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History of Poland in a pill - illustrated


pawian 157 | 9,053
23 Jun 2013  #1
Here is the briefest listing of Polish history in 10 points:

1. Baptism
2. Kings and queens
3. Golden Age
4. Decline
5. Partitions
6. Risings
7. Resurrection
8. World wars
9. Communism
10 EU.

It covers 1047 years. Not bad.
Bieganski 17 | 901
23 Jun 2013  #2
Pawian, are you looking for other PF members to add illustrations?

I found this one for baptism; a mural in Gniezno:

Gniezno Mural of Baptism of Poland
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
23 Jun 2013  #3
Pawian, are you looking for other PF members to add illustrations?

Yes! With great pleasure! Everybody is welcome! I don`t hold a monopoly on illustrating PF. :):):)

I found this one for baptism; a mural in Gniezno:

Wow! I didn`t know this one though I once visited the cathedral.
Must be somehow hidden from the public.
Or it is a modern creation. :):):)
Bieganski 17 | 901
23 Jun 2013  #4
Or it is a modern creation.

Definitely contemporary. Originally Jan Matejko's depiction of the Christianization of Poland came to mind but as you can see the christening itself isn't the main focus of the work.

Christianization of Poland - Jan Matejko
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
23 Jun 2013  #5
Another angle - A Vatican State stamp from 1966 depicts Mieszko who adopted Christianity for Poland and his Czech wife, Dobrawa.

s

It seems she played quite a role in converting her husband. Women rule!!
The baptism of Poland refers to the ceremony when the first ruler of the Polish state, Mieszko I, his wife, Dobrawa of Bohemia, and his court, converted to the Christian religion.[7][4] Dobrawa, a zealous Christian, played a significant role in promoting Christianity in Poland, and might have had significant influence on converting Mieszko himself.[1][5]

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianization_of_Poland
Astoria - | 155
23 Jun 2013  #6
1. Baptism2. Kings and queens3. Golden Age4. Decline5. Partitions6. Risings7. Resurrection8. World wars9. Communism10 EU.

A good history of the Polish state. Let's try a history of the Polish Nation, which is quite different:

1. Baptism. Mieszko, a tribal duke of unknown ethnicity, forces baptism onto his tribe of uknown name (there is no scientific proof that Polanie ever existed in western Poland). No Polish Nation at that time.

2. Kings and queens. The beginning of the Polish Nation. Some knights begin to think of themselves in broader terms than feudal lords and tribal leaders - as Poles. Most kings and queens are not Polish, but are chosen by Polish knights to rule over the domain. Only the knights (probably less than 1% of the population) belong to the Polish Nation.

3. Golden Age. Rapid growth of the Polish Nation. It now consists exclusively of szlachta - about 8% of all inhabitants of the Commonwealth. 92% of the population are non-Poles. Peasants, Jews, city dwellers are not considered Poles or Polish in any way. The Polish Nation is not ethnic as many of the nobles are not ethnic Poles in contemporaty sense.

4. Decline. The Polish Nation (szlachta) goes nuts. It introduces liberum veto which makes it difficult to collect taxes, reform and defend the state. It elects as king a Swede who starts wars with Sweden (the Deluge).

5. Partitions. The Polish Nation still consists of 8% of the population. The Constitution of May 3 tries to expand the Polish Nation, introduce taxation of szlachta and raise an army, but it's too late.

6. Risings. Rapid decline of the Polish Nation. The partitioning powers take away szlachta's privilages reducing its numbers to about 4% of the population. Decapitated szlachta tries to regain privilages and state sovereignty in 2 uprisings. 96% of the population, however, does not join the remnants of szlachta in uprisings.

7. Resurrection. At the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century the remnants of szlachta evolve into Polish intelligentsia. The abolition of serfdom and free education for peasants creates Poles out of peasants. Peasants stop thinking of themselves as local serfs and discover they are free Poles just like szlachta used to be. Polishness is understood now ethnically. The Polish Nation was thus created little more than 100 years ago.

8. World wars. The newly created ethnic Polish Nation regains sovereignty after World War I. However, over 30% of the population is ethnically non-Polish. The new concept of the Polish Nation arises: all citizens of Poland belong to the Polish Nation (despite attempts of Dmowski and nationalists who prefered ethnic concept of Polishness).

9. Communism. German Holocaust and Soviet ethnic cleansing create Poland practically without ethnic minorities for the first time in Polish history. The Polish Nation is a political nation and at the same time an ethnic nation.

10 EU. Poland loses 2 million citizens who prefer a better place to live. Since 2007, 2500 schools were closed in Poland due to lack of students.
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
23 Jun 2013  #7
A good history of the Polish state. Let's try a history of the Polish Nation, which is quite different:

Wow! It is a good one! Thanks.

However, you do you so often repeat the phrase about Polish nation being non-existent or minority:

No Polish Nation at that time.

Only the knights (probably less than 1% of the population) belong to the Polish Nation.

The Polish Nation is not ethnic as many of the nobles are not ethnic Poles in contemporaty sense.

Partitions. The Polish Nation still consists of 8% of the population.

Do you feel bitter about sth or what?
TheOther 5 | 3,643
23 Jun 2013  #8
The Polish Nation was thus created little more than 100 years ago.

So the partitioning powers did Poland a favor?
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
23 Jun 2013  #9
Why do you think so?

You missed Polish 3rd May Constitution which gave rights to peasants but was abolished by Russia and others through partitions.

Both from justice, humanity and Christian duty, as from our own self-interest properly understood, we accept under the protection of the law and of the national government the agricultural folk, from under whose hand flows the most copious source of the country's wealth, and who constitute the most numerous populace in the nation and hence the greatest strength of the country, and we determine that henceforth whatever liberties, assignments or agreements squires authentically agree to with peasants of their estates, whether those liberties, assignments and agreements be done with groups or with individual inhabitants of a village, shall constitute a mutual obligation, in accordance with the true sense of the conditions and provisions contained in such assignments and agreements, subject to the protection of the national government. [...]

en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_May_3,_1791

Declaration of 3rd May Constitution:

Polish Constitution
TheOther 5 | 3,643
24 Jun 2013  #10
You missed Polish 3rd May Constitution which gave rights to peasants but was abolished by Russia

Thanks for pointing that out Pawian; I didn't know that. But what about the other partitions? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Prussia try to abolish serfdom in 1794 through the "allgemeines preussisches Landrecht" already and then introduce the "Preussische Agrarverfassung" in 1798 to free the peasants for example?
Bieganski 17 | 901
24 Jun 2013  #11
In Eastern Orthodox iconography St. Helen, Mother of Emperor Constantine, Equal of the Apostles and her son are usually depicted together and she is regarded as having influenced him as well

antiochian.org/node/18634

After St. Constantine became the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire, he issued the Edict of Milan in 313 which guaranteed religious tolerance for Christians. St. Helen, who was a Christian, may have influenced him in this decision. In 323, when he became the sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire, he extended the provisions of the Edict of Milan to the Eastern half of the Empire. After three hundred years of persecution, Christians could finally practice their faith without fear.

Empress Helen is also recognized in the RCC as a saint (but often alone in statues and paintings of her). She is buried in Rome. It would be very interesting if centuries later Dobrawa learned of Helen and was inspired by her in anyway. Being of the literate classes I imagine she did hear of her so it wouldn't be surprising if there was a strong desire by Dobrawa and other royal figures of the day to emulate once great historical ruling figures right down to choice of religious beliefs.
Paulina 9 | 1,448
24 Jun 2013  #12
TheOther, are you trying to find excuses for wiping a country off the map? If yes, then it's pretty lame, imho.
TheOther 5 | 3,643
24 Jun 2013  #13
are you trying to find excuses for wiping a country off the map?

No, we were simply discussing serfdom and whether Astoria's statements that "the abolition of serfdom and free education for peasants creates Poles out of peasants" and "the Polish Nation was thus created little more than 100 years ago" are correct. Mentioning Prussia in a historical context isn't anti-Polish, Paulina. It's actually pretty lame to assume that... ;)
Paulina 9 | 1,448
24 Jun 2013  #14
I didn't write anything about "anti-Polish". Sorry, but after reading this "So the partitioning powers did Poland a favor?" I suddenly remembered all those discussions I and other Poles had with Russians and some Russians were doing just that. And since you have German roots and always defend Germany and Germans... A knee-jerk reaction on my part, I guess :)
TheOther 5 | 3,643
24 Jun 2013  #15
And since you have German roots and always defend Germany and Germans...

Nah, not defending. I'm trying to correct biased views on occasions, that's all. Must be a...

knee-jerk reaction on my part

...as well. :)
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
24 Jun 2013  #16
Who knows?

As for baptism, it is interesting to know what pagan Slavs worshipped in pre-christian era.

E.g.,
Swiatowid

and oak trees and celebrated Night of Kupala, whose atmosphere must have resembled that of today`s carnival in Brazil.

 Poland night

No wonder, things didn`t go so smoothly with conversion. There were pagan risings (first in Poland!) in 11 century. Rulers ordered to deprive restive pagans of their teeth if they didn`t want to fast.
TheOther 5 | 3,643
25 Jun 2013  #17
@Pawian

I would be interested in your answer: how do Polish historians see the Prussian role in the abolition of serfdom (see post #10)?
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
25 Jun 2013  #18
But what about the other partitions? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Prussia try to abolish serfdom in 1794 through the "allgemeines preussisches Landrecht" already and then introduce the "Preussische Agrarverfassung" in 1798 to free the peasants for example?

Those acts you are talking about didn`t introduce freedom to peasants in Prussian occupied Poland - their subjection was abolished in 1807 (except Poznań region in 1823).

how do Polish historians see the Prussian role in the abolition of serfdom (see post #10)?

Well, what do you expect? That Polish historians are enthusiastic about it? :):)
Yes, it is admitted the Prussian occupiers were the first partition party to abolish serfdom in occupied Poland.

But still Polish acts had been earlier. First, 3 May Constitution, then the Połaniec Declaration by Tadeusz Kosciuszko:

The Proclamation of Połaniec (also known as the Połaniec Manifesto; Polish: Uniwersał Połaniecki), issued on 7 May 1794 by Tadeusz Kościuszko near the town of Połaniec, was one of the most notable events of Poland's Kościuszko Uprising, and the most famous legal act of the Uprising. It partially abolished serfdom in Poland, granting substantial civil liberties to all the peasants.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proclamation_of_Połaniec

I would be interested in your answer

Are you satisfied?

Have we finished with baptism? Can we move to

2. Kings and queens

TheOther 5 | 3,643
25 Jun 2013  #19
Well, what do you expect? That Polish historians are enthusiastic about it?

I would have expected that Polish historians (and politicians) had developed a more neutral view on Prussia and the other partioning powers by now. Selling "evil oppressors" to the general public is of course much easier than to admit that the partitioning powers were not as evil as people were told since the end of WW2 (or maybe even WW1)...

Are you satisfied?

Kind of. Since you are a history teacher, I thought I would get a little more information on how this part of Polish history is handled in schools and on a political level.
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
25 Jun 2013  #20
More neutral view? :):):) Joke.

One day ,when I get to Partitions Chapter, we can talk about germanisation and russification policies adopted by the most aggressive and determined occupiers. Only Austrian partition zone was the bearable one, with Polish politicians even becoming Prime Ministers of Austria. Prussian/German and Russian partitions were real occupations and Polish historians don`t have to be more neutral . :):):)
TheOther 5 | 3,643
25 Jun 2013  #21
More neutral view? Joke.

Come on - the partitions lasted for 5 or 6 generations. You seriously want to tell me that no positive development whatsoever occured during that time span and that everything was solely aimed at oppressing the Poles and making their life miserable? That sounds like propaganda.

Prussian/German and Russian partitions were real occupations

Not occupied, Pawian ... annexed. Talking about Polish historians... :)
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
25 Jun 2013  #22
You seriously want to tell me that no positive development whatsoever occured during that time span and that everything was solely aimed at oppressing the Poles?

Of course not. It is natural there was development. But having had their 3 May Constitution reforms put in practice and not invaded by our neighbours, Poles would have developed on their own in a better way than they did under occupation. Don`t you understand it?

Not occupied, Pawian ... annexed. Talking about Polish historians... :)

When you introduce your troops and administration to control the country, it is occupation first of all. When the act is accepted by other international bodies, it becomes a politically correct annexation.

Allow me to refrain from PC for a while. :):):)
Palivec - | 380
25 Jun 2013  #23
So, Poles in Prussia and Russia felt like Ukrainians before in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth?
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
25 Jun 2013  #24
Be patient.

One day ,when I get to Partitions Chapter

:):)

Have we finished with baptism? Can we move to 2. Kings and queens

Some kings had funny names/nicks.

Władysław Elbow-High

Władysław the Short or Elbow-high (or Ladislaus I of Poland, Polish: Władysław I £okietek; 1261 - 2 March 1333), was a King of Poland. He was a Duke until 1300, and Prince of Kraków from 1305 until his coronation as King on 20 January 1320. Because of his short height he was nicknamed '£okietek', a diminutive of the word 'łokieć', meaning "ell" or "elbow", as in "elbow-high

Polish King Lokietek-

Ojców National Park is located around Prądnik Valley which traverses limestone rocks of Cracow-Częstochowa Upland. Geological structure and later karst processes led to development of numerous caves which had been inhabited by people from time immemorial. The oldest traces discovered in Jaskinia Ciemna (dark cave) are dated to 120 thousand years BC.

Many legends are connected with the caves in this area, and the most famous is a legend on Władysław the Elbow-high. Apparently, when escaping from Cracow from the Czech king army he sheltered in one of the caves.

facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.285206498280063.1073741830.117147018419346&type=3

Polish King Lokietek-
Des Essientes 7 | 1,291
25 Jun 2013  #25
Many legends are connected with the caves in this area, and the most famous is a legend on Władysław the Elbow-high. Apparently, when escaping from Cracow from the Czech king army he sheltered in one of the caves. A huge spider spun a web in the entry to the cave, thus stopping the pursuit.

I wonder how many cultures have a version of this story. The Muslims tell of Muhammad and Abu Bakr's flight from Mecca. Pursued by Meccan soldiers, led by Satan himself, they sheltered the first night in a cave, and Allah caused a spider to weave a web over the entrance, thus fooling their pursuers into believing the cave was unoccupied.
jon357 63 | 14,110
25 Jun 2013  #26
As I remember, he had quite a lot to do with Wiślica. Have you seen the excavations behind the church there?
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
25 Jun 2013  #27
I wonder how many cultures have a version of this story.

Very interesting. It only proves we are all the children of the same planet.

As I remember, he had quite a lot to do with Wiślica. Have you seen the excavations behind the church there?

The last time I visited Wiślica was in 2007. But going to Busko Zdrój for vacation this year, I think we will drop by.
Monitor 14 | 1,821
26 Jun 2013  #28
Why do you say that Polish nation was created only 100 years ago, when in chapter King and Quines you write "Kings and queens. The beginning of the Polish Nation." ?

Greeks and Romans had also slaves and It doesn't mean that their nation was not existing.

Nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history.

According to this definition polish peasants were part of the nation.
OP pawian 157 | 9,053
28 Jun 2013  #29
Greeks and Romans had also slaves and It doesn't mean that their nation was not existing.

But slaves weren`t considered nation. The same with Poland - only royals and nobility were nation for a long time here.

Nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government (for example the inhabitants of a sovereign state) irrespective of their ethnic make-up;

Tell it to the Polish magnates and szlachta a few hundred years ago. :):) I assure you they wouldnt` be so enthusiastic about it. You might end up fighting a duel with an annoyed noble.

2. Kings and queens

Casimir the Great found a Poland made of wood and left it made of stone". in 14 century. Considered one of the greatest kings of Poland.

Carimir the Great of Poland

Till today we can see his production:

Castle in Poland

etc etc

2. Kings and queens

1525, Polish king Sigismund Old receives homage from the Prussian prince:

homage

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prussian_Homage

This plaque in Krakow`s Market Square reminds of the event

plaque

Sigismund Old`s son, Sigisimund August, fell in love and married a woman against his mother`s and ruling class members` wish, causing a great scandal.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Radziwi%C5%82%C5%82

The young wife was allegedly poisoned and the king never got over her death.

death bed

See their story in a nice 1980s Polish film trailer:




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