Warsaw Confederation

po_Warsaw-ConfederationThe Warsaw Confederation (January 28, 1573), an important development in the history of Poland and Lithuania that extended religious tolerance to nobility and free persons within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth., is considered the formal beginning of religious freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and in fact is the first such document in Europe. While it did not prevent all conflict based on religion, it did make the Commonwealth a much safer and more tolerant place than most of contemporaneous Europe, especially during the subsequent Thirty Years’ War.

“Certainly, the wording and substance of the declaration of the Confederation of Warsaw of January 28, 1573 were extraordinary with regards to prevailing conditions elsewhere in Europe; and they governed the principles of religious life in the Republic for over two hundred years.” — Norman Davies