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History of Polish - Russian/Soviet Relations

Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Kim, Jaehee
Term Paper, AP European History Class, February 2009

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Early Relations (16th to 17th Centuries)
II.1 Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars
II.2 Unaccepted Subordination
II.3 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
II.4 Union of Brest (1595-1596)
II.5 Polish-Muscovite War (1605-1618)
II.6 Russo-Polish War (1654-1677)
III. Beginning of Russian Colonialism
III.1 The Silent Sejm
III.2 The War of Polish Succession (1733-1738)
IV. The End of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; the Partitions of Poland
IV.1 The First Partition 1772
IV.2 The Second Partition (1793), the Third Partition (1795)
V. Challenging the Partition, Polish Attempts to Regain Independence
V.1 Grand Duchy of Warsaw
V.2 Congress Poland
V.3 November Uprising (1830-1831)
V.4 January Uprising (1863)
VI. Regain of Independence and Discouragement
VI.1 Second Polish Republic
VI.2 Polish-Soviet War, Peace of Riga (1921)
VI.3 Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact (1932)
VI.4 Soviet Invasion of Poland (1939)
VI.5 Katyn Massacre
VI.6 Soviet Repression (1939-1945)
VII. Post-WW II until the Present
VII.1 People's Republic of Poland
VII.2 The Fall of Communism
VII.3 Present Relations
VIII. Conclusion

I. Introduction
            Relations between Poland and Russia have been extensive and complicated, and not equal. For a long time in history, Poland has suffered by Russian colonization and invasions. Substantial Russian influence starts from the Muscovite-Lithuanian wars in the 16th century, and Poland is slowly escaping from Russian influence in the present day. This paper examines the relation of Poland and Russia in an objective, yet in a view that is concentrated more on Poland.

II. Early Relations (16th-17th Centuries)

II.1 Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars
            The Muscovite?Lithuanian Wars were a series of wars between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, allied with the Kingdom of Poland, and the Grand Duchy of Moscow. The Russians wished to gain control of all territories that once were part of Kievan Rus, and Moscow wished to expand its access to the Baltic Sea, an important trade route, causing the conflict with Lithuania. After several defeats at the hands of Ivan III and Vasily III, the Lithuanians were increasingly reliant on Polish aid, which eventually became an important factor in the creation of the Polish?Lithuanian Commonwealth. (1)

II.2 Unaccepted Subordinatiion
            In 1547, Ivan IV (the Terrible) had himself crowned the Tsar of the Tsardom of Rus. All of the Rus lands at the time free of foreign states, including three Tartar states and the Volga River and access to the Caspian Sea were ruled by Ivan IV; thus the territory of the former Grand Duchy of Muscow had expanded enormously. Ivan IV also established the empire in Siberia and promoted trade with various European countries, including England, France and Holland.
            The new name of the state, the Tsardom of Rus, was recognized by England in 1554 and by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1576, but some Western sources still refer to this state as Muscovy, the term applied to the state that was the Tsardom¡¯s medieval predecessor, the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Poland-Lithuania did not recognize the new state and the Tsardom¡¯s control over them, and kept referring the Tsardom as Muscovy. Researchers consider the propagation of this term in Western Europe as a result of political interests and active diplomacy of Poland.

II.3 Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
            The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was one of the largest and most populous countries in 16th and 17th-century Europe, formed by a union of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1569. The two states comprising the Commonwealth were formally equal, but Poland was the dominant partner in the union in reality.

II.4 The Union of Brest 1595-1596
            After the annexation of Red Ruthenia to Poland in 1569, the Ruthenians, who had become politically subject to Poland, began to compare the lamentable condition of their Church with that of Catholicism. They turned their eyes towards Rome. The Ruthenian Church of Rus decided to break relations with the Patriarch of Constantinople and place themselves under the Patriarch of Rome to avoid dominations of the Patriarch of Moscow. This church included most Ukrainians and Belarusians under the rule of the Commonwealth. The Ruthenian church lost most of its initial support after several decades due to Russian persecution. The union was supported by the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, but eventually the Church of Rus was split into Greek Catholic, known as Uniate.
            Thus the eastern strip of Poland, which had been part of Rus, now was integrated into the Roman Catholic Church. To solve this problem, the Polish Sejm and the Orthodox Church come up with the Union of Brest, which acknowledged the rights of the Orthodox Christians too keep their language and rite. However, they still became part of the Catholic Church. This is a part of history which Russia never recognized
            Step one : the Metropolit of Moscow declares himself patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
            Thus he claims to be the head of the Russian Orthodox christians living inside of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (present-day Belarus and Ukraine), a situation Poland-Lithuania can not accept.
            Step two : the Polish Sejm and the?Orthodox bishops discuss how to solve this diplomatic problem.
            Step three : they come up with?a?solution - the Union of Brest : the Orthodox christians keep their language and rite, but formally become part of the Catholic Church.
            Russia never recognizes the Union of Brest

II.5 Polish-Muscovite War 1605-1618
            The Polish-Muscovite War took place in the early 1600¡¯s as a sequence of military conflicts and eastward invasions carried out by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth when the Russian Tsardom was in turmoil with a series of civil wars caused by the Russian dynastic crisis and internal chaos. The scale of the party¡¯s goals ranged from minor border adjustment to imposing the Polish Kings claim to the Russian throne and creating a new state by forming a union between the Commonwealth and Russia.
            The war ended in 1618 with the Truce of Deulino, which granted the Commonwealth certain territorial concessions, but not control over Russia which thus emerged from the war with its independence unscathed. (2) The Poles occupying Moscow during the Polish-Muscovite war is considered one of the defining moments of Polish-Russian relations.

II.6 Russo-Polish War (1654-1677)
            The Russo-Polish War was the last major conflict between Tsardom of Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was a conflict which sought to seize Ukraine, and it resulted in the establishment of the Russo-Polish border that existed until 1939.
            The armistice of Andrusovo was signed in 1667 between the Tsardom of Russia and the Union of Poland-Lithuania on the possession of the current territories of Belorussia and Ukraine. Poland agreed to yield the Vo?vodie of Smolensk and Czernihow to Russia and recognized the control on the east of the Ukraine. The west of Ukraine and Belorussia returned to Poland. The war ended with significant Russian territorial gains and marked the beginning of the rise of Russia as a great power in Eastern Europe.

III Beginnings of Russian Colonialism

III.1 The Silent Sejm
            One of the first precedence that the Russian Empire dictated Polish internal policy was the Silent Sejm, the session of the parliament of the Commonwealth, also called the Dumb Sejm. It was a precursor to the partitions of Poland and erased the Commonwealth from world maps. It marked the end of Augustus II of Poland¡¯s attempts to create an absolute monarchy in Poland and the beginning of the increasing influence and control of the Russian Empire over the Commonwealth. (3)
            In the Great Northern War of 1700-1721, the Northern Alliance including the Commonwealth and Russia attacked Sweden to challenge them for the supremacy in the Baltic Sea. Poland and Russia were allies in the Great Northern War, a radically disparate diplomatic relation in the history of their relations. The war concluded with a treaty between Russia and Sweden, and Russia gained its Baltic territories, becoming the greatest power in Eastern Europe. After the Great Northern War, the Russian Tsar Peter the Great posed as the conciliator between the Commonwealth king and the nobility in the conflict between Polish monarch Augustus II, who wanted to create an absolute monarchy and Polish nobility who opposed him. The Silent Sejm outlined the terms of the settlement designed by Peter the Great, as they were threatened by the strong Russian army. The Sejm was known as silent because only the marshal of the Sejm, Stanislaw Ledochowski was allowed to voice his opinion. This settlement stipulated that Poles and Saxony should not intervene into each other's domestic affairs, limited the powers of the hetmans (Polish military commanders in chief), and established taxes for Commonwealth army of 24,000.

III.2 The War of Polish Succession
            As Augustus II, the king of Poland died in 1733, the throne of the elective monarchy was left vacant. Two candidates emerged, backed by opposing European alliances in a war that became significant not only for Poland-Lithuania but also for the brokering of power in Europe. (4) Augustus II had attempted to introduce a hereditary monarchy to provide the Polish throne for his son Frederick Augustus II. However, most of the nobility supported the Polish candidate Stanislaw I Leszczynski, formerly elected king of Poland under a Swedish protectorate. Supported by his son-in-law the French king Louis XV and the influential Polish families, Leszczynski was elected king by the Polish-Lithuanian Sejm on 1733. However, Russia and Austria pledged support for Augustus for as the only pragmatic alternative. The Saxon had promised the Duchy of Courland to Russia and to renounce his rights to any claims to the Habsburg throne.
            At the election of Leszczynsky, Russian and Saxon armies marched into Poland. And the nobility was forced to elect Frederick Augustus as the Polish king. Leszczynsky was forced to flee to the city of Danzig, which refused to surrender to the Russians. When Danzig fell to the Russians, Leszczynski fled Poland. In 1736 the Pacification Parliament normalized the situation in Poland and saw the departure of Russian and Saxon troops.
            The War of the Polish Succession demonstrated the continuing interference in Polish-Lithuanian affairs by foreign powers, especially Russia. However, it had geopolitical consequences for other European states. This war was seen by many as one of the precursory events to the partitions of Poland-Lithuania.

IV. The End of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Partitions of Poland

IV.1 The First Partition (1772)
            The Russian military successes in its territorial expansion in pursuit of warm-water ports made the other states of Eastern Europe uneasy. These anxieties were overcome by an extraordinary division of Polish territory known as the First Partition of Poland. The Russian victories along the Danube River were most unwelcome to Austria, which also had ambitions of territorial expansion in that direction. After long secret negotiations, Russia agreed to abandon the conquered Danubian provinces. In compensation, it received a large portion of Polish territory with almost 2 million inhabitants.
            In September 1772, the helpless Polish aristocracy ratified this seizure of nearly one third of Polish territory. The loss was not necessarily fatal to Poland¡¯s continued existence, and it inspired a revival of national feeling. Attempts were made to strengthen the Polish state and reform its feeble central government, but they proved to be too little and too late.

IV.2 The Second Partition (1793), Third Partition(1795)
            The final two partitions of Poland occurred as a direct result of fears by the eastern powers that the principles of the French Revolution were establishing themselves in Poland. In 1791, a group of nobles known as the Polish Patriots actually issued a new constitution that substituted a hereditary for an elective monarchy, proved for real executive authority in the monarch and his council, established a new bicameral diet, and eliminated the liberum veto (5). Frederick William II of Prussia promised to defend the new Polish constitutional order because he believed that a stronger Poland was in Prussia's interest against the growing Russian power. Catherine the Great of Russia also understood that a reformed Polish state would diminish Russian influence in Poland and Eastern Europe.
            In April 1792, conservative Polish nobles who opposed the reforms invited Russia to restore the old order. The Russian army quickly defeated the reformist Polish forces. However, rather than protecting Poland as he had promised, Frederick William carried out a second partition of Poland. The reformed constitution was abolished, and the new Polish government remained under the influence of Russia.
            In 1794, Polish officers rebelled against uniting with the Russian army. The partitioning powers decided to erase any independent Polish state from the map. On October 1795, the representatives of the powers divided the remaining territories between their three countries. Prussia, Austria, and Russia sent troops into Poland. On November 4, Russian troops killed over 10,000 Poles outside Warsaw. The three eastern powers portioned what remained of Poland among themselves.

V Challenging the Partitions, Polish Attempts to regain independence

V.1 Duchy of Warsaw
            The Duchy of Warsaw was created by Napoleon Bonaparte as part of the Treaty of Tilsit with Prussia. The local republicans in partitioned Poland supported Napoleon as the only man to restore Polish sovereignty after the Partitions of Poland. The Duchy of Warsaw was formally an independent duchy allied to France and in a personal union with the Kingdom of Saxony. However, the duchy never developed into an independent state. Poles expected that the duchy would become a kingdom and it would join with the liberated territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but Napoleon did not want to make a permanent decision that would tie his hand before the anticipated peace settlement with Russia.
            Napoleon proclaimed the attack on Russia as a second Polish War. Napoleon's army set out with the intention of bringing the Russian Empire down, but his ambitions failed with an appalling winter climate; few returned from Moscow. After the defeat, most of the Duchy of Warsaw was taken by Russia in January 1813, and the rest fell to Prussia. In the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Russia gained all of the territories of the three previous partitions, together with Bialystok and the surrounding territory. The bulk of the former Duchy of Warsaw was reestablished as the "Congress Kingdom" of Poland, in personal union with the Russian Empire. It was a Russian puppet state, and maintained its separate status only until 1831, when it was annexed to the Russian Empire.

V.2 Congress Poland
            The Congress Poland was united with Russia; the tsar of Russia was also the king of Poland. The king was granted autonomy by the Congress, and was presented with a constitution by Tsar Alexander I that provided the kingdom with its own administration, Sejm, army, and civil liberties.
            After the Polish uprising of 1830?31, however, Tsar Nicholas I replaced the kingdom¡¯s constitution with the Organic Statute, which created a firmer union between the Congress Kingdom and the Russian Tsar and disbanded the Polish Sejm and army; he also imposed upon the Poles a military dictatorship (6). After a new rebellion in 1863, Tsar Alexander II transformed the Congress Kingdom into a province of the Russian Empire and subjected it to an intense Russification policy. Its name was changed to the Land of the Vistula, and its government was reorganized into a combined civil and military administration headed by a Russian governor general and completely staffed by Russian bureaucrats.

V.3 November Uprising
            The Congress Poland initially enjoyed a large amount of internal autonomy and was only indirectly under Russian rule. However, the freedom of the Kingdom gradually decreased and the constitution was ignored by the Russian authorities. Alexander I of Russia was never formally crowned as King of Poland.
            Russia ceased to respect Congress Poland after the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna were signed. Alexander I abandoned liberty of press in the Congress Kingdom and the secret police started persecution of Polish secret organizations. The Tsar ordered the abolition of freemasonry. Grand Duke Konstantin persecuted liberal opposition of the Kaliszanie faction and replaced Poles with Russians in important positions. These led to conspiracies throughout the country, mostly within the army.
            The struggle began when a group of conspirators attacked the Belweder Palace. The Duke Constantine managed to escape. The rebels turned to the main city arsenal and captured it shortly. The next day, armed Polish citizens forced the Russian troops to withdraw north of Warsaw.

V.4 January Uprising
            The January Uprising was the longest Polish uprising against Tsarist Russia; it when on for 3 years. Young Poles started the uprising by protesting against conscription into the Russian Army. Soon, politicians and Polish officers joined them. The insurrectionists, who were outnumbered, were forced to resort to guerilla warfare tactics. The insurrectionist failed to win any military victory, and no cities were recaptured. The uprising did succeed in decreasing the effect of the Tsar's abolition of serfdom in the Russian partition, which took Polish peasants away from supporting Poland.
            After the uprising, executions or deportations to Siberia of the Poles led many of them to abandon armed struggle and turn to economic and cultural self-improvement.

VI. Regain of Independence and Discouragement

VI.1 Second Polish Republic
            The Second Polish Republic is the Republic of Poland between WW1 and WW2. Based on the Treaty of Versailles after the WW1, most of the Prussian provinces of Posen and of West Prussia which Prussia had annexed in the Partitions of Poland were ceded to Poland. The formerly Russian partition of Poland was proposed to become a German puppet state by the occupying powers in 1916 with a governing Council of State and a Regency council to administer the country under German auspices. Shortly before the end of WW1, the Regency Council announced its intention to restore Polish independence. A Provisional People's Government of the Republic of Poland was created under the Socialist Ignacy Daszynski.
            Having to deal with the economic difficulties and destruction of World War I, followed by the Soviet invasion during the Polish Soviet War, and then increasingly hostile neighbors such as Nazi Germany, the Republic managed not only to endure, but to expand (7). . Poland maintained a level of economic development and prosperity comparable to that of the West. By 1939 the Republic was becoming a major figure in politics and economics.

VI.2 Polish-Soviet War - Peace of Riga (1921)
            The Polish-Soviet War was the result of conflicting expansionist attempts. Poland, whose status had just been re-established by the Treaty of Versailles sought to secure territories it had lost at the time of partitions. The Soviet states wished to control these same territories, which had been part of the Russian Empire until WW1. The Polish-Soviet War an armed conflict of Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine against the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic, in which the victory was quite not agreed on. The Poles claimed a successful defense of their state, and the Soviet claimed a repulse of the Polish eastward invasion of Ukraine.
            In the Battle of Warsaw, the Polish forces achieved an unexpected victory and Warsaw fell. The Soviets sued for peace in the Polish advance eastward, and the war ended in October 1920. A formal peace treaty, the Peace of Riga was signed on March 1921. It divided the disputed territories between Poland and Soviet Russia. The war determined the Soviet-Polish border for the period between the World Wars. Most of the territory ceded to Poland in the Treaty of Riga became part of the Soviet Union after the WW2 when Poland's eastern borders were redefined by Allies according to the Curzon Line.

VI.3 Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact (1932)
            After the Polish-Soviet War, Polish politicians believed that Poland should rely mostly on the alliance with France and should not support either Germany or the Soviet Union. The non-aggression treaty was to fortify the Polish gains of the Peace of Riga. It was signed on July 1932, effective for a three-year period, and was extended to 1945 without amendment. Both sided agreed to renounce violence in bilateral relations and resolve their problems through negotiations and forgo any armed conflict aimed at the other side.
            The pact was broken by the Soviets when the Red Army joined Nazi Germany¡¯s forces in their invasion of Poland. The pact was considered at the time as a major success of the Polish diplomacy, much weakened by the toll war with Germany, renouncement of parts of the Treaty of Versailles and loosened links with France. (8)

VI.4 Soviet Invasion of Poland (1939)
            The Soviet invasion of Poland started without any formal declaration of war, and eded in a victory of the Soviet Union¡¯s Red Army. The Soviet government announced that the invasion was an act to protect the Ukrainians and Belarusians who lived in the eastern part of Poland, since the Polish state could no longer secure its citizens after the German invasion.
            About 230,000 Polish soldiers or more were taken prisoners of war, and declared that the 13.5 Polish citizens who lived in the newly controlled territory as Soviet citizens. They suppressed opposition by sending thousands to Siberia and other remote parts. The Soviet invasion led to the incorporation of millions of Poles into the Soviet Ukrainian and Belorussian republics.

VI.5 Katyn Massacre
            After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union concluded their Nonaggression Pact and Germany invaded Poland, Soviet forces occupied the eastern half of Poland. As a consequence of this occupation, tens of thousands of Polish military personnel fell into Soviet hands and were interned in prison camps inside the Soviet Union (9). A Polish army on Soviet territory was formed for the Soviet to cooperate with Poland against Germany. The Polish General Wladyslaw Anders requested for the 15,000 Polish war prisoners whom the Soviets had once held at camps to organize the army, the Soviet government informed him in 1941 that most of those prisoners had escaped to Manchuria. Then on April 13, 1943, the Germans discovered mass graves of Polish officers in the Katyn forest near Smolensk. 4,443 corpses had been shot from behind and buried. Investigators identified the corpses as the Polish officers who had been interned at a Soviet prison camp near Smolensk and accused the Soviet authorities of having executed the prisoners in May 1940. ¹ÌÁÖ! Both German and Red Cross investigations of the Katyn corpses produced evidence that the massacre took place in early 1940, at the time when the area was still under Soviet control. In March 1989 the government shifted the blame for the massacre from the Germans to the Soviet secret police, the NKVD. The discovery of the massacre worsened the severance of diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and the Polish government in exile in London.

VI.6 Soviet Repression (1939-1946)
            After the German and Soviet invasion of Poland, the territory of Poland was divided between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. In occasions such as Gestapo-NKVD Conferences, Germany and the Soviet Union discussed plans for dealing with the Po.ish resistance movement and future destruction of Poland. The Soviets arrested and imprisoned about 500,000 Poles during 1939-1941, including former officials, officers, and natural "enemies of the people," like the clergy (10). The Soviets also executed about 65,000 Poles. In the "fourth partition of Poland", the Soviet shifted the border in Poland to the east, giving Germany more territory. They began confiscating, nationalizing and redistributing all private and state-owned Polish property.
            After their conquest of eastern Poland, the Soviet authorities started a campaign of sovietization of the newly acquired areas. All institutions of the Polish state were being closed down and reopened under the Soviet appointed supervisors. They were reopened as Soviet institutions rather than continuing their old legacy. Polish literature and language studies were dissolved by Soviet authorities, and Dialectical and Historical Materialism aimed at strengthening of the Soviet ideology were opened. Simultaneously Soviet authorities withdrew Polish currency, and controlled the media.
            A rule of terror was started by the NKVD and other Soviet agencies. A large number of captured soldiers were murder as in the Katyn massacre or sent to Gulag. The Soviet authorities started arresting large numbers of Polish intelligentsia, politicians, civil servants, etc. who were suspected of posing a threat to the Soviet rule.

VII. Post WW2 - Present Relations

VII.1 People's Republic of Poland
            The People's Republic of Poland was the name of Poland from 1952-1989. The leaders of the republic were not approved by Soviet leaders and they aligned their policies with those of Moscow, making the republic into a satellite state almost subordinate to the Soviet Union. The Polish Communist party became the sole legal party, making the republic into a communist state. The communist held a majority of key post in the new government, with the Soviet supporting them. Poland was in line with the Soviet model of a "people¡¯s democracy" and a centrally-planned socialist economy.
            Party leader Stansilaw Kania could not find an answer for the fast-eroding support of communism in Poland and formed the independent trade union Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa. Solidarity became a bread anti-communist social movement ranging from people associated with the Roman Catholic Church to members of the anti-communist left.

VII.2 Fall of Communism
            In September 1988 a secret meeting was held which included the opposition leader Lech Walesa. In the Round Table Talks, they included the solidarity opposition factin and the coalition government faction. The talks radically altered the shape of the Polish government and society. The events in Poland gave momentum to the fall of the entire Communist bloc.
            Poland became the first Warsaw Pact state country to break free of Soviet domination. By the late 1980s, Solidarity was strong enough to frustrate attempts to reform, and nationwide strikes forced the government to open a dialogue with Solidarity. The presidency was given more powers, and both sides agreed to a bicameral legislature called the National Assembly.
            In 1989, Solidarity was allowed to participate in parliamentary elections, and Solidarity candidates captured all the seats they were allowed to compete for in the Sejm and took 99 out of 100 available seats in the Senate (11). . They created the first new non-Communist government in Eastern Europe.

VII.3 Present Relations
            Poland has been moving away from the Russian sphere of influence and establishing significant relations with post-Soviet states. Relations worsen due to remembrance of historical events such as Polish politicians' talk of Russia apologizing for the 1939 invasion, Katyn massacre, or Soviet occupation. The establishment of visas for Russian citizens or Polish influence on the EU-Russian relations are other important issues between Poland and Russia.
            Since the fall of the Soviet Union, Polish-Russian border has mostly been replaced by borders with the respective countries, but there still is a 210 km long border between Poland and the Russian Kaliningrad exclave. (12)

VIII. Conclusion
            Apart from the present Poland, Polish history can be largely divided into three parts; until the three partitions (-1795), an era of challenging the partitions, and an era in which independence was gained and lost.
            Until the Partitions, Russia and Poland had, for a long time, been in a competing relationship. In the competition over power, Russia was taking lead and successfully affected the Polish monarchy. Poland also exercised its own efforts to maintain independence, such as refusing to recognize "The Tsardom of Rus", the new name of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, which had claimed rule over a vast territory including Poland. The Partitions was the great line in history that demonstrated the Russian domination of Poland. The partition of Poland clearly showed that any nation without a strong monarchy, bureaucracy, and army could no longer compete within the European state system (13). If Polish territory had not been available to east tensions, international rivalries might have led to warfare among Russia, Austria, and Prussia.
            In the era when Poland challenged against the partitions, it existed feebly, leaning on other nations. The Duchy of Warsaw was a Polish state that was created by Napoleon Bonaparte of France, and the next bulk of Poland was a puppet state of Russia. Despite the circumstances, Polish people revolted against Russian rule in occasions such as the November Uprising and the January Uprising. However, the uprisings did not have much effect except for decreasing the effect of the Tsar's abolition of serfdom in the Russian partition.
            In the next era of regaining independence and losing it, Poland has a rough relationship with the Soviet Union. Poland gained independence in the Second Polish Republic and the republic managed to expand and prosper. However, In the Polish-Soviet War and the Invasion of Poland, Poland became totally devastated and controlled by the Soviet Union; the Non-Aggression pact proved to be void. Until 1951, before the People¡¯s Republic of Poland was created, Poland was colonized and made into a communist state; yet after the Second World War, Russian communism began to fall. The first non-communist government in Poland was established with Lech Walesa as its leader.
            Even until now, Poland has been steadily making efforts with escaping the influence and improving its relationship with Russia. Communication between the two countries of agreement on how to interpret its past colonization and invasion will be the key to their relationship, as is the case with Korea and Japan.


1.      "Muscovite-Lithuanian Wars", from Wikipedia
2.      "Polish-Muscovite War", from Wikipedia
3.      "Silent Sejm", from Wikipedia
4.      "War of the Polish Succession¡±, Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
5.      The Western Heritage ninth edition
6.      The Britannica Online Encyclopedia
7.      "Second Polish Republic", from Wikipedia
8.      "Soviet-Polish Non-aggression pact", from Wikipedia
9.      Britannica Online Encyclopedia
10.      "Soviet Repression", from Wikipedia
11.      A Concise History of Poland
12.      Ibid.
13.      The Western Heritage ninth edition


Note : websites quoted below were visited in February 2009.
1.      Article: Russo-Polish War, Britannica Online Encyclopedia,
2.      Article: Polish-Muscovite War, Wikipedia
3.      Article: "Silent Sejm", Wikipedia,
4.      Article: "War of the Polish Succession", from the Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, by the Gale Group Inc.
5.      The Western Heritage combined volume ninth Edition, Prentice Hall, 2007
6.      The Congress of Vienna, Tim Chapman, Routledge
7.      A Concise History of Poland, Cambridge University Press, 2002
8.      Article: "Polish-Russia Relations", from Wikipedia
9.      Chronology of 20th Century Eastern European History, Gregory Ference, Gale Research Inc
10.      Article: "Congress Poland", from Britannica Online Encyclopedia
11.      Article: "Territorial Changes of Poland", from Wikipedia
12.      Chronology of 20th century Eastern European History, Gregory C. Ference, 1997
13.      A Cardboard castle ? an inside history of the Warsaw Pact, Vojtech Mastny, 2005
14.      Article: Union of Brest, from Catholic Encyclopedia,
15.      Ivan IV, the Terrible, from Rusnet,
16.      A Historical Atlas of Poland

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