Contractual majesty : electoral politics in Transylvania and Poland-Lithuania, 1571-1586
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2009.; Includes bibliographical references. Stefan Bathory (1533-1586) was chosen by the orders and estates of Transylvania to be their ruler in May 1571; in December 1575 he was also elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and was crowned as such in May 1576. Although Bathory never returned to his homeland after he took hold of his Polish-Lithuanian throne, he maintained control over the affairs of Transylvania and ruled both countries simultaneously until his death in December 1586. This dissertation analyzes Bathory's two elections while comparing them to similar phenomena in the rest of Europe and placing them in the larger framework of early modern constitutionalism and civic republicanism. The goals of this dissertation are to unveil the dynamics of electoral politics in sixteenth-century East Central Europe; to illuminate the political language at play during elections; and to clarify the values, intentions, and motivations of political actors--both candidates and voters--in the electoral context. Research findings indicate that electoral politics not only reflected, but also affected the identity, values, and behavior of citizens and rulers in elective constitutional monarchies, particularly at moments when citizens had to rule themselves and prospective rulers had to comply with the conditions of citizens in order to be able to occupy their thrones. Voters and candidates played intricate political roles that forced them to adapt their language and behavior to the complex realities of interregna and elections.
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