Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Stanisław Staszic (November 6, 1755 - January 20, 1826) was a Polish priest, philosopher, statesman, geologist, scholar, poet and writer, a leader of the Polish Enlightenment, famous for works related to the "Great" or "Four-Year Sejm" (1788-1792) and the May Constitution of Poland adopted by it on May 3, 1791.
Staszic was born into a burgher family in Piła. He graduated from a Jesuit school in Poznań and became a Catholic priest. Between 1779 and 1781 he continued his theological studies in France and Germany.
Staszic was a strong partisan of reforms and an ardent advocate of the interests of the lower classes, especially the peasants. A physiocrat and laissez-fairist, he was a leading supporter of the reforms introduced by the May Constitution of Poland. After the partitions of Poland, he organized mining schools, societies of learning, departments of industry and arts.
From 1808 he was director of the Society of Friends of Learning , predecessor to the Polish Academy of Sciences. After the fall of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1815, he became a member of the Council of State of the successor Congress Kingdom. He was also an active supporter of industrial development in Poland. Between 1816 and 1824, he was de facto minister of industry of the Congress Kingdom and began construction of the Old Polish Industrial Area , with steel and zinc mills around Kielce and Sandomierz.
He died in Warsaw.
His best-known works include:
- Remarks upon the Life of Jan Zamoyski (Uwagi nad życiem Jana Zamoyskiego, 1787)
- Warnings for Poland (Przestrogi dla Polski, 1790)
- On the Origin of Mountains in Former Sarmatia and Later Poland (O ziemorództwie gór dawnej Sarmacji, potem Polski, 1815)
- Humankind (Ród Ludzki, 1820)
- A Polish translation of Homer's Iliad (1815).
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