Much has been written about Tadeusz Kościuszko. Most often, historiography shows him as the leader of an uprising, winner of battles at Racławice, Warsaw, and Saratoga, and above all a talented artillery and fortification engineer. However, historiography rarely describes him as one of the leading representatives of Polish Enlightenment thought, who not only knew it but also made his original contribution to it. Kościuszko represented a broadly understood Enlightenment humanism based on the doctrine of Natural Law. His views were far ahead of Polish political thought. The idea of liberty and national independence played a leading role in his life. He believed that liberty is the greatest good that every nation and person should experience. He already thought in terms of a modern political nation and postulated the right to liberty and equality for every human being, regardless of sex, race, religion, or social and material status. The basis of his idea of liberty was faith in progress and hope for improved opportunities for every human being. He recognized the existence of excluded groups: peasants in Poland, slaves in the United States, women in public life. He had the courage to criticize this state of affairs. Moreover, he had ideas how to change this situation. He began with himself, issuing documents that granted freedom to peasants on his estates in Poland and attempting to use his American funds to secure freedom and education for slaves.

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