1815-1830 Late 19th Century
Polish National Movement

Russian Poland 1830-1863

A.) The Rebellion of 1830

In 1825, Czar Alexander died and was succeeded by Czar Nicholas, an opponent of liberalism, who abrogated the Polish Kingdom's constitution and replaced it by an oppressive administration. The SECRET POLICE was given authorization to arrest suspectious elements.
When the French king was deposed in a liberal revolution and Belgium ceded from the Netherlands, Czar Nicholas, according to the policy of the HOLY ALLIANCE, planned to have his Polish army march westward, to restore the prerevolutionary order. The Polish soldiers mutinied, many officers were slain, and the city of Warsaw revolted. Russian control over Poland virtually had collapsed (Nov.-Dec. 1830). The SEJM demanded the Czar to restore Poland's constitution and to reunite Poland and Lithuania. The Czar refused, and the Seijm declared him deposed. A Polish government was formed, headed by prince ADAM CZARTORYSKI. A Russian army invaded; however it was enabled by cholera. Still, Russian troops occupied Warsaw in Sept. 1831.

B.) Russian Poland, 1830-1863

The SEJM was abolished, the university at Warsaw closed, Poland's army dissolved, the country's autonomy greatly reduced. Those noblemen who were too involved in the rebellion saw their estates confiscated and sold; many of whom were bought up by Russians. In 1835 Czar Nicholas I. declared RUSSIFICATION of Poland a goal of his policy. An ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM of Congress Poland reduced the number of districts (1837); in 1839 Poland's schools were placed under the supervision of the St. Petersburg authorities.
Exile Poles, during the CRIMEAN WAR, attempt to establish Polish volunteer legions (ADAM CZARTORYSKI, MICHAL CZAJKOWSKI); they enjoyed the sympathies of Emperor Napoleon III., but the troops neither saw action, nor did the diplomatic attempts to have the reestablishment of an independent Kingdom of Poland have any success. In 1856 Emperor Alexander II. proclaimed a general amnesty for banished persons and emigrants. In 1857 a MEDICAL ACADEMY was opened in Warsaw.
In 1861 the EMANCIPATION OF THE SERFS was proclaimed, followed by the EMANCIPATION OF THE JEWS in 1862, both measures valid throughout the Russian Empire.

C.) The Rebellion of 1863

In 1855, Czar Nicholas died and was succeeded by his son Alexander II., who was reform-oriented. In Congress Poland, the state of emergency was lifted. In 1862, the Czar appointed conservative, pro-Russian Count ALEXANDER WIELOPOLSKI head of Poland's civilian administration. Wielopolski aimed at regaining the autonomy Poland enjoyed before 1830. In 1861, the Polish peasants (just as their Russian counterparts) were freed of feudal obligations. However, Poland's patriots - the radical reds as well as the conservative whites, were not satisfied and again demanded immediate unification with the old Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In January 1863, the rebellion, prepared by the reds, broke out. Unlike 1830 the rebels lacked a trained army. Otto von Bismarck sided with Russia. The uprising was suppressed, many were executed, even more deported to Siberia. The Kingdom of Poland was dissolved, replaced by several gouvernements, incorporated into the Russian Empire. The state attempted to suppress the Catholic Church; a policy of RUSSIFICATION was introduced.

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A Brief History of Poland in the Last 200 Years from genpoland, with maps
Commented Timeline of Polish History, 1807-1918 from Inside Poland
The 19th Century. Polish Wars and Uprisings, part 9 of A Brief History of Poland, by Polonia today
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First posted on March 15th 2002, last revised on September 1st 2007

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