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Renegade RevolutionaryThe Life of General Charles Lee$
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Phillip Papas

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780814767658

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814767658.001.0001

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Absolute Power Is a Serpent

Absolute Power Is a Serpent

(p.65) 4 Absolute Power Is a Serpent
Renegade Revolutionary

Phillip Papas

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on Charles Lee's views about monarchy and absolute power by focusing on his trip to Eastern Europe. In early December 1764, Lee made plans for his trip to Poland, where he hoped to find military employment and repair his damaged reputation. He obtained several recommendations from prominent British citizens and secured passage on a packet ship bound for the Netherlands. After a few days in Brunswick, Lee traveled to Berlin, the capital of Prussia, where he gained an audience with Frederick II. He arrived in Warsaw in March 1765 determined to obtain an important position in the military from King Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski of Poland. This chapter examines Lee's political radicalism and George III's rejection of his request for a promotion in the British army.

Keywords:   monarchy, Charles Lee, absolute power, Eastern Europe, Poland, Netherlands, Berlin, Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski, political radicalism, George III

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