takeover from 1944
Conflict with Russia / fight for independence
elections the eurosceptic Law and Order Party retaoined control of the
lower House of Parloiamernt, but lost control in the Senate to centre and left
troops were deployed in north east Poland, as Western concenrs about the Russian
occupation of the Crimea grew.
large street protests, the ruling Law and Justice Party decided not to
implement proposed severe restircitons on abortion.
European Union challenged, as a �threat to Euroipean values�, a new Polish law
that would allow the government to appoint heads of the state media radio and TV
and Order Party won an overall majority in Polish elections.
15/5/2014, General Wojciech Jarulzelski died, aged 90. He
was appointed Defence Minister of Poland in 1968; in 1970 his troops shot
dozens of striking shipyard workers in Gdansk and Gdynia, and was leader of Poland during
the rise of Solidarnosc.
Walesa and other senior government officials were killed in a plane
crash near Smolensk, Russia. They were travelling to Russia to mark the 70th
anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Russia blamed pilot error; Poland blamed
poor pilot advice from Russian air traffic control.
agreed to host a US missile defence systetm, causing controversy with Russia. In
2010 the US decided not to install this system.
26/8/2005, Jean Michael Jarre held a �Space of Freedom�
concert in Gdansk, Poland, to mark the 25th anniversary of the
creation of the Solidarnosc
joined the European Union.
referendum in Poland approved joining the European Union.
European Union formally invited Poland to join, in 2004 (see 1998).
began talks with the European Union on joining the bloc. See
24/1/1993, In Poland the ferry boat John Heweliusz sank, with
14/10/1992, The Russian KGB handed over documents to Poland�s
Lech Walesa revealing that the Russians killed Polish officers in 1940 in the
Katyn Forest Massacre. The Kremlin had previously insisted it was the Germans
who had done this.
Solidarity, triumph over Soviet
22/12/1990. Lech Walesa became president
25/11/1990, Lech Wałesa and Stanisław Tyminski won the
first round of the presidential elections in Poland.
27/1/1990. The Polish Communist Party dissolved itself.
On 28/1/1990 East Germany formed an all-party government.
15/11/1989, Lech Walesa, leader of the Polish Solidarity
movement, addressed a Joint Session of the United Nations Congress.
19/9/1989, Poland became
the first country in Eastern Europe to end one-party rule, as Solidarity�s Tadeusz Mazowiecki became Prime Minister.
19/8/1989, Tadeusz Mazowiecki of Solidarity
became Prime Minister of Poland, the first non-Communist PM in 42 years.
Wojciech Jaruselski, who imposed martial law in 1981,
was elected President of Poland by 270 votes out of 537, However he was the
only candidate; 233 voted against and 34 abstained. Solidarity declared the vote illegal.
Poland was bankrupt with a resentful population.
19/6/1989, The second round of elections to the Polish National Assembly. Solidarity won an overwhelming victory.
4/6/1989. Poland held partially-free
result was a major embarrassment for the country�s leaders as Solidarity
won the lion�s share of the vote. On a turnout of 62% - smaller than Solidarity had hoped for � the union�s
candidates had by 6/6/1989 won all Warsaw�s constituencies except
Zoliborz, where the result was still awaited. In some constituencies Solidarity
won over 80% of the vote cast. Few government candidates won over 18% of the
17/4/1989. In Poland, Solidarnosc was legalised
after an 8-year ban.
5/4/1989, The Polish Trades Union Solidarnosc
won the right to contest partially-free elections in Poland and to publish its
own newspaper. Solidarnosc had been
banned by the Polish Government under General Jaruzelski since 1982.
versus Communist control
2/5/1988, In Poland, thousands of shipyard workers went on strike, and 7 Solidarnosc union leaders were detained.
29/4/1988. The worst industrial unrest in
Poland since the 1981 martial law crackdown on Solidarnosc. Workers demanded large pay
rises after the Polish government raised food prices by 40%, rents by 50%, and
electricity by 100%; a spell of austerity was needed to restore economic
stability, said the government.
1/5/1985, May Day celebrations in Gdansk,
Poland. 10,000 Solidarity supporters clashed with police.
30/10/1984, The body of pro-Solidarity priest Father Jerzy Popieluszko, 37, was found by
police frogmen in a reservoir in Wloclawek Reservoir, northern Poland. He had
been kidnapped 12 days earlier; hardline opponents of Prime Minister Wojciech
Jaruzelski were suspected.
21/7/1984. Poland granted amnesty to 652 political
5/10/1983. Lech Walesa, leader of the Polish trade
union Solidarnosc, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
22/7/1983, Polish Prime
Jaruzelski lifted martial law after 19 months.
1/5/1983. Polish police broke up demonstrations in 20
22/4/1983, Lech Walesa,
leader of Polish trades union Solidarnosc, returned to work at the Gdansk shipyard.
7/2/1983, The Polish Communist
Party suffered a financial crisis as many members refuse to pay their dues.
3/1/1983. Poland formed
new trade unions.
19/12/1982. Poland lifted martial law. In May 1981 more than 3,000 Poles were arrested when
Polish police used teargas and water cannons�
to break up anti-government demonstrations in Warsaw. Other serious
riots took place in the Polish cities of Szcecin, Wroclaw, the steel town of
Nova Huta, and the Baltic port of Gdansk where Solidarnosc began. In October 1981 Solidarnosc and Rural
Solidarnosc were banned, but their leader, Lech Walesa, who had been held
in prison since late 1981, was released on 12/11/1982.
12/11/1982. In Poland, Lech Walesa was freed after one year�s
13/10/1982, Strikes in Polish shipyards were suppressed
by the military.
10/10/1982, The US imposed trade sanctions on Poland.
8/10/1982. The trades union Solidarnosc was outlawed in Poland.
17/2/1982, General Jaruselski imposed martial law in Poland
as he cracked down on Solidarnosc.
12/12/1981. The Communists outlawed the Polish Trade Union Solidarity, and imposed
martial law in Poland.
The USSR postponed Polish debt repayments
and increased supplies of raw materials and consumer goods to Poland.
7/8/1981. In Poland, 1 million Solidarity members went on strike, in
protest over food shortages.
3/8/1981, In Poland, Solidarnosc blockaded Warsaw
city centre in protest at food shortages.
23/7/1981, The Polish Government announced plans to
cut rations and quadruple food prices.
12/6/1981, In Poland, General Jaruzelski reshuffled
the government to deal with the economic crisis.
27/3/1981, Polish workers staged a General
Strike in protest at police harassment of the Solidarnosc Union. The Polish leader, General
Jaruzelski, was considering banning Solidarnosc and declaring martial law.
9/2/1981. General Jaruselski, Defence Minister, became Prime
Minister of Poland.
He had close links with the USSR and promised a crackdown on Solidarity and its leader Lech Walesa.
31/10/1980, The Polish Government recognised Solidarity.
22/9/1980. The Polish trades union Solidarnosc was founded.
30/8/1980. Lech Walesa won the right to form
independent trades unions in Poland.
14/8/1980. Polish ship workers went on strike and seized the Lenin
shipyard at Gdansk. A wave of strikes in Poland had been triggered by a rise in the meat price. Panic buying of
food in Poland ensued, as 17,000 ship workers struck. The strike took on a
political dimension as the Trade Union Solidarnosc (Solidarity) demanded the legalisation of independent Trades
Unions, an end to press censorship, and the release of imprisoned dissidents.
In September the Polish authorities gave in and on 17/9/1980 the Independent
National Committee of Solidarnosc
convened in Gdansk, electing
the shipworker�s leader Lech Walesa (born 1943) as its Chairman.
In 2002 Poland and 10 other nations succeeded in their applications to join the EU
in 2004, enlarging the EU from 15 to 25 members.
24/6/1976, In Poland, Jaroszewicz announced large food price
increases, believing that one sudden large riise was better than a number of
smaller ones, Basic food prices would rise some 60% from 27/6/1976. Sugar would
be up 100%, meat an average 69%, and butter and cheese up 30%. Low wage earners
and OAPs would receive pay rises to compensate, and farmers would be paid more
for their produce. On 25/6/1976 there were riots, some violent, across Poland.
Many rioters suffered arrest, police brutality, summary imprisonment, and
dismissal from their jobs. However an amnesty in July 1977 meant most were
released from jail.
20/12/1970 The Polish leader Gomulka
resigned after more rioting, to be replaced by Edward Gierek.
16/12/1970. Six killed in riots at the Gdansk shipyard, Poland.
15/12/1970, Food riots in
Poland. Poor weather conditions caused bad harvests in 1969 and 1970, and
imports of grain to feed animals had virtually ceased because Gomulka wanted
Poland to be self-sufficient in animal feed by 1970. Pig and cattle numbers
fell dramatically and meat prices soared. Heavy price rises on consumer goods
came in just before Christmas 1970.
8/3/1968, Student unrest in
Poland intensified. On 30/1/1968 a play by Mickiewicz, Dziady (The Forefathers) was shown at the Warsaw National Theatre
for the last time; the authorities were concerned that the play provoked
anti-Soviet sentiments in its audience. On the occasion of its last showing,
Warsaw University students staged a street demonstration. The organisers of the
demonstration were arrested; meanwhile the Warsaw branch of the Writers Union,
supported by well-known personalities such as Slonimski, Jastrun, Andrzejewksi, Kolakowski
protested the decision to close Dziady
as Party censorship curtailing creativity. On 8/3/1968 a student protest
meeting was brutally broken up by police and paramilitaries. Unrest spread onto
the streets of Warsaw and to other Polish universities. The intelligentsia
supported the students but the workers, influenced by official propaganda,
opposed them. Around 1,200 students were arrested but only a small number were
tried and received jail terms. Some were temporarily suspended from their
university, Some academics also lost their posts, entire university departments
were closed, new academic appointments were made on political grounds not
ability, and overall, academic freedom was replaced by repression and
suspicion, at least while Gomulka held power in Poland.
22/4/1957, Donald Tusk, Polish Prime
Minister, was born.
20/1/1957. Wladyslaw Gomulka was elected First Secretary of
the Polish Communist Party. Aware of the USSR�s crackdown in Hungary in 1956 he
tempered ideas for a Polish form of Communism, strengthening links between
Poland and the USSR. However he ended collective farming in Poland, returning
80% of arable land to private hands, and curbed the worst excesses of the
Polish secret police.
8/12/1956, The Polish government completed a process of reconciliation with the
Catholic Church. Cardinal Wyszynski had been released from prison on
26/10/1956, and on this day the Church was now free to make its own
ecclesiastical appointments. Religious teaching in schools, and religious posts
in hospitals and the army, were restored. Criticism of government policies in
church sermons was permitted.
28/6/1956. In riots in Poznan,
were called out; 38 people died and 270 were wounded.
1/8/1955, Warsaw hosted the Communist Youth Congress.
12/1954, The Polish
Gomulka, was quietly released from prison into house arrest, and
later (8/1956) readmitted to the ruling Communist Party. Stalin was wary of Gomulka
for his promotion of �Polish Communism�.
24/11/1953, Professor Marek Korowicz, having defected in
October 1953 from a Polish inspection team in North Korea to the US whilst in
the demilitarised border zone, gave details of Polish forced labour camps at a
press conference in New York. He said there were at least 73 such camps in the
country, with around 300,000 inmates in total. The inmates included middle
class merchants, labelled �class enemies�, also a considerable number of young
male former anti-Nazi resistance fighters.
Communist regime set up in Poland
9/2/1953, The Polish
Government made itself responsible for all appointments and dismissals of posts
within the Polish Catholic Church.
20/11/1952, In Poland, after
the first general election held under the new constitution (26/10/1952), Boleslaw Bierut,
Communist, was elected Prime
Minister by the Sejm.
20/3/1950, Poland's Sejm
passed a law requiring the nation's
Roman Catholic churches, and all other religious associations, to transfer
their property to government ownership. The purpose, according to the
introduction, was "to remove the last remains of the landowner feudal
privileges in the Church estates and to secure the material needs of the clergy".
The church pastors were allowed to keep and operate their own private farms,
and houses of worship and office buildings were exempt, but all other
church-owned assets were confiscated.
18/1/1946, Poland appropriated all farms
of over 100 hectares (50 hectares for arable land) and redistributed the
land to farm labourers. 6 million hectares of land were reassigned, resulting
in the disappearance of the landowning gentry class.
10/11/1945, In Poland
a Central Planning Office was established; renamed as the State Planning
Commission in 1949.
6/9/1944. The Polish Committee for National Liberation
decreed the expropriation of farms with over 50 Ha (123.5 acres) arable land,
or more than 100 ha (247 acres) land overall. Some of this land was given to
agricultural labourers; the rest was made into state farms, and the forests
World War Two
For main events of World War Two see France-Germany
1/1945, Soviet forces took Warsaw.
Poland was totally cleared of Nzazi forces by 3/1945.
leader Lech Walesa was born in
Popovo, the son of a carpenter.
29/6/1941,� Ignacy Jan
Paderewski, Prime Minister of Poland, died.
secret police massacred some 22,000 Polish Army officers, civil servants and
other Polish professionals in the Katyn Forest. The USSR blamed the
massacre on the Nazis until acknowledging guilt in the late 1980s. The
massacres took place over several weeks from about this date.
1939, Nazi Germany
invaded Poland, starting World War Two. Russia also invaded Poland, and the two
aggtressors divided the country between them.
28/8/1939, The Tarnow rail station bomb attack was carried
out in southern Poland. A time bomb left by a German agent exploded, killing 20
and wounding 35.
21/3/1939, Nazi-Germany demanded Gdansk (Danzig) from Poland.
annexed Trans-Olza, taking over from Czechoslovakia that portion of Austrian
Silesia to which Poland
had laid claim since 1920.
Pilusdki regime 1926 - 35
Pilsudski, Polish leader, died.
6/3/1933. Poland occupied the free city of Danzig, now renamed
25/7/1932. The USSR,
Poland, and Japan signed a
26/10/1931, 11 political leaders went on trial in
Poland for conspiring to overthrow J�zef Piłsudski.
15/3/1931, In Poland the Peasants� Party was founded.
27/6/1928, In Poland, after elections, Kazimierz
Bartel replaced Jozef Piludski as Prime
Minister. However Piludski remained as Minister
2/10/1926, In Poland, Jozef Piludski
became Prime Minister.
31/5/1926, In Poland, the Parliament elected Jozef
Piludski as leader, but he declined to take the office. On 1/6/1926,
Moscicki was elected in his place.
14/5/1926, Josef Pilsudski seized
power in a military coup in Poland.
was in the grip of hyperinflation, though not as bad as Germany�s. The Polish
mark went from 9.8 to the US$ in November 1918 to 580 by end-December 1920, and
to 17,800 to the US$ by December 1922. By November 1932 the rate stood at 2,300,000
Polish Marks to the US$.
14/3/1923. The Allies recognised Vilna and East
Galicia as Polish.
1/12/1922, Jozef Pilsudski, President
of Poland, resigned.
4/9/1922, Silesia voted to remain with Prussia.
15/5/1922. Germany ceded Upper Silesia to Poland.
12/10/1921, The Council of the League of Nations awarded the
upper two thirds of Silesia to Poland (along with most of its coal mines and
steelworks). Germany reluctantly accepted the decision.
signed an alliance with Romania. This resulted in a decline in previously-close
Polish independence from Russia � Polish-Russian War
9/2/1921. A peace treaty was signed between Poland and Russia,
17/11/1921, The Polish Constitution was established.
was declared a free city.
6/10/1920. Poland and Russia signed an armistice at Riga, Latvia.
19/8/1920, The Russian army was defeated by the Poles
16/8/1920. As Russian troops closed in
on Warsaw, US
warships were sent to Danzig. On 23/8/1920,
with the support of British airmen, the Poles repelled the Russian advance on Warsaw.
31/7/1920. Russia postponed peace talks and marched on Warsaw.
23/7/1920, Poland sought peace with Russia.
10/7/1920, Lloyd George proposed the Curzon Line as a
Polish-Russian frontier.� Subsequent
correspondence was handled by the UK Foreign Secretary, George Curzon.� The line, from Grodno
through Brest-Litovsk and Przemysl to the Carpathians, excluded from Poland lands
mainly inhabited by Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and Russians.� Poland rejected the Curzon
proposal, subsequently securing twice as much as Lloyd George suggested.� In
September 1939 the Russian and Germans divided Poland along, approximately, the
Curzon line and in 1945 it became the eastern frontier of Poland.
6/7/1920. Major offensive by Red Army against Poland.
Poland sought peace with Russia on
23/7/1920. On 31/7/1920 the Russians postponed peace talks and marched on Warsaw.
17/1/1919, Ignacy Paderewski became Prime Minister of
main events of Russian Revolution 1917 see Russia
main events of World War One see France-Germany
27/12/1918, Poznan rebelled against the Germans, ending
a 103-year-old German occupation.
22/11/1918, The Poles took Lvov.
6/11/1918. Republic of Poland proclaimed.
5/11/1918, The Poles occupied Lvov, Galicia.
27/10/1918. Poland declared its independence.
15/8/1917, In Lausanne Dmowski formed a Polish
National Committee, It was almost a government-in-exile, recognised by the
Allies as representing Polish interests.
4/6/1917. In France, with the co-operation of the
provisional Russian government, a Polish army was formed to fight Germany.
11/6/1908, Georg Adler,
Polish economist, died.
Wednesday� in Poland. 80 people were killed in terrorist attacks by socialists
against Russian occupation of the country. Pilsudsky had visited Japan in 1904 and
secured their backing in the fight against Russia; Japan was fighting Russia in
the Far East.
12/11/1905, Russia imposed martial law in Poland.
group of striking textile workers from Lodz, Poland, were fired upon by
Cossacks and soldiers, killing five. This led to several days of rioting, in
which (official figures) 151 were killed, including 55 Poles, 79 Jews and 17
Germans. The Polish middle classes feared more unrest and over the next year
some 33,000 applied for passports to emigrate from Poland.
General Strike that began in Warsaw (27/1/1905) now spread to Czestochowa and
the Dabrowa Basin.
General Strike began in Warsaw in support of socialism and workers rights The
army was brought in to suppress the strike and 29 companies of infantry along
with 5 squadrons of cavalry and 4 Cossack companies killed (official figures)
64 strikers, a further 29 dying of their wounds later. In fact some 200 were
killed and 270 wounded.
18/11/1904, In Poland the illegal Polish Peasant Union (Polski
Zwiazek Ludowy, PZL) was formed. It demanded a political voice for the workers
the Plac Gryzbowski, Warsaw, a serious worker uprising took place. In clashes
with the police and army, 6 were killed, 27 wounded and hundreds arrested.
Poland the Interior Minister, Plehve, was assassinated by the socialist
28/7/1895, In Poland
the Peasant Electoral Committee (Ludowy Komitet Wyborcy) assembled in Rzeszow;
from this meeting emerged the Polish Peasant Party (Polskie Stronnictwo
Ludowe). The PSL demanded� universal
suffrage, redistribution of land from the gentry, and an end to peasant service
obligations to their landlord.
worker�s uprising began in Lodz, Poland; all workers came out on strike. Order
was not restored until 10/5/1893, by which time 217 people had been killed or
wounded and 350 arrested.
Florenty von Wrobleski, Polish physicist, died in Cracow.
Langiewicz, leader of the Polish revolt in 1863, died in
Constantinople. After defeat by the Russian she had escaped to Austria, where
he was interned at Josephstadt fortress until release in 1865; he then joined
the Turkish military.
trial of Proletariat
Party members in Poland ended (began 23/11/1885). The trial produced
the first Socialist
martyrs; the Russian Piotr Bardovsky, also Stanislaw Kunicki, Michal Ossowski
(shoemaker), and Jan Petrusinski (weaver) were hanged on 28/1/1886. Warysnki
was also found guilty, and died in the Schlusselberg fortress in St Petersburg
in 1889. Maria
Bohuszewicz took over leadership of the Party and was herself
condemned to exile; she died on the way to Siberia. Stefan Ulrych became the next
leader, and was sentenced to exile in Siberia in 1888. Marcin Kasprzak and Ludwik
Kulczycki became the next leaders. The movement laid the foundations
of Polish socialism.
(political) trial of Proletariat Party members in Poland began.
1/9/1882, In Poland
Warynski founded the Proletariat Party,, a �social-revolutionary party
working for the liberation of both the rural and urban working class�.
1864, The Russian language was made compulsory in Polish
3rd Polish revolt against Russia, failed
forces routed the Polish rebels at Zagosc.
Langiewicz, leader of the Polish revolt against Russia, proclaimed
himself dictator of Poland and attempted to form a Government; however the
Russians fought back, see 18/3/1863.
forces defeated the Russians at Malogoszcza.
uprising in Warsaw against Russian rule.
17/1/1864, The Battle of Iłza, in the January Uprising.� A party of 830 Polish rebels under Karol Kalita
clashed with a 400 Russian troops. The Poles lost 5 men, but Russian losses
were much higher.
18/11/1860, Paderewski, Polish politician and first Prime Minister of Poland, was
born in Kurylowka.
uprising began in Warsaw against Russian rule.
Emancipation of Polish peasants
22/4/1848, To placate a restive peasantry, the governor of Galicia, Franz von Stadion, ordered that
peasant tenant farmers should receive the freehold to their land and the gentry
landlords be compensated by the State. Furthermore on 7/9/1848 (see date above
also) the peasants were granted unrestricted access to woods, meadows and
13/4/1846, To quell peasant
unrest, the Polish government abolished the duty on them of extra days unpaid
labour previously due to their manorial lord. There was an ongoing famine in
Poland, aggravated by cholera and typhus outbreaks; in 1847 there were 380,000
deaths in Poland, compared to the previous annual average of 153,000.
Polish revolt against Rissian occupation
Russians defeated the Poles at the Battle of Ostrolenska.
25/2/1831. The Poles
halted the Russian advance at the Battle of Grochow.
1815, Post-Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna
created a �Kingdom of Poland�, but under Russian rule.
1807, Napoleon created the �Duchy of Warsaw�,
as a political move to gain tye support of the Poles against Russia.
19/6/1799, Jan Dombrowski, Polish General, died (born
Stanislaus II of Poland, aged 63, abdicated after a 31 year reign as his country was partitioned a third time.
1st Polish revolt againsr Russian
9/11/1794, Russian forces entered Warsaw, ending the Polish
10/10/1794, The Polish
army, 7,000 men� under Tadeusz Kosciusko was heavily defeated by the
Russians, 16,000 men, at
Maciejowice, and its leader taken prisoner. Kosciusko was released by Czar Paul
in 1796, and died on 15/10/1817 when his horse fell over a precipice.Polish
army was heavily defeated by the Russians, and its leader taken prisoner.
of Poland � 2 stages, 1772 and 1793
23/1/1793, Prussia signed a treaty with Russia. �Poland
was partitioned, with Prussia obtaining Danzig, Thorn, Posen, and most of
Great Poland.� Russia received Minsk,
Pinsk, and the frontier on the Zbrucz.�
Austria received promises of help in re-conquering Belgium, as well as
some Polish territories.
18/5/1792. Russian troops invaded Poland.
seeking the rebirth of their country, declared a parliamentary constitution in
Warsaw. Before this date the Polish aristocracy could block the adoption of
any measure into the Diet (Parliament) by a single vote. Therefore there was no
taxation on the nobility, the Treasury was empty, the monarch was powerless,
and Poland had limited representation abroad.
5/8/1772. Russia, Prussia, and Austria signed a
treaty agreeing on the partition of Poland.
Poland lost about a third of its land and half its population. Frederick II
of Prussia wanted the wedge of territory known as West Prussia separating
Brandenburg from East Prussia. Catherine of Russia saw a weak
Poland as an opportunity for Russian expansion. To appease Austrian concerns
about an expansionist Russia, Austria was given the Polish land of Silesia.
1768, The Confederation of Bar
was formed. It was a patriotic Polish, anti-Russian, association of Catholic
nobles. When Protestants and Greek Orthodox Christians were granted equal
rights with Catholics in Poland, the Confederation started an uprising that led
to civil war and the First Partition of Poland (5/8/1772).
5/10/1763, Death of King Augustus III
of Poland, also Grand Duke of Lithuania. Born 17/10/1696, he acceded to the
throne in 1734.
29/8/1755, Jan Dombrowski, Polish General, was born (died
War of the Polish Succession
5/10/1735, The War of the Polish Succession ended with the Treaty of Vienna. The Elector
of Saxony was accepted as King
Frederick Augustus III of Poland.
2/6/1734, Danzig fell to the Russians after an
8-month siege. Stanislas managed to escape to Prussia.
12/9/1733, Stanislas Lesczcynski
(1677-1766) was elected as (disputed) King of Poland.
1/2/1733, Augustus II of Poland
died aged 62, precipitating
the War of the Polish Succession. Austria and Russia demanded the
succession of Augustus�s only legitimate son, the 36-year old Elector of Saxony, However
France persuaded the Polish nobility� to
Leszczynski. Russia invaded Poland, forcing Leszczynski to flee to Danzig.
Disputed Polish succession;
Swedish backed candidate versus German candidate
the Battle of Poltava this day, Augustus of Saxony renounced
the Treaty of Altranstadt and reclaimed the Polish throne. He failed to make
his post hereditary, but succeeded in holding it until his death in 1733,
24/9/1706, Elector Augustus II of Saxony abdicated
the Polish Crown in the Treaty of
Altranstadt, and recognised Stanislas Lesczyinski as Polish King. Augustus II broke
his alliance with Peter the Great of Russia.
24/9/1705, Stanislas Leszczynski was elcted
King of Poland, with Swedish help (see 2/7/1704). He assisted King Charles
XII of Sweden in his war against Russia, in the Great Northern War (see Sweden, Russia)
2/7/1704, King Charles
XII of Sweden used intimidation and bribery, through his ambassador
at Warsaw, to secure the elction of Stanislas Leszcynski, aged 37, as Polish King to
replace the Elector of Saxony, Augustus II.
forces under King Charles XII relieved Riga, which had been under siege by Saxony troops (Great Northern
XII then went on to invade Poland.
17/10/1696, Augustus III, King of
Poland, was born in Dresden (died in Saxony 5/10/1763).
17/6/1696, John III Sobieski, King of Poland, died aged
72, after a 20-year reign. In 1697 Poland chose the Elector of Saxony, Frederick
Augustus, aged 27, to succeed him. He was crowned in September 1697
and ruled as Augustus
II until his death in 1733.
made a treaty of mutual defence with the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I,
against the threat from Ottoman Turkey.
16/10/1676, The Treaty of Zuravno ended the 4 year war
between Poland and the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Turkey acquired Podolia and much
of the Polish Ukraine, thereby bringing Ottoman territory up to the border with
1670, The Ukrainian Cossacks rebelled against Polish rule, but
were defeated by General Sobieski.
12/5/1670, Augustus II, King of
Poland, was born in Dresden (died 1/2/1733 in Warsaw).
1668, King John II Casimir abdicated, aged 58.
eight years war between Russia and Poland, the Treaty of Andruszow between them divided up Ukraine between them,
along the Dneiper River.
24/9/1621, Jan Chodkiewicz,
Polish General, died (born 1560).
28/7/1656, The Battle of Warsaw began
(ended 30/7/1656). Warsaw fell to a Swedish-Brandenburg army.
20/5/1648, King Ladislas IV of Poland died
aged 55, after a 16-year reign. He was succeeded by his 39-year-old Jesuit
brother, who reigned until 1668 as John II Casimir.
Polish King Sigismund
III Vasa died aged 65 after a 44-year reign. Russia declared
war on Poland as Sigisund�s
son, King Ladislas
IV, aged 37, began a 16-year reign.
25/9/1629,� The Treaty
of Altmark ended the Polish-Swedish war, for six years. Gustavus of Sweden was now,
summer 1627, to start a campaign in northern Germany.
2/6/1624, John Sobieski,
King of Poland, was born.
1596, Warsaw replaced Krakow as capital of Poland.
18/10/1588, The Polish
postal service was created,
Zygmunt August established a permanent postal route from Krak�w to
King Stephen Bathory
12/12/1586, Stephen Bathory of Poland died suddenly, aged
53 after an 11-year reign. He was succeeded by the 12-year old son of the
Swedish King� as Sigismund II.
10/8/1582. After 25 years
of conflict, Russia made peace with Poland and gave up its claim on the Baltic
state of Livonia.
15/1/1582, Ivan IV, The
Terrible, of Russia ceded, at the Peace of Zapoli, Livonia and
Polotsk to Stephen
Bathory of Poland. He also ceded this day, by the Trucve of Ilyusa,
Ingria to Sweden. Muscovy lost the Baltic seaboard for over a century.
Hosius, Polish Cardinal, died (born 5/5/1504).
15/12/1575, Stephen Bathory of Transylvania, aged 42, was
elected King of Poland. He reigned until his death in 1586.
6/7/1572, Sigismund II, King of Poland, died.
1/7/1569, The Union
of Lublin united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Treaty was signed at Lublin Castle. This strengthened Poland
against possible attacks from Russia.
1/4/1548, Sigismund I, King of Poland, died aged 81, after a
reign of 42 years. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Sigismund II
who ruled for 24 years.
8/9/1514, At the Battle
of Orsha, a combined force of Poles and Ukrainians defeated the Russians.
5/8/1506. Death of King Alexander of Poland. Born in 1461, he
succeeded his brother Albert to the Polish throne in 1501.His power
was greatly eroded by the Polish nobility and senate. Consequently, because of
lack of funds, Alexander
was unable to restrain much the expansion of the Muscovy or the Teutonic Order
5/5/1504, Stanislaus Hosius, Polish Cardinal, was born
6/1492, King Casimir IV died aged 65
after a 45-year reign. He was succeded by his 33-year-old son who ruled until
1501 as John
19/10/1466, King Casimir IV signed the
Second Peace of Thorn, ending the�
warfare which began in 1454 when Casimir IV agreed to help the Prussian
Confederation against the Teutonic Knights. Under this Treaty, Prussia was
divided; half was still controlled by the Teutonic Knights, and half became a vassal state
1455, Gdansk (Danzig) was captured by Poland from the Teutonic Knights.
1454, The Thirteen Years War began
between Poland and the Teutonic Order Knights.
1447, The nobility of Poland chose the 20-year-old Grand Duke of
Lithiania to succeed the late Ladislas VI, his older brother. He began a
45-year reign as Casimir IV. He reunited Poland and Lithuania, giving Poland
access to the Baltic.
10/11/1444, Ladislas VI, King of Poland, died.
1/6/1434, Ladislas V Jagiello, (born ca. 1362), King of
Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, died aged 84 after a 38-year reign. He was
succeeded by his 10-year-old son who ruled as Ladislas VI until his death in
30/11/1427, King Casimir IV of Poland was born.
15/7/1410. The Poles and Lithuanians defeated the Teutonic Knights
at the First Battle of Tannenberg /
Battle of Grunwald). The Order of the Teutonic Knights had established a State in
Prussia, from where they launched Crusades against their non-Christian
neighbours to the east, including the Duchy of Lithuania. In 1386 the ruler of
Lithuania converted to Christianity and married the Queen of Poland; on her
death� he became ruler of Poland, as King Ladislav
II Jagiellon. The Teutonic Knights contested the sincerity if his
conversion, and in 1409 their Grand Master, the volatile Ulrich von Jungingen, declared
war on Poland and Lithuania. He had underestimated the power and unity of the
joint Polish-Lithuanian State. In Summer 1410 a joint Polish-Lithuanian army,
led by King
Jagiellon and Grand Duke Witold of Lithuania, marched upon
the Teutonic Knights capital at Marienberg. The Knights confronted the invaders
at a point between the villages of Grunwald and Tannenberg; they enjoyed
initial success but were outflanked by Lithuanian cavalry and mostly
slaughtered. However the Poles did not press on and take Marienberg, and peace
terms were mild. In Soviet Russia, some credit was claimed for this battle
because troops from Smolensk also supported the Poles. In an early German
victory over Russia in World War One, the Germans called this battle
�Tannenberg� to avenge defeat 5 centuries earlier.
1382, Louis King of Poland died. He
was succeeded by his daughter Jadwiga (Hedwig) who married Jagiello, Grand Duke of
Lithuania, in 1386 and ruled Poland for 48 years as Vladislov V.
5/11/1370. King Casimir III of Poland died in a hunting
accident, aged 60, after a 37 year reign. He had repulsed a Mongol invasion,
annexed Galicia, and encouraged the immigration of Jews to serve as bankers and
tax collectors. He founded the University of Cracow, and codified the law and
3/1333, King Ladislas IV of Poland died
aged 72, after a 13-year reign he was succeeded by his 23-year-old son who
ruled for 37 years as Casimir III.
1332, First recorded mention of
the present day city of Lodz.
27/9/1332, Battle of Plowce. The Teutonic Knights were defeated by a Polish army
1320, Poland�s King Ladislas IV Lokotiek was
finally crowned, 14 years after ascending the throne.
30/4/1310, King Casimir III of Poland was born.
1306, With the death of King Wenceslas III
(see 1305) the Premyslid Dynasty
became extinct. King
:Ladislas IV aged 46 now became ruler of Poland, backed by Pope
Boniface VIII. Ladislas united the Principalities of Great
and Little Poland. He was crowned at Cracow in early 1320, and reigned until
1305, Poland�s King Wenceslas
II abdicated, and died soon afterwards. He had ruled for 5
years.� He was succeeded as King of
Poland and Bohemia by his 16-year-old son who reigned until his death in 1306
Wenceslas III. See Bohemia and Germany.
18/3/1241, The Mongols plundered the Polish city of Cracow, their furthest
Reign of King
Boleslav III (Wry Mouth)
1138, King Boleslav III (Wry-mouth) of
Poland died aged 62 after a 36-year reign, He divided his realm amongst his
five sons. Krakow became the capital of Poland.
1109, Boleslav III defeated the
Pomeranians at the Battle of Naklo,
and defeated the Germans at the Battle
of Hundsfeld, near Breslau.
1102, King :Ladislas I Hermann
resigned the throne after a 22 year reign, in an effort to procure peace by
Roman Emperor Henry IV. Her was succeeded by his 16-year old son,
who after a struggle for the kingship with another son became King Boleslav
Reign of King
Boleslav II (The Bold)
1081, King Boleslav II died (born
1039, succeeded his father Casimir I in 1058).
1067, King Boleslav II captured the
city of Kiev.
1058, Poland�s Grand Duke Casimir died aged 43,
having restored Christianity and regained much of the territory
Poland lost with the help of the late King Henry III of Germany. Casimir
was succeeded by his 19-year-old son who ruled until 1079 as Boleslav II
1025, King Boleslav died, having made
Poland one of Europe�s most powerful countries, with Russia as a vassal state,
ruling territory from the Danube to the Baltic. He was succeeded by his son, Mieszko II,
who ruled until 1034; however other sons fought for parts of the country, and
Poland lost much of its territorial gains to neighbouring countries.
1018, The Treaty of Bautzen ended a 15-year war between Germany and Poland. Boleslav the
Brave gained Lusatia.
997, Earliest mention of the city of
Gdansk (as Danzig, German Prussia).
994, Boleslav compeleted his invasion
of eastern Pomerania.
992, Meiszko I of the Plast family died.
He was succeeded by 25-year-old Boleslav the Brave (Chobry),who ruled until
invaded eastern Pomerania so as to gain access to the Baltic.
14/4/966, Mieczyslaw I,
the first King of Poland, was baptized a Christian. This
is usually considered the beginning of the Polish state.
arrived at what is now Poznan Castle, on an island in the Warta/Cybina Rivers.
became the first King of Poland.