Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa
  • S. H. Steinberg
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Poland became a state by the union of a number of Slavonio tribes settled in the basins of the Vistula, the Warta and the Oder. The nation was converted to Christianity in 966. Under the Piast dynasty (10th–14th centuries) German ‘eastward expansion’ (Drang nach Osten) deprived Poland of her north-western and western borderlands. After the defeat of the Teutonic Order at Tannenberg (1410) and the partial recovery of Prussia, Poland’s political interests turned eastward. Temporary successes in White Russia and the Ukraine were bought by a permanent weakness on her western front. Poland reached the height of her power in the period between the 14th and 16th centuries under the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty. On its extinction the crown became elective and this, leading to an overgrowth of special rights granted to the nobility and gentry, resulted in the permanent weakness of the central authority. During the 17th and 18th centuries the position of Poland rapidly declined, and eventually, by the three partitions of 1772, 1793 and 1795, the Polish Commonwealth, as it was then called, was divided between Prussia, Russia and Austria.


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Books of Reference

  1. Anders (W.), An Army In Exile. London, 1948.Google Scholar
  2. Destiny can Wait: The Polish Air Force in the Second World War. London, 1949.Google Scholar

Books of Reference

  1. Alton (T. P.), Polish Post-war Economy. Columbia Univ. Press, 1955.Google Scholar
  2. Gross (F.), The Polish Worker: A Study of a Social Stratum. New York, 1945.Google Scholar
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Books of Reference

  1. STATISTICAL INFORMATION.—The Central Statistical Office, Warsaw (Wawelska St. 1–3) publishes’ statistical News’ (from Aug., 1945), with special issues;’ statistical Studies and Works’ (from 1950);’ statistics of Poland’ (from 1946; 20 vols. to end of 1951);’ statistical Tear Book’ (latest Eng. ed., 1948).Google Scholar
  2. Beck (J.), Dernier rapport: Politique polonaise, 1926–1939. Neuchåtel, 1961.Google Scholar
  3. Lednicki (W.), Life and Culture of Poland. New York, 1944.—Russia, Poland and the West. London, 1954.Google Scholar
  4. Mikolajczyk (S.), The Rape of Poland. New York, 1948.Google Scholar
  5. Mitosz (C.), The Captive Mind. London, 1953.Google Scholar
  6. Modzelewski (J.) (editor). Pologne, 1919–39. 3 vols. Neuchåtel. 1945–48.Google Scholar
  7. Reidaway (W. F.), Penson (J. H.), Halecki (O.) and Dyboski (R.) (editors), The Cambridge History of Poland. 2 vols. London, 1940–50.Google Scholar
  8. Schmitt (B. E.) (editor), Poland. 2nd ed. Berkeley, Cal., 1951.Google Scholar
  9. Sharp (S. L.), Poland: White Eagle on a Red Field. Harvard Univ. Press, 1953.Google Scholar
  10. Stanislawski (J.), English-Polish and Polish-English Dictionary. 2 vols. London, 1940.Google Scholar
  11. Stern (H. P.), Struggle for Poland. Washington, 1953.Google Scholar
  12. Super (P.), 25 Years with the Poles. Trenton, N.T., 1951.Google Scholar
  13. NATIONAL LIBRARY.—Biblioteka Narodowa, ul. Rakowiecka 6, Warsaw. Director: Wladyslaw Bienkowski.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1956

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. H. Steinberg

There are no affiliations available

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