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|War of the Deluge|
The war of the Deluge (a.k.a the War of Polish succession) was a military conflict fought in the 1650's and 1660's. It was fought between Sweden and her allies in Russia, Austria and Prussia (with Brandenburg) and Poland-Lithuania. Its primary fronts were in Poland, Lithuania and other Baltic countries.
The war with Sweden and Poland was primarily over the succession to the Polish crown. John II Casimir was elected king, but since he was a Jesuit objections were raised that he might become a bad or absent ruler. The Nobility wished for Charles X Adolphus of Sweden. When several voivodships declared Charles king, John Casimir declared war. Russia joined in to gain chunks of Ukrainian or Belarusian territory.
Eastern Orthodox Ukrainian Cossacks revolted and targeted Jews and Catholics in their pogroms. This caused thousands of Jews to flee to anywhere that would take them. Many middle class Jews fled to Sicily, where their talents as craftsmen, clerks, administrators, tax collectors, scholars and teachers were needed.
The war ultimately ended with Poland driving out the usurpers at a heavy cost. Its economy was ruined by civil strife and the foreign invasion. Ethnic and Religious tensions flared up in several other rebellions as a result of the war. The Ukrainians and Cossacks, who were Orthodox, were elevated to the same leval as Catholic Poles and Lithuanians. In fact, the Commonwealth was forced to change its name to Poland-Lithuania-Ruthenia, as it incorporated the newly created Duchy of Ruthenia.
The nation suffered a severe brain drain as it lost most of its Middle Class Jews. It also suffered humiliation in the form of territorial cessions. To Russia, it was forced to cede the Witebskie, Smolenskie and Czernicowskie voivodships. It ceded the Parnawskie, Dorpakcie and Wendenskie voivodships to Sweden. Ducal Prussia gained its independance and the Malborskie voivodship, as well as the island of Tobago. Austria gained the Krakowskie voivodship.