Duchy of Warsaw, 1807-1813 The Rebellions of 1830/1863

The Republic of Cracow and the Polish National Movement, 1815-1846

A.) The Republic of Cracow 1815-1846

Cracow was not much of a state. However, the city with it's Republican constitution could serve as a haven for Polish patriots and a field to experiment with the new, non-monarchic constitution. The republic extended not far beyond the city limits, her not having been included in any of the partitioned shares rather lay in the fact that none of the partitioning powers avtually wanted this former Polish capital, known as a center of Polish patriotism.
In 1800 Cracow's population had been estimated at 24,000; in 1850 at 50,000 - no comparison with cities such as Vienna, Paris and London, which only a littl;e over a century earlier had shared the fate of being a major nations' capital, not even with newcomers such as Berlin and St. Petersburg. Cracow suffered from the lack of a hinterland, as the partitioning powers were rather interested in disrupting connections between the independent city and the adjacent areas under their sovereignty.
The Republic of Cracow had a CONSTITUTION written by PRINCE ADAM CZARTORYSKI, a Polish nobleman at that time favoured by Czar Alexander I.; the city had a Senate, headed by a President, and a Representative Assembly, the members of which in part were appointed; the aristocracy had a secure majority. The partitioning powers were represented by residents. The Republic covered an area of 1150 square km and had a total population of 90,000 (c. 1815).
In 1827, the liberal opposition won in strength; the partitioning powers interfered and restricted the Republic's autonomy. Nonetheless the rebellion in Congress Poland in 1830-1831 enjoyed strong support from Cracow. The partitioning powers interfered in Cracow, forcing the president to resign (1830); in 1831 Cracow temporarily was occupied by Russian troops. A Residents' Conference in 1833 further limited Cracow's autonomy.
In 1835 the Union of the Polish People (a political organization) was founded in Cracow. In 1836 troops of the partitioning powers again occupied Cracow; the Austrian troops remained until 1841.
In 1846 Cracow again became the focal point of Polish patriots conspiring to organize a rebellion; a rebellion actually erupted in neighbouring Austrian Galicia. Austrian troops again occupied Cracow; Austria annexed the republic.

B.) The Exile

The Vienna Congress had declared an amnesty for all who had fought for the Polish cause, on Napoleon's side, if they were willing to accept their respective new rulers. Yet, many chose to stay in exile. Among them was pianist FREDERIC CHOPIN. Poets, such as ADAM MICKIEWICZ, chose patriotic themes, thus contributing to the rise of Nationalist sentiment.

C.) The Polish National Movement

The beginnings of the Polish national movement date back to the late 1780es and early 1790es, when Polish patriots, in the face of the dismemberment of the Polish kingdom and inspired by the American and French Revolution, passed a modern constitution. A considerable number of Polish patriots, after the Third Polish Partition had eliminated Poland from the political map in 1795, went on to fight in the French forces, in Italy and even on Haiti. Napoleon's success brought the brief reemergence of a Polish state - the Grand Duchy of Warsaw 1807-1813 and hope for the reestablishment of Polish independence.
After Napoleon's defeat, many Polish patriots again chose exile, Paris and Switzerland becoming the most popular sites. In 1831 a POLISH NATIONAL COMMITTEE was founded in Paris. In 1834 Lelewel founded the society YOUNG POLAND in Bern, Switzerland.

Article : Free City of Krakow, from Wikipedia
Category : History of Krakow, from Wikipedia
Article : Krakow Zloty, from Wikipedia
Article : Krakow Uprising (1846), from Wikipedia
Cracow Revolution of 1846, from Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions
Timeline : Krakow History, from Explore Krakow
Dorota Wasik, A short long history of Cracow 1999 Rebecca Weiner, Cracow, from Jewish Virtual History Tour
Cracow in 1815 and 1860 addressed to the plenipotentiaries of the European Powers about to Assemble in Congress, 1860, GB
Th. Januszewicz, Quelques mots sur l'occupation de Cracovie en 1836 , 1838, in French, GB
L. Krolikowski, Memoire historique et politique sur l'etat actuel de la ville libre de Cracovie, 1840, in French, GB
P.A.F.K. Possart, Die Königreiche Schweden und Norwegen, das Kaiserthum Russland, das Königreich Polen und der Freistaat Krakau, 1840, in German, GB
DOCUMENTS Cracow Republic, from World Statesmen
Flag of Krakow, from FOTW
Acte du Congres de Vienne du 9 juin 1815 : Pologne, from Histoire Empire
Documents on the Annexion of Cracow by Austria 1846, posted by psm-data, scroll down for "Nation without a State"
J. Chr. Nelkenbrecher, Allgemeines Taschenbuch der Münz-, Maass- und Gewichtskunde für Banquiers und Kaufleute (General Manual on Coinage, Measurement and Weights, for Bankers and Merchants) Berlin 1832, in German, entries Krakau, posted by DTBSWS
Cracow, pp.133-134 in vol.8 of Penny cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 1837, GB
On Events in Cracow, 1836, pp.272-277 pp.425-428 Documents on Cracow, 1836, pp.333-338 in The Annual register 1836, GB
The Republic of Cracow, pp.120-121 in vol.1 of J. Bell, A system of geography, popular and scientific, 1832, GB
The Republic of Cracow, pp.141-142 in H. Murray et al., The encyclop©Ądia of geography, 1839, GB
Republic of Cracow, pp.672-674 in vol.6 of C. Malte-Brun, Universal Geography, 1828, GB
Republic of Cracow, p.343 in A. Balbi, An abridgement of universal geography: modern and ancient, 1835, GB
Extract from a letter from Cracow, 1836, pp.84-87, Further Aggressions against Cracow, pp.597-598 in vol.3 of The Portfolio, or a collection of State papers, 1836, GB
J. Holman, Travels through Russia, Siberia, Poland, Cracow, Austria, Bohemia, Saxony, Prussia, Hanover &c. &c, undertaken in the years 1822, 1823 and 1824, 1834, GB
Jozef Krasinski, Guide du voyageur en Pologne et dans la republique de Cracovie, 1820, in French, GB
Cracovie, pp.727-752 in vol.5 of Recueil manuel et pratique de traites, conventions et autres actes, 1849, in French, GB
Annuaire Historique Universel 1837, several Cracovie entries
Der Freistaat Krakau, pp.759-761 in F.W. von Reden, Allgemeine vergleichende Handels- und Gewerbs-Geographie und Statistik, 1844, in German, GB
Ethnographical Republique de Cracovie, pp.327-329 in X. Heuschling, Manual de statistique ethnographique universelle, 1847, in French, GB
REFERENCE Enno Meyer, Grundzüge der Geschichte Polens (Main Features of Polish History),Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgemeinschaft 1977
Manfred Hellmann, Daten der Polnischen Geschichte (Dates in Polish History), München : dtv 1985
Zdzislaw Zygulski, Cracow, an Illustrated History, NY : Hippocrene 2001, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 943.86 Z99c

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 17th 2002, last revised on November 11th 2004

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