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Poland is a land of beautiful countryside and developing cities. Apart from the colourful landscape, Poland also has a very colorful history. Poland has.

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Presentation on theme: "Poland is a land of beautiful countryside and developing cities. Apart from the colourful landscape, Poland also has a very colorful history. Poland has."— Presentation transcript:

1 Poland is a land of beautiful countryside and developing cities. Apart from the colourful landscape, Poland also has a very colorful history. Poland has had to struggle throughout history to maintain not only Polish culture but also even the size of the country. Poles trace their roots to the prehistoric times. However,as a nation, Poland has its origins in the year AD 966. In this year Mieszko I accepted Christianity. This event brought Poland to the world of western culture and Latin literacy. During the 16 th century, Poland was the largest state in Europe. It was known as Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. But there were also times whenPoland was only a part of other countries. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the years 1569-1667 Poland in the XIXth and the first half of the XXth century

2 The first partition in 1772 The weakness of Poland caused the first partition of the country by Russia, Prussia and Austria in 1772. These countries annexed nearly one third of Polands territory. Prussia took the smallest, but economically best. Austria took the most heavily populated areas and Russia took the largest, but least important.

3 The Constitution of Poland T he partition caused the attempts to make reforms in Poland. On the 3 May 1791 was established the Constitution of Poland – the first in Europe. It abolished liberum veto and introduced the rule of majority. It also guaranteed personal freedom to all the people. The Constitution was hailed in the United States, England and France, but was seen as a threat to the rulers of Prussia, Austria and Russia. Constitution- 3rd May 1791 by Jan Matejko

4 The second partition in 1793 H owever, it did not prevent Poland from being divided for the second time in 1793. Prussia and Russia took control of additional land of Poland. They took more than half the country and about four million more of the population.

5 The third partition in 1795 I n 1795 there was a third partition, Prussia, Russia and Austria divided the everything which was left of Poland among themselves. Poland no longer existed as an independent country. For 123 years it disappeared from the map of Europe.. Many captured Poles were sent to Siberia but thousands more escaped to Italy where, in 1797, they formed a Polish Legion, led by General Henryk Dąbrowski. The way of Poles to Siberia by Artur Grottger

6 Napoleonic Poland A t the beginning of the 19 th century Napoleon Bonaparte had established a new empire in France in 1804. Napoleons attempts to build and expand his empire kept Europe at war for the next decade and brought him into conflict with the same east European powers that had invaded Poland in the last decades of the previous century. Volunteer Polish Legions joined Bonapartes armies, hoping that the emperor would allow an independent Poland reappear out of his conquests. Polish Legions were fighting for Napoleon Bonaparte against Austria. They marched to a song written by Józef Wybicki, which became the Polish Anthem in the XXth century. Poland is not dead whilst we live, What others took by force, with the sword will be taken back. March march Dąbrowski, from Italys soil to Poland! Through your leadership we will reunite the nation. Napoleon Bonaparte

7 Duchy of Warsaw and The Congress Kingdom I n 1806 French armies defeated the Prussians at Jena and entered Posen (Poznań) led by the Poles under Dąbrowski. A year later Napoleon and the Tzar Alexander set up a Polish state made up of the lands Prussians had taken in the second partition. It was the Duchy of Warsaw. Unfortunately, the invasion of Russia (1811-1812) and Napoleons defeat in 1815 caused that the Duchy of Warsaw was replaced by Congress Kingdom attached to Russia. The remaining lands were put in a Grand Duchy of Poznań under Prussian rule, and free city of Cracow was supervised by the Russia, Prussia and Austria. Napoleon crossing the Vistula River on 24th June 1912

8 Revolting Europe I n the year 1848 there were a lot of uprisings all around Europe. There was an uprising in Cracow and in Greater Poland but both were put down. During the Revolution of 1948 Poles were fighting all over the Europe. In Italy (under the leadership of Adam Mickiewicz and Wojciech Chrzanowski), Germany (Wiktor Hetman, Ludwik Mierosławski and Franciszek Sznajde), Austria (Józef Bem). Also Hungarians joined the trend of revolutions sweeping through Europe. Polish generals fought also in Hungary. The most famous were Henryk Dembiński, Józef Wysocki, but Józef Bem was the one who became a hero of Hungarians. The Napoleons defeat in Moscow by Jerzy Kossak The Uprising in 1863 by Józef Chełmoński

9 The second half of the XXth century T he second half of the 19 th century was a time of a more vibrant Polish political life. Poles took part in the political life of the three occupying empires. Polish deputies held seats in their parliaments. Kazimierz Badeni was Prime Minister of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Poles had also set up a lot of political parties.The most important were Polish Socialist Party (1892), National-Democratic Party (1897) and the Peoples Party (1895).

10 The First World War (1914-1918) I n 1914 World War I began. Much of the heavy fighting on the wars Eastern Front took place on the territory of the former Polish state. The Polish people were divided into armies of Germany, Austria and Russia. They were forced to fight among themselves in a war that was not theirs. Poles sympathized for France and Austria but did not like fighting with them on the Russians side. They also had little sympathy for the Germans. Piłsudski thought of Russia as the greater enemy and formed Polish Legions to fight independently for Austria. By the end of 1915, the Germans had occupied the entire Russian sector, including Warsaw.

11 Independent Poland (1918-1939) I n November 1918 Poland was proclaimed as an independent country. Marshall Józef Piłsudski became the chief of the state. The young state had unstable boundaries and a series of wars and uprisings with neighbouring countries, Bolshevik Ukraine, Germany, Lithuania and Czechoslovakia. On 17 th January 1919 Romania officially acknowledged Poland. It was the renewal of diplomatic relations between the 2 states. They were interrupted for 123 years because of the division of the Polish state. The good relations between Romania and Poland were the result of the attitude of the Polish community from Bukovina whose representatives joined as volunteers the Legions of Józef Piłsudski and fought for the reconstruction of Polish state. Both Romania and Poland had the same interest which was safety. They had territories which were claimed by Bolshevik Russia. Romania was defending Bessarabia and Poland its eastern territories. On 3 rd March 1921 Romania and Poland signed Defensive Alliance. Later it was a guarantee treaty in 1926 and it was renewed twice in 1931 and 1936.

12 I n 1920, the Warsaw miracle took place, as the Polish army stopped the advance of the Bolshevik army into central Europe. Poland gained big territories in the east. Later it occupied Vilnius and half of the Austrian part of Silesia (the other half was given to Czechoslovakia). In 1921 the Modern Polish constitution was formed. Poland was a republic (until 1926), the national bank reappeared, mining was developed in Silesia and the construction of the first Polish port in Gdynia took place. However, the country was unstable. The first president, Narutowicz, was assassinated in Warsaw one year later. Warsaw miracle on 15th August 1920 by Jerzy Kossak

13 The Second World War W orld War II started with the invasion of Poland by Germany (September 1, 1939), and it lasted in the Polish territories for 6 years. On September 17, 1939, the Soviets invaded Poland. During the occupation, both Germans and Soviets executed or deported thousands of Poles to labor and concentration camps. Poland was only country where Germans punished by death any help given to Jews. The resistance to Germans and Soviets was collective. It culminated with The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (April 19 th ) was the heroic, but hopeless action of Jews who were seized in the small Warsaw ghetto. It followed mass transports of Jews from Warsaw ghetto to the Treblinka and Auschwitz concentration camps. Out of 450 000 people, which had originally been squeezed into the small ghettos area only 300 survived. The ghetto area was completely ruined.

14 Warsaw Uprising (August-September 1944), was a heroic undertaking of the Polish underground (mainly home Army) to free Warsaw from German occupation, hoping that the Soviet Army, already across the river, would come to the rescue. However, on Stalins orders, the Soviet Army did not help. The Uprising resulted in death of about 200 000 Polish people, fighters and civilians, and the complete destruction of the city – as a revenge, Germans burned Warsaw to the ground. It is important to mention about an emotional link between Poland and Hungary during World War II. When Poland was invaded by Germany, Hungary was a close political ally of Adolf Hitlers Germany. However, Hungary received more than 100 000 Polish refugees after the German invasion and even established schools for Polish children. The Hungarian army also refused to take part in the crushing of the Warsaw Uprising by German Army. Hungarians who took part in the Warsaw Uprising on the German side, gave fighting Poles, their supplies – weapons, food and other usable things.

15 P oland also received a lot of help from Romania during the war. The Romanian Government offered shelter to 60000 military and civil refugees together with the necessary equipment and military technique – this was extremely nice hospitability shown by the Romanians that reflected also their symphaty for the Polish refugees leaded by Ignacy Mościcki, the president of the Polish Republic and Józef Beck, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The war had tragic consequences for Poland not only because of the casualties: even though Poland had the government-in-exile, army that fought on the side of Allies constituting one of the largest forces, and active underground, Poland was betrayed by its allies, England and the United States – the international treaties of Yalta and Potsdam left it after the war, against wishes of Polands government and people, in the sphere of the Soviet control. The borders of Poland changed significantly – the whole country moved geographically 300-500 km to the west. Originally Polish areas in the east were incorporated into the USSR and their inhabitants settled originally German cities in the West: Wrocław (Breslau), Gdańsk (Danzing) and Szczecin (Stettin).

16 Sources used for the presentation:,319.html relations Hungary/poland_hungary_intro.html

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