Poland’s past is very rich and can be traced back to very old times. The beginnings of Poland as we know it today can be traced back to around 966. Some historians made claims backed by artifacts, Archaeogenetics, and documentary evidence that Poland – which originally used to be in the past called Lehia (Lehistan), then Lechia (Latin version – with “c”) – is much older and can be traced to ancient times. Modern prince Mieszko 1st (the etymology of this name is “mieszek”, which means “moneybag” ), who ruled a territory at the time which was roughly Poland today, became a firm believer of Christianity. This directly led to the foundation of the Kingdom of Poland in 1025. His ancestors were kings, which means that he was demoted when Rome unofficially took over trough influence of new religion. Up to the XVI century, many Poles were faithful to their Slavic Paganism.
Heart of the Continent. Defending the frontiers of Europe.
Looking at countries all across the world, few have come as far as Poland in such a short space of time ( modern history ), or through such adversity: defending against invaders (especially their neighbors), three partitions of Poland, many uprisings and two World Wars just to get us started. Since Poland formed into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity recognized by the Roman Empire and Holy Roman Empire, Poles had to defend their country. As well as defending their own people, the Poles managed to stop the Mongol invasion of Europe in 1240 among others. Likewise, if the Poles didn’t help Austria in 1683 Western Europe would have been conquered by the Ottoman Empire. In 1920 Poland puts up an epic defense against the Soviet Union. Poles repel military Communist invasion of Europe. For a country with such a history, they certainly have covered many different events.
Liam Neeson tells the story of the victory of Poles over the Bolsheviks- radical far-left Marxist faction founded by Vladimir Lenin. Poles saved Poland and Europe from the flood of communism:
The Golden Age of Poland. One of the largest and most populous countries in Europe.
Many years of hard work and building of foundations led to the 1569 Union of Lublin, a treaty signed in association with northern neighbor – Lithuania. This was the first true “ally” that Poland joined together with. A Country with a territory extending from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. During its golden age, Poland became a great European power and a major cultural entity.
Did you know: During the 16th-17th Century, Poland was one of the largest, richest, and most populated countries in Europe, with almost 11 million people living there.
Polish Miracles: From dust to glory – the country that was reborn.
However, not everything has been plain sailing – the Poles gradually lost their country to Germany, Russia, and Austria over a 25-year period spanning 1772-1795. It would take Poland 123 years to finally regain its independence, returning as the Second Republic in 1918 after the end of the First World War. To say that the Poles have led a dramatic existence would be putting it mildly – just 22 years after regaining independence and standing proudly as a nation once again, the Second World War erupted. Nazi Germany aligned with the Soviet Union and brutally invaded Poland. More than six million Poles lost their lives tragically in the battle to come.
Mel Gibson appears in a tv spot promoting Polish independence:
The Poles provided critical assistance to the Allies during the war and saved the lives of many Jews.
The Poles provided critical assistance to the Allies during the War. They fought across the land, the sea and in the air. The Polish Air Force played a key role in the Battle of Britain. As well as this, the Polish ground troops were active in France, Italy, and North Africa, as well as Operation Market Garden. They were a key part of the Allied defense and without them; it’s hard to see how things would have gone. In fact, over 25,000 soldiers have been rewarded for their bravery after the war itself. They also played a massive part in the liberation of the Jewish people from Nazi German-occupied countries and camps. In occupied Poland, Nazi Germans introduced the death penalty for aiding Jews. Many Poles helped Jews and as a result, they lost their life. It is established that around million of Poles aided and concealed hundreds of thousands of their Polish-Jewish and Jewish neighbors. There are 6,863 Polish men and women recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
Following the Second World War, with Poland still in flux, they fell into being a satellite state of the Soviet Union in 1947, after a few years of conflict and failed elections. In keeping with the bombastic tone of Polish history, this brief change in leadership lasted until 1989, when the Revolutions began all across Soviet-controlled nations. The communist government was overthrown by the people and adopted itself as a democratic nation, known as the “Third Polish Republic”. In 2010, Lech Kaczynski, the President of Poland at the time, tragically died in a plane crash along with 89 other officials en route to Smolensk, Russia. They were en route to pay respects to the victims of the Katyn massacre in 1940. The Polish people have dealt with incredible tragedy and adversity during their short years as a nation, but have come out the other side incredibly well.
The new republic: Cultural wealth. Promising Perspectives. Rapid Progress.
Incredibly, despite the vast land mass removed from their grasp and the immense destruction, takeover and war, Poland has preserved a rather impressive cultural wealth. With many historical monuments still standing, and an ever-increasing ranking in terms of human development and economic progression, Poland stands as a reformed nation with a bright future ahead of it. If you were to look at it in the basest manners, Poland is one of the few nations to have succeeded in growth since the end of the Soviet bloc. While Russia and other parts of the old Bloc are doing well at the moment, Poland has grown massively in that time and has achieved an economic standpoint on a par with the likes of Korea. For a country with such a bloody and short history, this perseverance to succeed is remarkable. After inheriting a country in shambles, Poland was pushed from a difficult economic system into a Capitalist environment. Whatever your views are on Capitalism, it has helped Poland thrive in recent years and has helped them strengthen relations with countries surrounding them like Germany and Russia.
Did you Know: Poland has reached the highest possible standards of quality of life for the average person. Things like well-being, economic growth, and general happiness are all considered to be higher than ever in Poland today. Growing incomes, more job opportunities and an open border policy with Europe has allowed Poland to strengthen incredibly in the last few years.
Poland – today one of Europe’s economic powerhouses
( visit link: Poland is becoming Grand Brand )
The sixty-ninth largest country in the world, Poland has over thirty-eight million people living within it (Poland is the 34th most populous country in the world). It’s also the sixth-largest EU nation and has one of, if not the fastest-growing economy in Europe. With a diverse series of money-making campaigns and industries, Poland has come so far in less than one generation’s timespan. Most nations require centuries to achieve the movement Poland has in under twenty years.
With a GDP growing at more than 5% every single year, Poland is the only country in the European Union to have grown and expanded since the Economic Collapse. With high foreign investment playing a key role in the countries growth, it’s hard to see anything other than the success of Poland growing further. Poland became a full member of the European Union in May 2004, allowing for full freedom of movement within the large majority of the EU. This has opened up job opportunities all across Europe for the Polish, with many of them successfully gaining employment abroad.
In 2012, Poland jointly hosted the UEFA European Championships with Ukraine. This is the international football tournament which draws millions to each tournament, held every four years. It was one of the most successful tournaments in recent years, further strengthening the global opinion that Poland is a nation continuously on the up. With two decades of improvement throughout Poland, even when put alongside ailing European economies, the Polish boom shows no signs of abating. This once backward, ramshackle nation today stands as one of the finest examples of where hard work and dedication can take your country.
Did you Know: Poland is the only country to have continued growing since the 90s. They have not receded since.
Future of Poland: Promised Land for Poles? The new golden age of Poland?
The 21st century thus promises to become Poland’s new Golden Age. At the same time, the rise of Poland and the rest of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) will help bring the two parts of Europe together for the first time since XVI century, when the continent split economically. All long term growth projections conclude that Poland will continue to grow faster than Western Europe and thus continue to converge at least until 2030. The future is certainly bright for Poland, and bright for the people of the nations around them too. Look out, Poland could become one of the greatest countries in Europe and possibly in the world. Poles could be one of the premium nations in the world within the next twenty years!