August III Elector of Saxony and King of Poland
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

Augustus III (1696-1763) was the son of August the Strong, and his family was from the Wettin Dynasty. He was born on October 17, 1696, in Dresden, to Augustus II ( Wettin) and Christina Eberhardine of the Hohenzollern-Bayreuth. He died October 5, 1763 at Hubertsburg (near Leipzig).

Augustus was Elector of Saxony (as Augustus II) (1733-1763) and King of Poland from January 14, 1734, when Augustus III was crowned in Cracow Cathedral. He reigned, in Poland, for two years. He became the Polish king four weeks after Stanislas Leszczynski abdicated. Like his father he held both the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Order of the White Eagle. This was accomplished by the protection of the Russian army and it is not known what the official count is regarding the nobility's vote to elect him. He allied himself with Empress Anna of Russia and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI in the War of the Polish Success (1733-1735) and secired the throne for Stanislas I, in the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748). Augustus offered to support Maria Theresa in return for a corridor between Poland and Saxony. He was refused and then entered a coalition against her, claiming rights as son-in-law of her uncle, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I. He changed sides in 1742, when the Seven Years War began, in 1756. At this time, he made a surprise attack on Saxony, and fled to Poland. he returned to Dresden only after the war had ended.Thus his reign had a bit of doubt from the start, since he was supported by both Russian and Austria.

As king, August III was less talented than his father and made little attempt to intervene in Polish politics. He struggled for acknowledgement of his sovereignty through the noble organization and the frenzied Confederation of 1734.

August III married Maria Josef, daughter of Emperor Josef I of the Holy Roman Empire.

Comtemporay historians contend that August III was a moral man, both in his life and his politics.

He was a patron of the arts. He left most of his state affairs to his minister, Count Bruhl. Augustus' death ended the union of Saxony and Poland. His grandson became elector of Saxony and king (as Frederick Augustus I). After his death, Stanislas II was elected king of Poland with Russian support.

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