The Reforms of Golden Liberty, sometimes referred to as the Józef's Gift, the Golden Freedoms, or the Royal Democracy was a unique reform signed on November 15, 1555 by Józef Szczuka in order to unify the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by bringing together those of different religion or ethnicity and giving them assured humanitarian rights. It also meant that much of the general populace had equal standings and rights with the szlachta (nobles), as well as clarify that there is no designated state religion or culture.
The acts of the reforms were assigned under certain specified articles and a foundation to one of the first archived civil rights acts in Europe.
Article One: Religion and Culture
- Section I: No government body of the nation shall specify a certain state ethnicity or religion.
- Section II: No government body shall interfere with the practices of religion or ethnic traditions.
- Section III: Religious freedom is guaranteed by the political structure of the Commonwealth.
- Section IV: Government bias towards another ethnicity or religion is prohibited.
- Section V: Political parties, individuals and/or organizations within the General Sejm that intend to infringe upon the violation of Section I and II of Article One shall be expelled from his/her political position by a peoples vote.
Article Two: Specified Official Languages (Exempt from Article One)
- Polish - Spoken by majority
- Lithuanian - Spoken by majority
- Ruthenian - Spoken by majority
- Latin - Popular among the szlachta and used as the European Franca Lingua for foreign affairs
- Yiddish - Spoken by majority of the Jewish population
- Hebrew - Spoken be majority of the Jewish population for religious matters
Article Three: Government
- Section I: The monarchy shall remain hereditary and the position as King of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth shall be passed down to the children of the current monarch.
- Section II: During wartime the General Sejm shall be exempt of power and the nation will convert to an Absolute Monarchy, however the monarch shall choose if Section II of Article Three shall be enacted.
- Section III: The government is strictly prohibited from recruiting troops past the peacetime limit which is 20,000 active soldiers with another 30,000 in reserve with another 40,000 active as militia to assist.
- Section IV: Militia's are prohibited from exiting the nation during wartime unless specifically requested by the king.
- Section V: The right for the populace of the nation to form a legal rebellion against the General Sejm, the royal family, or both if freedoms from Article I were violated. However, this can only be applied if anything notably major has been enacted and not dealt with by the government.
- Section VI: The right to form a political organization with a certain goal/aim.
- Section VII: If the General Sejm has been deemed as corrupt by the people's vote then the current monarch shall take control of the nation and this control shall be relinquished by the people's will.
Article Four: General Sejm
- Section I: The General Sejm is only restricted into enacting new laws and must be approved by the king as well as laws suggested by the king must be approved.
- Section II: The 70 Senators and 50 Deputies of the General Sejm must be voted into office by the people of their region. A new Sejm will be elected every 4 years.
- Section III: The current King gets a vote of 2 points in the Sejm when enacting a law and 1 point if 2 points will lead to a draw.