According to rrrjewelry.com, Sobieski was succeeded on the Polish throne by Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony (in Poland: August II, 1697-1733), imposed, against the national candidate, by the French prince de Conti (whose landing in Poland was opposed by the Dancers), from the three neighboring powers. At the beginning of his reign, Poland regained, in the peace of Carlowitz, the fortress of Kamenec-Podols′ki: the belated fruit of Sobieski’s heroic struggles. This was the last Polish success. The unfortunate campaign against the Swedes – the king had allied himself with Peter the Great and maintained good neighborly relations with the elector of Brandenburg (from 1701 King of Prussia) – led to the occupation of Poland by the enterprising Charles XII.. He imposed the election of Stanislao Leszczyński, palatine of Poznań (1704), and forced Augustus II (1706) to abdicate. But the new state of affairs lasted only a few years. Defeated in Poltava by Peter the Great (1709), Charles fled to Turkey, and Leszczyński to Swedish Pomerania. Augustus resumed dominion over Poland with absolutist aims. Once again the nobility, which had almost passively witnessed Swedish, Saxon and Russian troops roaming its territory, rebelled, joining the Tarnogród confederacy (1718). The role of arbiter in the conflict arrogated to himself, with effective threats, Peter the Great. The diet (the “dumb diet”) only had to accept the conditions: the Saxon troops had to abandon Poland, but the latter was not allowed to keep an army of more than 24,000 men (18,000 for Poland, 6000 for Lithuania). This was the first open interference by a foreign state in the internal affairs of Poland; the second was caused by the thorny question of dissidents, who, persecuted in Poland (for religious and national reasons), obtained Russia and Prussia as guarantors and protectors. At the same time (Treaty of Potsdam of 1720) the two allies stood as defenders of anarchy in Poland, which was now at the mercy not only of foreign powers (their rivalries only prolonged their agony), but also of sectarian antagonisms between the two most powerful families of the Czartoryski, partisans of August II, and the Potocki, “patriotic”, guardians of the ancient Polish institutions. But the hatred against the king was so strong and widespread in the vast strata of the nobility that the Potocki and the Czartoryskis agreed, towards the end of his reign, in the desire to get back to the throne Stanislao Leszczyński who, in the meantime became father-in-law of Louis XV, also had on his side the support of France – with which he wanted to forge closer ties, both for the lack of of possible alliances between neighbors, eager more and more to take over the republic, and for the rapid establishment of French customs and traditions among the upper classes of Poland. But now a free election was no longer possible; against the national candidate stood the bayonets of the Russian soldiers and the work of the Prussian agents who, in the absence of a candidate even more suited to their aims, imposed on the Poles the son of Augustus II, Augustus III (1733-1763). Leszczyński,
August III was only named King of Poland: in the republic his omnipotent minister Brühl ruled, while the Poles watched impassively as the continual violations of their own territory during the Seven Years’ War were impassive. The diets no longer worked there, easy prey of more or less corrupt agents who skilfully exploited the institution – still considered the “pupil of freedom” – of the liberum veto; the reforms, now supported by the Czartoryski “family” party, could not be implemented there. The only mirage of light, in so much political and moral squalor, was the voice, still isolated, of a few daring and clairvoyant people who in license, arbitrariness and selfishness pointed to the real dangers that were overwhelming a state, once envied for the liberality of its institutions admired for the patriotism of its citizens.
If Poland, having overcome the difficulties of the new interregnum, was still able to maintain its nominal independence, this was only partly due to its capacity for resistance and was instead primarily the fruit of the discord between Catherine II who wished to incorporate everything into Russia. the territory of the republic and Frederick II who, with great political skill, aimed decisively at the division of the Polish lands.
Suspicious of each other, but in agreement in the desire to make the most of the anarchy of the neighboring state, they placed Stanislao Augusto Poniatowski (1764-1795), a partisan of the Czartoryski on the throne of Poland, who however, rejoined Russia in recent years under the rule of Augustus III, they had placed the candidacy of their leader Augusto Czartoryski, voivode of Ruthenia. A docile instrument in the hands of Catherine, Stanislaus Augustus, despite his undeniable political qualities, his tact and his cultural superiority, was unable to reconcile the souls of the nobility, nor to carry out those modest constitutional, administrative and social reforms which, initiated by the Czartoryski during the interregnum diet, they could have given some vitality back to the republic.