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 Gdañsk (Danzig), cutting off Poland’s access to the sea. In 1386 the marriage of Jagiełło, grand duke of Lithuania, and Jadwiga, daughter of King Louis, brought Lithuania and Poland into personal union. The Jagiełłonian 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 Jagiełłonian, Sigismund (Zygmunt) II, introduced a non-hereditary elective monarchy. Many foreigners were elected, including Prince István Báthory of Transylvania, who defeated Ivan the Terrible and won back territories lost to Russia.
KeywordsForeign Direct Investment Parliamentary Election Deputy Prime Minister Vistula River International Flight
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