confederation of


a military alliance formed by the Polish gentry and directed against the Polish king Stanisław Poniatowski and tsarist Russia.

The Confederation of Bar was established on Feb. 29, 1768, in the city of Bar (Podolia). The confederation advocated the preservation of the privileges of the Catholic Church and the liberties enjoyed by the gentry, and it opposed reforms in the governmental structure of Poland and equal rights for non-Catholic Christians. Certain patriotic gentry circles who defended the independence of the country also participated in the Confederation of Bar. The struggle between the confederates and the troops of the king and tsarist Russia continued until 1772. The suppression of the Confederation of Bar laid the foundation for the First Partition of Poland.


Konopczyńskyi, W. Konfederacja Barska, vols. 1–2. Warsaw, 1936–38.
Ivanitskii, S. F. “Pervyi period Barskoi konfederatsii.” Uch. zap. Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo instituta, 1941, vol. 45.
Ivanitskii, S. F. “Pol’sha v polovine XVIII v. i vozniknovenie Barskoi konfederatsii.” Uch. zap. Leningradskogo gosudarstvennogo pedagogicheskogo instituta, 1939, vol. 22.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.