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


In the 7th and 8th centuries Slavic peoples settled on the forested plains between the Odra and Vistula rivers. In 966 a Polanie (‘plain dwellers’) state was founded by Mieszko I, of the Piast dynasty, who placed Poland under the Holy Roman See in 991. Mongol invasions in 1241–42 laid waste much of Poland and in 1308 the Teutonic Knights captured Gdaňsk (Danzig), cutting off Poland’s access to the sea. In 1386 the marriage of Jagiello, grand duke of Lithuania, and Jadwiga, daughter of King Louis, brought Lithuania and Poland into personal union. The Jagiellonian period was an economic and cultural golden age. The Accord of Lublin in 1569 created a political federation, the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania, to protect the alliance against an aggressive Russia under Ivan the Terrible. The death in 1572 of the last Jagiellonian, Sigismund (Zygmunt) II, introduced a non-hereditary elective monarchy.


Foreign Direct Investment Parliamentary Election Deputy Prime Minister Vistula River International Flight 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

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  • Barry Turner

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