• Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Poland takes its name from the Polanie (‘plain dwellers’), whose ruler Mieszko I had achieved a federation by 966, a date taken as that of the foundation of the Polish state. He placed Poland under the Roman Holy See around 990. His son Boleslaw I (992–1025) continued his father’s territorial expansionism until by the time of his coronation in 1024 Poland’s boundaries were much as they are today. The tendency of this state to fragment under German pressure was formalized by Bolestaw III (1102–38), whose sons divided the kingdom into 3 duchies. In the 13th century Poland was laid waste by pagan proto-Russians and Mongols. In 1320 Wladyslaw of Kraków was crowned king of Poland. The work of unification was consolidated by his son, Kazimierz III (1333–70). A descendant of his married the pagan duke of Lithuania, Jagiello, who was converted to Catholicism and became king of Poland in 1386, uniting Poland and Lithuania in a vast multi-ethnic empire. The Jagiellonian period to 1572 is regarded as an economic and cultural ‘golden age’.

Rzeczpospolita Polska (Polish Republic)


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading

  1. Central Statistical Office, Rocznik Statystyczny. Annual.—Concise Statistical Yearbook of Poland.Statistical Bulletin. Monthly.Google Scholar
  2. Bromke, A., The Meaning and Uses of Polish History. New York, 1987Google Scholar
  3. Davies, N., Poland, Past and Present: a Select Bibliography of Works in English. Newtonville, 1977.—God’s Playground: a History of Poland. 2 vols. OUP, 1981.—Heart of Europe: a Short History of Poland. OUP, 1984Google Scholar
  4. Halecki, O., A History of Poland. 4th ed. London, 1983Google Scholar
  5. Kaminski, B., The Collapse of the State of Socialism: the Case of Poland. Princeton Univ. Press, 1991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Kanka, A. G., Poland: an Annotated Bibliography of Books in English. New York, 1988Google Scholar
  7. Kurski, J., Lech Walesa: Democrat or Dictator? Boulder (CO), 1993Google Scholar
  8. Leslie, R. F., (ed.) The History of Poland since 1863. CUP, 1980Google Scholar
  9. Mitchell, K. D., (ed.) Political Pluralism in Hungary and Poland: Perspectives on the Reforms. New York, 1992Google Scholar
  10. Sanford, G. and Gozdecka-Sanford, A., Poland. [Bibliography] 2nd ed. ABC-Clio, Oxford and Santa Barbara (CA), 1993Google Scholar
  11. Sikorski, R., The Polish House: An Intimate History of Poland. London, 1997; US title: Full Circle. New York, 1997Google Scholar
  12. Slay, B., The Polish Economy: Crisis, Reform and Transformation. Princeton Univ. Press, 1994CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Staar, R. F., (ed.) Transition to Democracy in Poland. New York, 1993Google Scholar
  14. Staniszkis, J., The Dynamics of the Breakthrough in Eastern Europe: the Polish Experience. California Univ. Press, 1991Google Scholar
  15. Turner, Barry, (ed.) Central Europe Profiled. Macmillan, London, 2000Google Scholar
  16. Walesa, L., A Path of Hope. London, 1989Google Scholar
  17. Wedel, J., The Unplanned Society: Poland during and after Communism. Columbia Univ. Press, 1992Google Scholar
  18. National library: Biblioteka Narodowa, Rakowiecka 6, Warsaw.Google Scholar
  19. National statistical office: Central Statistical Office, Aleje Niepodleglosci 208, 00–925 Warsaw.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations