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Heritage of partitions still present in Poland


pawian 150 | 7,961    
3 May 2019  #1
In another thread I wrote: Poland was partitioned "only" for 123 years and it ended 100 years ago but the legacy of it is still present in Poland.

Read about partitions if you don`t know what happened in 18th century.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitions_of_Poland

Let me remind you, the intention of this thread is not to discuss the reasons and motives behind partitions or how they could be prevented and who played what role. The topic is: effects of partitions on today`s Poland.

There are many examples of that but let`s start with the most conspicuous: the results of all kinds of elections: national parliamentary, presidential, local parliaments which quite faithfully reflect the borders set by partition powers 220 years ago. In general, voters living in the ex-Prussian partition prefer pro-democratic pro European parties like PO, while ex Russian (except for Warsaw) and Austrian (except for Krakow) prefer conservative nationalist oriented PiS - their greatest bastions are in southern Poland, former Galicia lands under Austrian rule.


  • Poland according to partition zones: Blue - Prussian/ Green - Russian/ Yellow - Austrian

  • Most election results look like that

  • Map of pre WW1 Germany shows the influence of old borders

  • 2015 presidential elections - Komorowski (PO) and Duda (PiS)
Bobko 9 | 148    
3 May 2019  #2
Fascinating. Thanks very much for this.
OP pawian 150 | 7,961    
3 May 2019  #3
Yes, it has always fascinated me how certain patterns work, It would be interesting to discuss why they still exist.

One possible explanation - Prussian partition zone was the most developed of all, next one was Russian with medium level of advancement and the poorest Austrian where people actually starved to death. Today it is similar - a typical PiS voter is poorer and with less education than his well-off, well educated counterpart who votes PO.

Just a little theory which doesn`t need to be true.
Bobko 9 | 148    
3 May 2019  #4
The fact that Russian lands are better developed than Austro-Hungarian ones is certainly puzzling.

Completely off-topic, but the part of China that experienced the greatest growth '79 to roughly '00 was the former Russian, and then Japanese-occupied Manchuria. Similarly, Korea turned into the Tiger it is today, in large part due to 40 years of Japanese occupation, however unpleasant it is to admit to modern day Koreans.
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #5
The fact that Russian lands are better developed than Austro-Hungarian ones is certainly puzzling.

Not sure where you have this idea from? I would say Austro-Hungarian towns/villages are doing very well now....but east wall of Poland? I would say it is the poorest part of country.
Bobko 9 | 148    
3 May 2019  #6
Not sure where you have this idea from?

From Mr. Pawian above.
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #7
But this is just voting result not economic development.
Bobko 9 | 148    
3 May 2019  #8
I don't know.

Pavian wrote: "...next one was Russian with medium level of advancement and the poorest Austrian where people actually starved to death." I understood he means that Russian lands were more developed, and thus people that vote there have more progressive views (albeit, still PiS voters), than those in Austro-Hungarian lands, where people literally starved.

You're probably right. It did seem strange to me too. Not only because of an anti-Russian bias, but because of demographics too. The population density in the west, and rate of urbanization had always been higher. Historically, and at present, urban dwellers are more liberal in their views than their rural cousins.
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #9
I think it is very dangerous assumption that poor and uneducated vote PIS and well-off and educated vote PO.

From economical point of view - I think there is big divide between west /east and less visible south/north.

I think west and south are much richer/better developed ( more populated) than other 2
TheOther 5 | 3,674    
3 May 2019  #10
@Pawian

Your maps are wrong because they are based on the borders of modern day Poland. Most of Pomerania and Silesia were never part of the Prussian partition. This is more accurate:

Polish partitions
OP pawian 150 | 7,961    
3 May 2019  #11
The fact that Russian lands are better developed than Austro-Hungarian ones is certainly puzzling.

Mentioning the level od development in three partition zones, I didn`t say are but were. :)

I understood he means that Russian lands were more developed than those in Austro-Hungarian lands,

You understood correctly because that`s what I meant. Poles, Russians, Germans and Jews in the Russian partition zone created the industry which exported a lot of goods to Russia proper. E.g., read about Łódź which was the biggest manufacturer of textiles/fabrics in the whole Russian Empire.

and thus people that vote there have more progressive views (albeit, still PiS voters),

Sorry, but now you mixed everything. Typical PiS voters aren`t progressive. :):)

Your maps are wrong because they are based on the borders of modern day Poland.

No, they aren`t because they better show the similarities between former partition zones and today`s voting patterns and that`s the topic of this thread. Besides, we are talking about borders.

Most of Pomerania and Silesia were never part of the Prussian partition.

Yes, I wanted to mention a strange phenomenon - people living in the lands acquired from Germany after 2 WW also vote like those in ex- Prussian partition.
OP pawian 150 | 7,961    
3 May 2019  #12
we are talking about borders.

This is more accurate:

No, the one below is even more accurate. The blue is Polish territory partitioned by Prussians. The red - Russian partition. If we look at the border between them, it is quite faithfully reflected in today`s voting.



Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #13
So...the ex-german parts of Poland are not only wealthier but the people living there are more not east-polish? :)

I find that astounding, I learned that after the expellations of the Germans the lands in now-west Poland had been re-settled with Poles who where expelled from now-ukrainian lands..meaning ex-east-Poles...

One could think that there wouldn't be such a clear cut difference..
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #14
It was after war now people are mixed...moved around. I would say booming towns are Warszawa, Krakow, Wroclaw, Poznan......

Counties : Mazowieckie, Dolnoslaskie, Podkarpackie, Malopolskie.
Spike31 2 | 863    
3 May 2019  #15
That's true.

And what also has to be mentioned that Poles from Greater Poland province have built a strong local economy in XIX century not thanks to Germans but in spite of them.

They've constantly struggled against germanization and that why they've built a strong community and strong local economy. Those lessons are still valid even now in XXI century
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #16
So, you mean the russian and austro-hungarian partitions lacked the Germans? That's why they stayed poorer and less developed because the Russians and Austro-Hungarians weren't as hated as much?
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #17
As I vaguely remember from history at school Austro-Hungarian part was quite laid back. Economy was poor but Polish had much more freedom there .

In German and Russian parts people were much more suppressed.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #18
So...does that mean Poles need oppression to be successful? If they are enjoying freedom then they stop working? :)

Very interesting! :)
Spike31 2 | 863    
3 May 2019  #19
No, it means that every action causes a reaction. And Polish reaction is to fight not to submit.

It also means that yours and Weimarer's trolling on PolishForums is also a positive thing for Poles who reads this.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #20
No, it means that every action causes a reaction.

So....the russian partition and the austro-hungarian partition was no cause for a reaction?

Please help me to understand...that is fascinating! :)
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #21
Is it so fascinating? It is like slavery or colonies.....nothing fascinating about it. German and Russian thought that this land would be for them for ever so forced people to work hard but not for themselves but for invaders. it is rather sad. Similar like German kept Wawel castle in Krakow as they thought they would sit there and bark orders. Fortunately it did not work.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #22
Nah...Spikey said that the prussian partition became wealthier and better developed because the Poles fighted the Germans.

And not because of that:

"...From the economic perspective, the territories of the Prussian Partition were the most developed, thanks to the overall policies of the government.[7] The German government supported efficient farming, industry, financial institutions and transport.[7]"....

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Partition#Economy

That implies that the Poles in the russian and austro-hungarian partitions enjoyed their life and freedoms instead...THAT is fascinating! :)
Spike31 2 | 863    
3 May 2019  #23
Well, @BratwurstBoy, as long as you're not throwing helpless insults like yesterday I'm willing to help you and educate you a bit.

Each partition had different politico-economical conditions.

Russian partition has also caused reaction and two major unprisings. Unfortunatelly those uprisings were unsuccesful and Polish elites were sent to Siberia which has hampered the growth of a Russian partition.

Another reason is that Russia had vasts land and weren't interested in territorial expansion as much as in political control of this region. They weren't interested in development of those parts of Empire. If anything else they wanted to hamper it.

Germans on the other hand wanted to keep those lands forever and claim it a part of a Reich, they've already considered them to be theirs. They wanted to take it over and to germanize Polish population. The money was invested in connecting it with Germany and in taking control of local economy and also in a hostile takeover of Polish private land backed by pro-German federal laws.

German partition in Greater Poland was finally put to an end with a succesful Greater Poland Uprising which removed Wielkopolska from Germany in 1919 and placed it firmly in Poland.
10iwonka10 - | 383    
3 May 2019  #24
@Bratwurst Boy

No I would say they were better developed before partition. Not sure why geographical reason maybe?
Ironside 47 | 9,497    
3 May 2019  #25
So....the russian partition and the austro-hungarian partition was no cause for a reaction?

OK. \
Prussian partition formed different form of resistance. It was possible regardless of many anti-Polish policies, laws and organization aimed at Germanization to organize and to prosper. After all Polish were also a Prussian citizen and as long as they acting within boundaries of the law they were OK. So all the power went into businesses model, a patriotic Pole was a successful one.

In Austria, high taxes and lost of BS. Yet schooling in Polish, including uni. Polish people in administration, army, There were Polish PM many ministers.

Russia, mindless tyranny, inconsistent have handed polices, total misunderstanding of Polish culture or mindset, inferiority complex of Russian intelligentsia. yet most of uprisings were there, corruption and so on. Russian imperialist scared of possible Poland's revival.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #26
No I would say they were better developed before partition. Not sure why geographical reason maybe?

I don't want to go into a pissing contest, foreign occupation sucks every time.

But maybe we can agree that Prussia was not the most successful country of that time for nothing...they brought abit (unwanted I agree) of that to Poland...

....Of the Three Partitions, the education system in Prussia was on a higher level than in Austria and Russia,....

...The German government supported efficient farming, industry, financial institutions and transport.....

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Partition#Economy

Better education plus a gov that supports the economy, the industrialization, agricultural development and you get a better developed region. That's not rocket science.

What I found interesting is that a big part of the actual population was there implanted after the war from the more rural, backwards east polish region and now they vote differently than the people in their former home.

Or maybe there had been more former Prussian-Poles left than thought...
delphiandomine 85 | 17,644    
3 May 2019  #27
Better education plus a gov that supports the economy, the industrialization, agricultural development

It's very fair to say that the Prussian/German partition was easily the most developed. The big mistake was the attempted Germanization, though it's also understandable why they did it when you consider 19th century history. If they had fully integrated Poles and allowed Polish to be used on an equal basis with German, I do wonder if the Wielkopolska Uprising would have actually happened.
Ironside 47 | 9,497    
3 May 2019  #28
So...the ex-german parts of Poland are not only wealthier but the people living there are more not east-polish? :)

No, it just those parts - east and south of today Poland hasn't been affect that much by ethnic cleansing, mass restatement pf people and so on.

Those areas were able to withstand to a higher degree sovietization due to centuries long social connections and tradition. Those less rooted were easier brainwashed.
Bratwurst Boy 5 | 9,960    
3 May 2019  #29
If they had fully integrated Poles and allowed Polish to be used on an equal basis with German,

Nah...you can't hold down an unwilling people forever. It was a do or don't situation...I believe the Prussians knew that.

With hindsight there was no way that such a strong developed sense of self, with such a long history, being an Empire once themselves, would just dissolve into another nation just like that. There would be always resistance and a yearning for their own souvereignity again.

I compare that abit with the Ukraine today...

A Pole by himself, purposely immigrating to Germany, is something else but a whole country, against its will. That couldn't end peacefully.
Ironside 47 | 9,497    
3 May 2019  #30
As I vaguely remember from history at school Austro-Hungarian part was quite laid back.

If you vaguely remained something. it is better to say nothing. As it is a nonsense.


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