Meaning of POLAND, HISTORY OF in English

history of the area from the 10th century to the present. Additional reading The history of Poland is presented in W.F. Reddaway et al. (eds.), The Cambridge History of Poland, 2 vol. (194150, reissued 1971); Aleksander Gieysztor et al., History of Poland, 2nd ed., trans. from Polish (1979); Norman Davies, God's Playground: A History of Poland, 2 vol. (also published as A History of Poland, God's Playground, 1981); Adam Zamoyski, The Polish Way: A Thousand-Year History of the Poles and Their Culture (1987, reissued 1994); Paul W. Knoll, The Rise of the Polish Monarchy: Piast Poland in East Central Europe, 13201370 (1972); J.K. Fedorowicz, Maria Bogucka, and Henryk Samsonowicz (eds.), A Republic of Nobles: Studies in Polish History to 1864, trans. from Polish (1982); Harry E. Dembkowski, The Union of Lublin: Polish Federalism in the Golden Age (1982); Jerzy Lukowski, Liberty's Folly: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Eighteenth Century, 16971795 (1991); Piotr S. Wandycz, The Lands of Partitioned Poland, 17951918 (1974, reprinted 1984), and Polish Diplomacy, 19141945: Aims and Achievements, ed. by Keith Sword (1988); R.F. Leslie (ed.), The History of Poland Since 1863 (1980); Andrzej Walicki, Philosophy and Romantic Nationalism: The Case of Poland (1982, reissued 1994); Titus Komarnicki, Rebirth of the Polish Republic: A Study in the Diplomatic History of Europe, 19141920 (1957); Antony Polonsky, Politics in Independent Poland, 19211939 (1972); Jan Karski, The Great Powers & Poland, 19191945 (1985); Jzef Garlinski, Poland in the Second World War (1985); and Jacek Jedruch, Constitutions, Elections, and Legislatures of Poland, 14931977: A Guide to Their History (1982). Wladyslaw Czaplinski and Tadeusz Ladgrski (eds.), The Historical Atlas of Poland, 2nd ed. (1986; originally published in Polish, 4th ed., 1977); and George J. Lerski, Historical Dictionary of Poland, 9661945, ed. by Piotr Wrbel and Richard J. Kozicki (1996), are useful companions to historical readings.Communism and its collapse and aftermath are examined in these works: Jakub Karpinski, Countdown: The Polish Upheavals of 1956, 1968, 1970, 1976, 1980, trans. from Polish (1982); Jan Jzef Lipski, KOR: A History of the Workers' Defense Committee in Poland, 19761981 (1985; originally published in Polish, 1983); Michael Checinski, Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism, trans. from Polish (1982); Jadwiga Staniszkis, Poland's Self-Limiting Revolution, ed. by Jan T. Gross (1984); Lawrence Weschler, The Passion of Poland, from Solidarity Through the State of War (1984); Timothy Garton Ash, The Polish Revolution: Solidarity, 198082, rev. and updated ed. (1991); Neal Ascherson, The Polish August: The Self-Limiting Revolution (1981); George Blazyca and Ryszard Rapacki (eds.), Poland into the 1990s: Economy and Society in Transition (1991); and Jane Leftwich Curry and Luba Fajfer (eds.), Poland's Permanent Revolution: People vs. Elites, 1956 to the Present (1996). Hans Roos Kazimierz Maciej Smogorzewski Piotr S. Wandycz Partitioned Poland The legions and the Duchy of Warsaw Changes in Poland's territory from 1031 to 1945. The 123 years during which Poland existed only as a partitioned land had a profound impact on the Polish psyche. Moreover, major 19th-century developments such as industrialization and modernization were uneven in Poland and proved to be a mixed blessing. Growing Polish nationalism was by necessity that of an oppressed nation and displayed the tendency of all or nothing. Compromise became a dirty word, for it implied collaboration with the partitioners; a distrust of authority grew. The tradition of the Polish nobles' republic militated against submission and engendered an attitude of revolutionary defiance. Beginning with the Kosciuszko Insurrection the Poles staged uprisings in 1806, 1830, 1846, 1848, and 1863 and a revolution in 1905. Defeats were followed by organic work that aimed at strengthening the society and its economy by peaceful means. This other major trend of nationalist aspiration was linked with Positivism, while the insurrectionary tradition became closely connected with Romanticism, but it is an oversimplification to identify the former with realism and the latter with idealism. The survival of the Polish nation, which during the 19th century absorbed the peasant masses, was due in no small degree to a culture that continued to be all-Polish and to the Roman Catholic church, whose role in maintaining Polishness was very important. Numerous writers, from the Romantic poets to Henryk Sienkiewicz, winner of the 1905 Nobel Prize for Literature, shaped the Polish mentality. For a stateless nation, ideas and imponderables acquired special importance. A rebirth of statehood, however, could be achieved only under the conditions of a major European upheaval, which would mean a collapse of the partitioning powers; this did not happen until 1918. Politically conscious Poles did not reconcile themselves to the loss of independence. Conspiracies and attempts to exploit the differences between the partitioning powers arose. migrs looked up to revolutionary France for assistance, and General Jan Henryk Dabrowski succeeded in 1797 in persuading Napoleon Bonaparte, then waging his Italian campaign, to create auxiliary Polish legions. In their headquarters the future Polish national anthemJeszcze Polska nie Zginela (Poland Has Not Yet Perished)was sung for the first time. Hopes placed on a French victory over Austria that would open the Polish question were, however, quashed by the Treaty of Campo Formio. In subsequent struggles Polish legionnaires were used to fight French battles in Germany and in Santo Domingo, but Poland gained no political commitments. Yet their struggles did have a meaning in the long run, keeping a democratic Polish spirit alive and furnishing cadres to a future Polish army under Napoleon. The pro-French military option had a counterpart in the ideas and policies of Prince Adam Jerzy Czartoryski. Appointed Russian foreign minister by Tsar Alexander I, the prince advocated redrawing the map of Europe to take into account national feelings and reconstitute Poland in union with Russia. This approach failed when Alexander committed himself to a struggle against France on the side of Prussia. After Napoleon's victories over Prussia in 1806, French troops entered the Prussian part of Poland. Responding to somewhat vague promises by Napoleon, Dabrowski called on the Poles to rise and organize armed units. In the campaigns that followed, Polish troops played a significant role, and Napoleon could not avoid making some gesture toward the Poles. As a result of the compromise peace with Alexander at Tilsit, Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia), in 1807, a small state was created out of the Prussian shares in the First and Second Partitions and called the Duchy of Warsaw. Its ruler was the king of Saxony, Frederick Augustus I. Gdansk was made a free city. The Duchy of Warsaw, so named in order not to offend the partitioners, appeared to the Poles as a nucleus of a revived Poland. Doubled in size after a victorious war against Austria in 1809, it numbered more than four million people and had within its borders Warsaw, Krakw, and Poznan. The constitution imposed by Napoleon was comparable to his other authoritarian constitutions but took into account Polish traditions and customs. The ruler was absolute but used his powers with discretion and later delegated them to his ministers. The Napoleonic Code was introduced, and the constitution abolished slavery. But this was interpreted to imply only the personal emancipation of the peasants without transferring to them the land they cultivated. Hence servile obligations for those who stayed on the land continued in practice. Napoleon regarded the duchy as a French outpost in the east, which required the maintenance of a disproportionately large army. The costs of maintaining it, together with the adverse effects of the Continental System, brought the duchy's economy to the brink of ruin. The emperor then took some Polish troops on his payroll, and they fought in Spain, where the charge of the light horse guards at Somosierra in 1808 passed into national legend. Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812, in which nearly 100,000 Polish soldiers participated, seemed to promise the re-creation of Poland. Napoleon encouraged the Poles to proclaim the restoration of their country but did not commit himself to that goal. In reality, the emperor waged war not to destroy Russia but to force the tsar back into a policy of collaboration with France. Only in his exile at St. Helena did Napoleon speak of the key importance of Poland. His defeat in Russia brought the victorious Russian troops into the Duchy of Warsaw. While other allies of Napoleon were abandoning the sinking ship, Prince Jzef Poniatowski, who commanded the Polish army, remained loyal and died fighting at the Battle of Leipzig (1813) as a marshal of France. From the Congress of Vienna to 1848 Changes in Poland's territory from 1031 to 1945. The victory of the anti-Napoleonic coalition led to a redrafting of the map of Europe at the Congress of Vienna (181415). The Congress paid lip service to Poland by enjoining the partitioning powers to respect the national rights of their Polish subjects (insofar as was compatible with the state interests) and by providing for free trade and communications within the borders of the old Commonwealth. The latter turned out to be a dead letter. The territorial issue caused dissent among the powers, but eventually a compromise arrangement left the former Duchy of Warsaw, minus Poznania (which went to Prussia) and Krakw (made a free city), to Tsar Alexander under the name of the Kingdom of Poland. The tsar now controlled about two-thirds of the old Commonwealthboth the area commonly called Congress Kingdom, or Congress Poland, and the former Commonwealth (Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian) provinces that had been annexed during the partitions. The states of the Jagiellonians The waning of the Middle Ages The rule of Jagiello The Polish clergy played a major role in the long process of Christianizationthe bishopric of Wilno (Lithuanian: Vilnius) was set up in 1387and Polish knights assisted Lithuania in its military campaigns; nevertheless, the Lithuanians were determined not to tolerate Polish interference, landowners, or troops. It was obvious that a simple incorporation of Lithuania into Poland was not possible. Jagiello's cousin Vytautas (Polish: Witold), who eventually controlled the various duchies that constituted the Lithuanian state before its union with Poland, assumed the title of grand duke and made Lithuania a virtually independent state. He even aimed at a royal crown for himself. The defeat he suffered at the hands of the Tatars at Worskla in 1399, however, destroyed his plans. The union with Poland was renegotiated on the basis of partnership of two sovereign states under the reign of Wladyslaw II, king and supreme duke. The continuing struggles with the Teutonic Knights seeking to master eastern Lithuanian Samogitia (Polish: Zmudz)on the pretext of Christianizing its inhabitantsled to the great war in which Poland and Lithuania joined forces. The result was a crushing defeat of the Knights at Tannenberg (Grunwald) in 1410. The victory had no immediate sequel, for the Knights ceded only and temporarily Samogitia, but it marked the beginning of their decline; the Prussian nobles and towns secretly opposed the ruthless rule of the Teutonic Order. Polish tolerance was manifest at the Council of Constance (141418), where the prominent theologian and rector of Krakw University, Pawel Wlodkowic (Paulus Vladimiri), denounced the Knights' policy of conversion by the sword and maintained that the pagans also had their rights. Similarly, the Poles were sympathetic to Jan Hus of Bohemia, who was condemned as a heretic by the council, and lent discreet support to his followers, the Hussites, in their struggles against the Holy Roman empire and the papacy. Because of his concerns over dynastic succession, Wladyslaw II, who had no children with Jadwiga, granted new privileges to the szlachta (all those of noble rank). Called neminem captivabimus (comparable to habeas corpus), the measure guarded against arbitrary arrest or confiscation of property and distinguished between the executive and judiciary. In the magnate-dominated Lithuania, the Polish example began to affect its internal evolution. The lesser boyars, envious of the position of their Polish counterparts, favoured closer unity. At the Union of Horodlo (in 1413), Polish nobles offered their coats of arms to a number of Lithuanians as a gesture of solidarity. Only Wladyslaw's fourth wife, Sophia Holszanska, bore him a male heir. One of their sons, Wladyslaw III Warnenczyk, ruled Poland (143444) under the regency of the powerful Zbigniew Cardinal Olesnicki; the other son, Casimir, was the grand duke of Lithuania. Largely because of Olesnicki, Wladyslaw III was elected king of Hungary, became active in crusades against the Turks, and, after initial victories, died at the Battle of Varna in 1444. Casimir subsequently became the ruler of both Poland and Lithuania. Casimir IV The long and brilliant reign of Casimir IV Jagiellonian (144792) corresponded to the age of new monarchies in western Europe. By the 15th century Poland narrowed the distance separating it from western Europe and became a significant factor in international relations. The demand for raw materials and semifinished goods stimulated trade (producing a positive balance) and contributed to the growth of crafts and mining. Townspeople in Poland proper constituted about 20 percent of the populationroughly the European average. Divisions between the nobles, burghers, and peasants were still somewhat fluid. Coexistence of the ruler and the estates was relatively smooth and stable. Cultural progress was striking, the reconstituted and enlarged University of Krakw playing a major role. Humanist trends found a promoter at Krakw in the Italian scholar Filippo de Buonacorsi, known as Callimachus. From the pen of Jan Dlugosz came the first major history of Poland. Casimir's foreign policy centred on the conflict with the Teutonic Knights and succession in Hungary and Bohemia. When the rebellious Prussian towns and nobility turned to Casimir, he decreed an incorporation of the Knights' state into Poland (1454). Unable to decisively defeat the Teutonic Order during the Thirteen Years' War (145466), he had to sign the compromise Treaty of Torun in 1466. Gdansk Pomerania, renamed Royal Prussia and endowed with far-reaching autonomy, became Polish once again. This opened the route to the Baltic. The other territories (most of the future East Prussia), with its capital of Knigsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia), remained with the Knights, albeit as a Polish fief. Casimir's dependence on the noble levies in wartime enabled the szlachta to extract new concessions. They culminated in the Privilege of Nieszawa (1454), which gave the provincial diets (sejmiki) the right to declare the levies and raise new taxes. In 149396 a bicameral general diet (Sejm) marked the beginning of Polish parliamentarism. The representatives of the sejmiki formed the lower house, while the king's appointees constituted the senate. The question of succession in Bohemia and Hungary was resolved toward the end of the 15th century, when one of Casimir's sons, Vladislas II, was elected to the throne of Bohemia in 1471 and Hungary in 1490. His other sons, John I Albert and Alexander, succeeded each other in Poland and Lithuania from 1492 to 1506. A Jagiellonian bloc had come into existence, but its effectiveness was marred by the fact that the four countries were guided by divergent interests and faced different problems.

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