Poland has had a struggle throughout history to maintain not only Polish culture but also even the size of the country. During the 16th century, Poland was the largest state in all of Europe known as Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. However, there were times that Poland was only a part of other conquering countries without any division at all.
During he 17th century Poland history was marked by
numerous wars and rebellions including the Polish-Muscovite,
The Zebrzydowski Rebellion, Polish-Ottoman war, and the
Russo Polish war to name a few.
Polish history during the 18th century saw a decline
of the noble’s democracy into anarchy. Due to the
Russian Empire, Hasburg Austria,
and the Kingdom of Poland all three vying for more land
to rule, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth which was
established in 1569 began to reduce in size and by 1795
was no longer in existence. However, Polish culture was
strong which led to many uprisings all the way through
the 19th century.
Finally, in 1918, Poland received its independence but this was also short lived as Polish history notes the borders changing once again after World War II.
During World War II, the Second Polish Republic was
completely demolished by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
However, the Polish government that were in exile helped
to not only change Poland history but the history of the
world, by functioning in secret through the Polish military
formation which aided in the Allied victory. The armies
of Nazi Germany were forced to retreat while the Soviet
Army advanced. Due to this, the People Republic of Poland
In the 1980’s a Polish reform movement, Solidarity, was the most prominent figure in Poland’s history that helped to create a peaceful transition from the communist state to a democracy. The history of Poland saw new light in February of 1989, when round table talks began and ended in April of 1990 with an agreement for partly open National Assembly elections. The agreement called for a communist president however, after two attempts, the communists failed to form governments. President Jaruzelski asked Solidarity activist Tadeusz Mazowiecki to form a government and on September 12, Prime Minister Mazowiecki and his cabinet were approved. This marked the first time in 40 years that Poland’s history did not have a communist president.
By 1990, Solidarity’s Citizens Committees won the majority of elections. By 1999, Poland joined NATO and in 2004, Poland joined the EU. Poland’s history has come through many battles and hardships to where it is in today’s world, as one of importance in the commercial and industrial world.
There are numerous historical attractions that visitors enjoy all over Poland. Auschwitz concentration camp just outside Krakow. The Biskupin settlement created during the Bronze and Iron Ages and of course the Wawel Castle offering a glimpse not only into the past, but all the myth and legends that make Poland such as outstanding country to visit.