Reformation in Poland: King Alex has a turn

5

Some historians have written off King Alexander.

“Yes, I may not be the brightest but I choose my ministers well. What more can you ask of a ruler? I was a dutiful ruler even if I didn’t want to speak Polish, which annoyed the Poles. Well, its an awful language if you have to learn it in middle age. And I had more problems to deal with than most of the other kings of Europe. No one else had such a vast and unwieldy commonwealth of nations to hold together. ‘Come on gentlemen. We are all members of the same Commonwealth, you representatives of Lithuania, Ruthenia, Ducal Prussia, the Ukraine and Poland, stop your squabbling, its a great thing we have here.’ But they didn’t listen, often. And if you think that was not trouble enough, remember I had to deal with the Prussian Prussians, Germans and Russians, the Tartars and the Turks. Trouble at home and trouble abroad. I often felt that our great empire was just too much for one man to manage. But that day in June 1505 changed it all. All I can remember is that I felt strange. It began in my left hand. It wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do. Then it was my leg. Then whole of the left side of my body stopped working. I was paralyzed.

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