It was actually Europe’s first and the world’s second modern national constitution. It was adopted by Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth parliament and was to create a more democratic constitutional monarchy. The Constitution introduced political equality between townspeople and nobility and improved the situation of peasants – they got under protection of the government. Also, the Constitution abolished the liberum veto (any deputy could undo legislation passed by the parliament).
The neighbors of the Commonwealth were actually hostile to the act. That led to war in defense of the Constitution. The Commonwealth was defeated and the Second Partition of Polish-Lituanian Commonwealth took place but the Constitution has played an important role – it was a national inspiration, a national pride and a message of the idea of independence that can be passed to future generations and other countries.
May 3 could not be celebrated after the constitution was adopted (as a result of the Partition – see above) and during communism. A lof of Polish towns nowadays organise family festivities to celebrate this special day.
Gimnazjum nr 18, Poland