History of Poland
Poland is quite old state. The first historical information about Poland dates back to the first half of X century. At that time Poland was quite a large state. The first reliably known ruler of Poland was Mieszko I (960-992). Initially, he owned only the Great Poland, but later annexed Silesia, Pomerania and Moravia. Poland had also accepted Christianity during that time. Then his son Boleslaw the Brave (992-1025) strengthened Poland and extended the territory so that the state covered the lands from the Oder and the Dnieper to the Baltic Sea and the Carpathians. He also became the first king of Poland in 1025. After his death, the provinces began to have greater autonomy, which led to the feudal fragmentation, which ultimately manifested itself in the XII century.
In the XIII century to fight the Mongols, who devastated the most of the territory of Poland, as well as the Prussians and Lithuanians, Poles called the Teutonic Knights. Without knowing it, the Poles had helped the Teutons to create in the Baltic Sea region their independent state. At the beginning of the XIV century it was already a full-fledged state, which was a significant force in the region.
At the same time begins national revival of the Poland. During the reign of Wladyslaw Loketek were reunited most of the Polish lands, and the Wladyslaw was crowned in 1320. When his son, Kazimir the Great (1333-1370) had begun to reform and strengthen the royal power, issued a number of laws, and as a result Poland was reborn and with new forces began further development.
One of the most prominent rulers of the Middle Ages in Poland was Jagajla, the Duke of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, who had married Queen Jadwiga and ruled in Poland under the name of Wladislaw II (1386-1434). It was that time when occurred the famous Battle of Grunwald, which ended in complete victory of the troops of the Polish Crown and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania over the Teutonic Order. After that the Order had never reached such level of development, and in 1466 had practically ceased to exist and became a vassal of Poland.
XVI century was the greatest period in the history of Poland. Prussia was annexed as a duchy under the suzerainty of Poland, and in 1561 Livonia was captured. Also during the Livonian War with Russia Poland signed the Union of Lublin, which gave the birth to a new state Rzecz Pospolita - the Union of Polish kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. As a result, the Union formed one of the most powerful states in Europe, whose borders stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
From the XVII century in Poland began a long period of decline. After unsuccessful attempts to establish the Polish authorities in Russia began the Cossacks rebellion, and debilitating wars with Russia and Turkey weakened the country and gentry continued to get more privileges. Rzecz Poslpolita had lost Kiev, the Turks invaded Podolye. Some improvement was observed during the reign of Jan Sobieski (1674-1696). He led successful wars with the Ottoman Empire, from which he saved Vienna. However, after his death the state continued to weaken. After receiving help from Russia in the war with the Swedish Kingdom, the Polish-Lithuanian Union finally came under the influence of Russia. As a result of the permanent use of the «liberum veto» the state’s government could not accepted any political reform. The result was the election in 1764 of the King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, who became the last king of Rzecz Pospolita.
In 1772 came the first division of the Union. Despite the adoption of a constitution in 1791 and the reform of the Four Year Sejm, as well as a popular uprising led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko in 1793 and 1795 occurred the second and third divisions of the state. Rzecz Pospolita ceased to exist as a state and disappeared from the political map of Europe.
The territory of the Commonwealth was divided between Russia, Austria and Prussia. During the XIX in 1830 and 1863 respectively occurred rebellions to restore the Polish state, but they failed.
After the First World War in 1918 Poland regained its independence, though it was greatly diminished in size. The first head of state was elected Jozef Pilsudski. As a result of the Polish-Soviet War Poland re-attached Western Belarus and Western Ukraine.
In order to prevent new wars the new State Government pursued the policy of non-alignment, and also signed a number of non-aggression treaties.
But despite this World War II began with Germany's attack on Poland. After the liberation of Poland by Soviet troops, it came under the influence of the Soviet Union. Until 1989, Poland was a part of the bloc of socialist countries and was a member of the Warsaw Pact. As a result of the elections in 1989 was elected President Lech Walesa, and in 1995 - Aleksander Kwasniewski. Poland began the process decommunization and a series of economic and political reforms.
Poland began to prepare for the accession to the EU, while at the same time, trying to maintain relations with Russia and other Eastern European countries. In 1999 Poland joined the military-political bloc of NATO and supported the invasion of the block in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Since 2004 Poland is a member of the European Union, and since 2007 - a member of the Schengen zone.
In 2005, the new president became Lech Kaczynski and in 2007 the new Prime Minister became Donald Tusk.
Currently, Poland is a developed democratic European state, which has significant potential in the economic, political and military spheres.
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Entertaining tourist tram and omnibus appeared in Warsaw
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