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Lecture 22 - Polish History - Outline History Poland Basic...

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Outline: History – Poland - Basic Facts - Historical Borders 1700s, 1914, 1918 - Interwar Period - Historical Borders WWII - WWII - Communist Era - Solidarnosc - 1980-1989 - Historical Borders Today - 1989-Present Poland: Basic Facts - Today’s Poland: territory remarkably similar to first Polish state established a millennium ago - Geographically: Poland at “heart” of Europe, and thus a Central European nation - But: eastern part was ruled by Russia throughout 19 th Century, and Poland was part of Soviet bloc between 145-1989 Poland can also be described as Eastern Europe - Slightly smaller than the unified Germany - Overwhelmingly Catholic population and tradition Poland: Historical Borders 1700s - Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth o Created 1730 o “Easternmost bulwark of Roman Catholicism” o Catholicism plays important role in making of Polish state o Very decentralized proto-democracy: ‘one nobleman, one vote;’ local nobility more powerful than king o 1772-1795: Partitioned by powerful neighbors (Russia, Prussia, Austria), independent Polish state ceases to exist Poland: Interwar Period - Pre-World War I: Poland still divided among its neighbors - Post WWI: o Collapse of Russian, Austro-Hungarian, and German empires o Support of Western allies aided Poland in regaining independence: Establishment of Second Republic o Focus placed on nation-building
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Much need to be consolidated from previous divisions o
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