The Partitions of Poland[nb 1] were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place toward the end of the 18th century and ended the existence of the state, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland and Lithuania for 123 years. The partitions were conducted by Habsburg Austria, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Russian Empire, which divided up the Commonwealth lands among themselves progressively in the process of territorial seizures and annexations.
The First Partition of Poland was decided on August 5, 1772. Two decades later, Russian and Prussian troops entered the Commonwealth again and the Second Partition was signed on January 23, 1793. Austria did not participate in the Second Partition. The Third Partition of Poland took place on October 24, 1795, in reaction to the unsuccessful Polish Kościuszko Uprising the previous year. With this partition, the Commonwealth ceased to exist.
In English, the term "Partitions of Poland" is sometimes used geographically as toponymy, to mean the three parts that the partitioning powers divided the Commonwealth into, namely: the Austrian Partition, the Prussian Partition and the Russian Partition. In Polish, there are two separate words for the two meanings. The consecutive acts of dividing and annexation of Poland are referred to as rozbiór (plural: rozbiory), while the term zabór (pl. zabory) means each part of the Commonwealth annexed in 1772–95 becoming part of Imperial Russia, Prussia, or Austria.
In Polish historiography, the term "Fourth Partition of Poland" has also been used, in reference to any subsequent annexation of Polish lands by foreign invaders. Depending on source and historical period, this could mean the events of 1815, or 1832 and 1846, or 1939. The term "Fourth Partition" in a temporal sense can also mean the diaspora communities that played an important political role in re-establishing the Polish sovereign state after 1918.
|Partitions of Poland|
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772
During the reign of Władysław IV (1632–48), the liberum veto was developed, a policy of parliamentary procedure based on the assumption of the political equality of every "gentleman", with the corollary that unanimous consent was needed for all measures. A single member of parliament's belief that a measure was injurious to his own constituency (usually simply his own estate), even after the act had been approved, became enough to strike the act. Thus it became increasingly difficult to undertake action. The liberum veto also provided openings for foreign diplomats to get their ways, through bribing nobles to exercise it. Thus, one could characterise Poland–Lithuania in its final period (mid-18th century) before the partitions as already in a state of disorder and not a completely sovereign state, and almost as a vassal state, or in modern terms, a Russian satellite state, with Russian tsars effectively choosing Polish kings. This applies particularly to the last Commonwealth King Stanisław August Poniatowski, who for some time had been a lover of Russian Empress Catherine the Great.
In 1730 the neighbors of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (Rzeczpospolita), namely Prussia, Austria and Russia, signed a secret agreement to maintain the status quo: specifically, to ensure that the Commonwealth laws would not change. Their alliance later became known in Poland as the "Alliance of the Three Black Eagles" (or Löwenwolde's Treaty), because all three states used a black eagle as a state symbol (in contrast to the white eagle, a symbol of Poland). The Commonwealth had been forced to rely on Russia for protection against the rising Kingdom of Prussia, which demanded a slice of the northwest in order to unite its Western and Eastern portions; this would leave the Commonwealth with a Baltic coast only in Latvia and Lithuania. Catherine had to use diplomacy to win Austria to her side.
The Commonwealth had remained neutral in the Seven Years' War (1756–1763), yet it sympathized with the alliance of France, Austria, and Russia, and allowed Russian troops access to its western lands as bases against Prussia. Frederick II retaliated by ordering enough Polish currency counterfeited to severely affect the Polish economy. Through the Polish nobles whom Russia controlled and the Russian Minister to Warsaw, ambassador and Prince Nicholas Repnin, Empress Catherine the Great forced a constitution on the Commonwealth at the so-called Repnin Sejm of 1767, named after ambassador Repnin, who effectively dictated the terms of that Sejm (and ordered the capture and exile to Kaluga of some vocal opponents of his policies, including bishop Józef Andrzej Załuski and others). This new constitution undid the reforms made in 1764 under Stanisław II. The liberum veto and all the old abuses of the last one and a half centuries were guaranteed as unalterable parts of this new constitution (in the so-called Cardinal Laws). Repnin also demanded religious freedom for the Protestant and Orthodox Christians, and the resulting reaction among some of Poland's Roman Catholics, as well as the deep resentment of Russian intervention in the Commonwealth's domestic affairs, led to the War of the Confederation of Bar of 1768–1772, formed in Bar, where the Poles tried to expel Russian forces from Commonwealth territory. The irregular and poorly commanded Polish forces had little chance in the face of the regular Russian army and suffered a major defeat. Adding to the chaos was a Ukrainian Cossack and peasant rebellion, the Koliyivshchyna, which erupted in 1768 and resulted in massacres of noblemen (szlachta), Jews, Uniates, and Catholic priests, before it was put down by Polish and Russian troops.
In 1769 Austria annexed a small territory of Spisz and in 1770 – Nowy Sącz and Nowy Targ. These territories had been a bone of contention between Poland and Hungary, which was a part of the Austrian crown lands.
In February 1772, the agreement of partition was signed in Vienna. Early in August, Russian, Prussian and Austrian troops simultaneously invaded the Commonwealth and occupied the provinces agreed upon among themselves. On August 5, 1772, the occupation manifesto was issued, much to the consternation of a country too exhausted by the endeavors of the Confederation of Bar to offer successful resistance; nevertheless, several battles and sieges took place, as Commonwealth troops refused to lay down their arms (most notably, in Tyniec, Częstochowa and Kraków).
The partition treaty was ratified by its signatories on September 22, 1772. Frederick II of Prussia was elated with his success; Prussia took most of Royal Prussia (without Danzig) that stood between its possessions in the Kingdom of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg, as well as Ermland (Warmia), northern areas of Greater Poland along the Noteć River (the Netze District), and parts of Kuyavia (but not the city of Toruń). Despite token criticism of the partition from Austrian Empress Maria Theresa, Austrian statesman Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg, was proud of wresting as large a share as he did, with the rich salt mines of Bochnia and Wieliczka. To Austria fell Zator and Auschwitz (Oświęcim), part of Lesser Poland embracing parts of the counties of Kraków and Sandomir and the whole of Galicia, less the city of Kraków. Catherine of Russia was also very satisfied. By this "diplomatic document" Russia came into possession of that section of Livonia that had remained in Commonwealth control, and of Belarus embracing the counties of Vitebsk, Polotsk and Mstislavl.
By this partition, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth lost about 30% of its territory and half of its population (four million people), of which a large portion had not been ethnically Polish. By seizing northwestern Poland, Prussia instantly gained control over 80% of the Commonwealth's total foreign trade. Through levying enormous customs duties, Prussia accelerated the collapse of the Commonwealth.
After having occupied their respective territories, the three partitioning powers demanded that King Stanisław and the Sejm approve their action. When no help was forthcoming and the armies of the combined nations occupied Warsaw to compel by force of arms the calling of the assembly, no alternative could be chosen save passive submission to their will. The so-called Partition Sejm, with Russian military forces threatening the opposition, on September 18, 1773, signed the treaty of cession, renouncing all claims of the Commonwealth to the occupied territories.
By 1790 the First Polish Republic had been weakened to such a degree that it was forced into an unnatural and terminal alliance with its enemy, Prussia. The Polish–Prussian Pact of 1790 was signed. The conditions of the Pact contributed to the subsequent final two partitions of Poland–Lithuania.
The May Constitution of 1791 enfranchised the bourgeoisie, established the separation of the three branches of government, and eliminated the abuses of the Repnin Sejm. Those reforms prompted aggressive actions on the part of its neighbours, wary of the potential renaissance of the Commonwealth. Arguing that Poland had fallen prey to the radical Jacobinism then at high tide in France, Russian forces invaded the Commonwealth in 1792.
In the War in Defense of the Constitution, pro-Russian conservative Polish magnates, the Confederation of Targowica, fought against Polish forces supporting the constitution, believing that Russians would help them restore the Golden Liberty. Abandoned by their Prussian allies, Polish pro-constitution forces, faced with Targowica units and the regular Russian army, were defeated. Prussia signed a treaty with Russia, agreeing that Polish reforms would be revoked and both countries would receive chunks of Commonwealth territory. In 1793, deputies to the Grodno Sejm, last Sejm of the Commonwealth, in the presence of the Russian forces, agreed to Russian territorial demands. In the Second Partition, Russia and Prussia helped themselves to enough land so that only one-third of the 1772 population remained in Poland. Prussia named its newly gained province South Prussia, with Posen (and later Warsaw) as the capital of the new province.
Targowica confederates, who did not expect another partition, and the king, Stanisław August Poniatowski, who joined them near the end, both lost much prestige and support. The reformers, on the other hand, were attracting increasing support, and in 1794 the Kościuszko Uprising began.
Kosciuszko's ragtag insurgent armies won some initial successes, but they eventually fell before the superior forces of the Russian Empire. The partitioning powers, seeing the increasing unrest in the remaining Commonwealth, decided to solve the problem by erasing any independent Polish state from the map. On 24 October 1795 their representatives signed a treaty, dividing the remaining territories of the Commonwealth between their three countries.
The Russian part included 120,000 km2 (46,332 sq mi) and 1.2 million people with Vilnius, the Prussian part (new provinces of New East Prussia and New Silesia) 55,000 km2 (21,236 sq mi) and 1 million people with Warsaw, and the Austrian 47,000 km2 (18,147 sq mi) with 1.2 million and Lublin and Kraków.
With regard to population, in the First Partition, Poland lost over four to five million citizens (about a third of its population of 14 million before the partitions). Only about 4 million people remained in Poland after the Second Partition which makes for a loss of another third of its original population, about a half of the remaining population. By the Third Partition, Prussia ended up with about 23% of the Commonwealth's population, Austria with 32%, and Russia with 45%.
|Partition||To Austria||To Prussia||To Russia||Total annexed||Total remaining|
|1772||81,900 km2 (31,600 sq mi)||11.17%||36,300 km2 (14,000 sq mi)||4.95%||93,000 km2 (36,000 sq mi)||12.68%||211,200 km2 (81,500 sq mi)||28.79%||522,300 km2 (201,700 sq mi)||71.21%|
|1793||—||—||57,100 km2 (22,000 sq mi)||7.78%||250,200 km2 (96,600 sq mi)||34.11%||307,300 km2 (118,600 sq mi)||41.90%||215,000 km2 (83,000 sq mi)||29.31%|
|1795||47,000 km2 (18,000 sq mi)||6.41%||48,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi)||6.54%||120,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi)||16.36%||215,000 km2 (83,000 sq mi)||29.31%|
|Total||128,900 km2 (49,800 sq mi)||17.57%||141,400 km2 (54,600 sq mi)||19.28%||463,200 km2 (178,800 sq mi)||63.15%||733,500 km2 (283,200 sq mi)||100%|
(Wandycz also offers slightly different total annexed territory estimates, with 18% for Austria, 20% for Prussia and 62% for Russia.)
During the Napoleonic Wars and in their immediate aftermath the borders between partitioning powers shifted several times, changing the numbers seen in the preceding table. Ultimately, Russia ended up with most of the Polish core at the expense of Prussia and Austria. Following the Congress of Vienna, Russia controlled 82% of the pre-1772 Commonwealth's territory (this includes its puppet state of Congress Poland), Austria 11%, and Prussia 7%.
The King of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, under Russian military escort left for Grodno where he abdicated on November 25, 1795; next he left for Saint Petersburg, Russia, where he would spend his remaining days. This act ensured that Russia would be seen as the most important of the partitioning powers.
As a result of the Partitions, Poles were forced to seek a change of status quo in Europe. Polish poets, politicians, noblemen, writers, artists, many of whom were forced to emigrate (thus the term Great Emigration), became the revolutionaries of the 19th century, as desire for freedom became one of the defining parts of Polish romanticism. Polish revolutionaries participated in uprisings in Prussia, the Austrian Empire and Imperial Russia. Polish legions fought alongside Napoleon and, under the slogan of For our freedom and yours, participated widely in the Spring of Nations (particularly the Hungarian Revolution of 1848).
Poland would be briefly resurrected—if in a smaller frame—in 1807, when Napoleon set up the Duchy of Warsaw. After his defeat and the implementation of the Congress of Vienna treaty in 1815, the Russian-dominated Congress Kingdom of Poland was created in its place. After the Congress, Russia gained a larger share of Poland (with Warsaw) and, after crushing an insurrection in 1831, the Congress Kingdom's autonomy was abolished and Poles faced confiscation of property, deportation, forced military service, and the closure of their own universities. After the uprising of 1863, Russification of Polish secondary schools was imposed and the literacy rate dropped dramatically. In the Austrian portion, Poles fared better, and were allowed to have representation in Parliament and to form their own universities, and Kraków and Lemberg (Lwów/Lviv) became centers of Polish culture and education. Meanwhile, Prussia Germanized the entire school system of its Polish subjects, and had no more respect for Polish culture and institutions than the Russian Empire. In 1915 a client state of the German Empire and Austria-Hungary was proposed and accepted by the Central Powers of World War I: the Regency Kingdom of Poland. After the end of World War I, the Central Powers' surrender to the Western Allies, the chaos of the Russian Revolution and the Treaty of Versailles finally allowed and helped the restoration of Poland's full independence after 123 years.
The terminology describing the partitions of Poland can be somewhat confusing, as the first three partitions are sometimes used to refer to the three dates on which Poland was divided (1772, 1793, and 1795) and sometimes to the three geographic divisions (the German or Prussian partition, Austrian partition, and Russian partition). The term "Fourth Partition" has also been used in both a temporal and a spatial sense.
The term "Fourth Partition of Poland" may refer to any subsequent division of Polish lands, specifically:
If one accepts more than one of those events as partitions, fifth and sixth partitions can be counted, but these terms are very rare.
The term "Fourth Partition" was also used in the 19th and 20th centuries to refer to diaspora communities who maintained a close interest in the project of regaining Polish independence. Sometimes termed Polonia, these expatriate communities often contributed funding and military support to the project of regaining the Polish nation-state. Diaspora politics were deeply affected by developments in and around the homeland, and vice versa, for many decades.
More recent studies claim that partitions happened when the Commonwealth had been showing the beginning signs of a slow recovery and see the last two partitions as an answer to strengthening reforms in the Commonwealth and the potential threat they represented to its power-hungry neighbours.
As historian Norman Davies stated, because the balance of power equilibrium was observed, many contemporary observers accepted explanations of the "enlightened apologists" of the partitioning state. 19th-century historians from countries that carried out the partitions, such as 19th-century Russian scholar Sergey Solovyov, and their 20th century followers, argued that partitions were justified, as the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth had degenerated to the point of being partitioned because the counterproductive principle of liberum veto made decision-making on divisive issues, such as a wide-scale social reform, virtually impossible. Solovyov specified the cultural, language and religious break between the supreme and lowest layers of the society in the east regions of the Commonwealth, where the Belarusian and Ukrainian serf peasantry was Orthodox. Russian authors emphasized the historical connections between Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, as former parts of the medieval old Russian state where dynasty of Rurikids reigned (Kievan Rus'). Thus, Nikolay Karamzin wrote: "Let the foreigners denounce the partition of Poland: we took what was ours." Russian historians often stressed that Russia annexed primarily Ukrainian and Belorussian provinces with Eastern Slavic inhabitants, although many Ruthenians were no more enthusiastic about Russia than about Poland, and ignoring ethnically Polish and Lithuanian territories also being annexed later. A new justification for partitions arose with the Russian Enlightenment, as Russian writers such as Gavrila Derzhavin, Denis Fonvizin, and Alexander Pushkin stressed degeneration of Catholic Poland and the need to "civilize" it by its neighbors.
Nonetheless other 19th century contemporaries were much more skeptical; for example, British jurist Sir Robert Phillimore discussed the partition as a violation of international law; German jurist Heinrich Bernhard Oppenheim presented similar views. Other older historians who challenged such justifications for the Partitions included French historian Jules Michelet, British historian and politician Thomas Babington Macaulay, and Edmund Burke. Edmund Burke was alone in criticizing the immorality of this act.
Several scholars focused on the economic motivations of the partitioning powers. Jerzy Czajewski wrote that the Russian peasants were escaping from Russia to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in significant enough numbers to become a major concern for the Russian Government sufficient to play a role in its decision to partition the Commonwealth. Increasingly in the 18th century until the partitions solved this problem, Russian armies raided territories of the Commonwealth, officially to recover the escapees, but in fact kidnapping many locals. Hajo Holborn noted that Prussia aimed to take control of the lucrative Baltic grain trade through Danzig (Gdańsk).
Some scholars use the term 'sector' in reference to Commonwealth territories consisting of Polish (not Polish-Lithuanian) cultural heritage as well as historical monuments dating as far back as the first days of Poland's statehood.
The ongoing partitions of Poland were a major topic of discourse in The Federalist Papers, where the structure of the government of Poland, and of foreign influence over it, is used in several papers (Federalist No. 14, Federalist No. 19, Federalist No. 22, Federalist No. 39 for examples) as a cautionary tale for the writers of the U.S. Constitution.
While it is often and quite justifiably remarked that there was hardly a barricade or battlefield in Europe between 1830 and 1870 where no Poles were fighting, this is especially true for the revolution of 1848/1849.
The Austrian Partition (Polish: zabór austriacki) comprise the former territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth acquired by the Habsburg Monarchy during the Partitions of Poland in the late 18th century. The three partitions were conducted jointly by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and Habsburg Austria, resulting in the complete elimination of the Polish Crown. Austria acquired Polish lands during the First Partition of 1772, and Third Partition of Poland in 1795. In the end, the Austrian sector encompassed the second-largest share of the Commonwealth's population after Russia; over 2.65 million people living on 128,900 km2 (49,800 sq mi) of land constituting formerly south-central part of the Republic.Coat of arms of Piła
The Coat of Arms of the Polish city of Piła features a red (sometimes brown) deer jumping towards the left (heraldic right) on a green field. It has been first featured on a stamp of the City Council issued probably in 1571. Initially the deer was jumping towards right (heraldic left) side of the shield; this was changed in the 17th century. During the Partitions of Poland the local German authorities sometimes used also a modification of the Coat of Arms featuring a crowned deer.
The modern version of the CoA has been passed by the City Council of Piła in 1990. Colours used on the emblem are also used on the flag of Piła.First Partition of Poland
The First Partition of Poland took place in 1772 as the first of three partitions that ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1795. Growth in the Russian Empire's power, threatening the Kingdom of Prussia and the Habsburg Monarchy, was the primary motive behind this first partition. Frederick the Great engineered the partition to prevent Austria, jealous of Russian successes against the Ottoman Empire, from going to war. The weakened Commonwealth's land, including what was already controlled by Russia, was apportioned among its more powerful neighbors—Austria, Russia and Prussia—so as to restore the regional balance of power in Central Europe among those three countries. With Poland unable to effectively defend itself, and with foreign troops already inside the country, the Polish parliament (Sejm) ratified the partition in 1773 during the Partition Sejm convened by the three powers.Franciszek Ksawery Chomiński
Franciszek Ksawery Chomiński (c. 1730 - 9 June 1809) was a Polish soldier, politician, translator and poet. Sejm deputy, deputy to the Lithuanian Tribunal and voivode of Mscislaw from 1788 in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and marshal of the Grodno Governorate in the Russian Empire after partitions of Poland.
A cavalry officer, he was a supporter of the Bar Confederation. Later, he became more active in the Commonwealth politics, and was a deputy to Sejms of 1780, 1782 and 1784; at the latter one he served as its marshal. He was among the supporters of the Constitution of the 3rd May.
After the partitions of Poland he supported Adam Czartoryski in Paris. He also served as the marshal of the Grodno Governorate.
He received the Order of Saint Stanislaus in 1784 and the Order of the White Eagle in 1785.
As a writer, he wrote poetry and epigrams, and translated into Polish several works from French, most notably, those of Jean Baptiste Racine.Grajewo
Grajewo pronounced [ɡraˈjɛvɔ] is a town in north-eastern Poland with 21,499 inhabitants (2016). It is situated in the Podlaskie Voivodeship (since 1999); previously, it was in Łomża Voivodeship (1975–1998). It is the capital of Grajewo County.Hlyniany
Hlynjány (Ukrainian: Глиня́ни, Polish: Gliniany,Yiddish: גלינא Galina) is a small town in Zolochiv Raion, Lviv Oblast (region) of Ukraine. Population: 3,183 (2013 est.).
The Jewish population was 2,418 in 1910.In 1340, together with whole Red Ruthenia, Hlyniany became part of the Kingdom of Poland, where it remained until 1772 (see Partitions of Poland). The village, called Gliniany, belonged to Lwow Land of the Ruthenian Voivodeship. It received a town charter in 1397, from Voivode of Sandomierz and Starosta of Red Ruthenia, Jan z Tarnowa. In 1425, King Wladyslaw Jagiello confirmed Gliniany’s charter. In summer 1537, it was one of centers of the so-called Chicken War.
In 1772 Gliniany became part of Austria’s province of Galicia, in the Bezirkshauptmannshaft (District) of Przemyslany where it remained until late 1918. In the interbellum period, it belonged to the Second Polish Republic, as part of Przemyslany County, Tarnopol Voivodeship.Miechów
Miechów [ˈmʲɛxuf] is a town in Poland, in Lesser Poland Voivodeship, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Kraków. It is the capital of Miechów County. Population is 11,852 (2004). Miechów lies on the Miechówka river, along European route E77. The area of the town is 15 square kilometres (6 sq mi), and it has a rail station, located on the main railroad which connects Kraków with Warsaw.Minsk Governorate
The Minsk Governorate (Russian: Минская губерния) or Government of Minsk was a governorate (guberniya) of the Russian Empire. The seat was in Minsk. It was created in 1793 from the land acquired in the partitions of Poland, and lasted until 1921.Peremyshliany
Peremyshliany (Ukrainian: Перемишляни, Polish: Przemyślany, Yiddish: פרימישלאן) is a town in Lviv Oblast (region) of Ukraine. It is administrative center of the Peremyshliany Raion. Population: 6,874 (2013 est.).
Przemyślany, as the town is called in Polish, was first mentioned as a village in 1437. Until the Partitions of Poland (1772), it was part of Poland’s Ruthenian Voivodeship. In 1623, Przemyslany received Magdeburg rights. In 1772 - 1918, it belonged to Austrian Galicia, and in 1918, it returned to Poland. In the Second Polish Republic, it was the seat of a county in Tarnopol Voivodeship. The town had a Jewish population of 2,934 in 1900.Polish underground press
Polish underground press devoted to prohibited materials (sl. Polish: bibuła, lit. semitransparent blotting paper or, alternatively, Polish: drugi obieg, lit. second circulation) has a long history of combatting censorship of oppressive regimes in Poland. It existed throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, including: under foreign occupation of the country, as well as, during the totalitarian rule of the pro-Soviet government. Throughout the Eastern Bloc, bibuła published until the collapse of communism was known also as samizdat (see below).Second Partition of Poland
The 1793 Second Partition of Poland was the second of three partitions (or partial annexations) that ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by 1795. The second partition occurred in the aftermath of the Polish–Russian War of 1792 and the Targowica Confederation of 1792, and was approved by its territorial beneficiaries, the Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia. The division was ratified by the coerced Polish parliament (Sejm) in 1793 (see the Grodno Sejm) in a short-lived attempt to prevent the inevitable complete annexation of Poland, the Third Partition.Siedlce
Siedlce [Polish pronunciation: ['ɕɛdlt͡sɛ] (listen)] (Yiddish: שעדליץ Shedlits, Russian: Седлец Sedlets) is a city in eastern Poland with 76,585 inhabitants (as of 2014). Situated in the Masovian Voivodeship (since 1999), previously the city was the capital of a separate Siedlce Voivodeship (1975–1998). Siedlce lies between two small rivers, the Muchawka and the Helenka, along European route E30. It is the fourth largest city of the Voivodeship, and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Siedlce. Siedlce is a local educational, cultural and business center.Społem
PSS Społem is a Polish consumers' co-operative of local grocery stores founded in 1868.Each of the branches of PSS Społem during the Partitions of Poland were formed via different conditions in law, economy and politics. The common character of the consumers' co-operative was patriotism, providing economic and political security against the Partition Powers of Kingdom of Prussia, Habsburg Austria and the Russian Empire. The year 1869 saw the formation of the first consumer co-operatives: Merkury in Warsaw, Oszczędność in Radom, and Zgoda in Płock. The idea behind the name of the co-operative chain was Stefan Żeromski, who published the first fortnightly journal propagating the need for co-operation, published in 1906.
During the Polish People's Republic, PSS Społem built a number of modernist grocery stores, inter alia in: Spółdzielczy Dom Handlowy Zenit in Katowice (1962), SDH Central in Łódź (1972), SDH Skarbek in Katowice (1975).Starostwo
Starostwo (Polish: [staˈrɔstfa], "eldership"; Lithuanian: seniūnija; Belarusian: староства, translit. starostva; German: Starostei), administrative units established from the 14th century in the Polish Crown and later in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until the partitions of Poland in 1795. They were jointly referred to as the crown lands (królewszczyzna).
Each starostwo was administered by an official known as starosta. The starosta would receive the office from the king and would keep it until the end of his life. It usually provided a significant income for the starosta. His deputy was variously known as podstarosta, podstarości, burgrabia, włodarz, or surrogator.There were several types of starosta:
Starosta Generalny was the administrative official of a specific territorial unit: either the representative of the King or Grand Duke or a person directly in charge.
Starosta Grodowy was a county-(powiat)level official responsible for fiscal duties, police and courts, and also the one responsible for the execution of judicial verdicts.
Starosta Niegrodowy was the overseer of the Crown lands.When Poland regained independence in 1918 (until the beginning of the 2nd World War in 1939) and in 1944–1950, the starosta was the head of county (powiat) administration, subordinate to the voivode. Since the local government reforms, which came into effect on 1 January 1999, the starosta is the head of the county (powiat) executive board (zarząd powiatu), and the head of the county administration (starostwo powiatowe), being elected by the county council (rada powiatu).Sępólno Krajeńskie
Sępólno Krajeńskie pronounced ['sɛmˈpulnɔ kraˈjɛɲskʲɛ] (German: Zempelburg) is a town in Poland, in the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship, about 63 kilometres (39 miles) northwest of Bydgoszcz. It is the capital of Sępólno County (powiat sępoleński) and has a population of 9,174 (2004).Targowica Confederation
The Targowica Confederation (Polish: konfederacja targowicka, IPA: [kɔnfɛdɛˈrat͡sja tarɡɔˈvit͡ska], Lithuanian: Targovicos konfederacija) was a confederation established by Polish and Lithuanian magnates on 27 April 1792, in Saint Petersburg, with the backing of the Russian Empress Catherine II. The confederation opposed the Constitution of 3 May 1791, which had been adopted by the Great Sejm, especially the provisions limiting the privileges of the nobility. The text of the founding act of the confederation was drafted by the Russian general Vasili Stepanovich Popov, Chief of Staff of Prince Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin. Its purpose was proclaimed in the small town of Targowica and the Potocki's estate (now near Novoarkhanhelsk in Kirovohrad Oblast, Ukraine) on May 14, 1792. Four days later two Russian armies invaded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth without a formal declaration of war.The forces of the Targowica Confederation defeated the troops loyal to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Sejm and King Stanisław August Poniatowski in the Polish–Russian War of 1792. As a result, the King, Poniatowski, formally joined the Confederation. Their victory precipitated the Second Partition of Poland and set the stage for the Third Partition and the final dissolution of the Commonwealth in 1795. This outcome came as a surprise to most of the Confederates, who had wished only to restore the status quo ante and had expected that the overthrow of the May 3rd Constitution would achieve that end.The term targowiczanin, which historically applies to each member and supporter of the Targowica Confederation, became a synonym for a traitor, just as targowica is synonymous with treason. Those meanings still function in the Polish language up to the present day.Third Partition of Poland
The Third Partition of Poland (1795) was the last in a series of the Partitions of Poland and the land of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth among Prussia, the Austrian Empire, and the Russian Empire which effectively ended Polish–Lithuanian national sovereignty until 1918. Accordingly, the partitioning powers agreed to permanently erase Poland's name from existence in any historical context, including from their respective encyclopedias, in an attempt to curb Polish dissidence and nationalistic fervor. When such sources or legal texts needed to refer to Poland or the Polish people, names of Poland's various historical regions, such as Masovia, were used instead. This prevarication ultimately resulted in numerous Polish uprisings during the period. The third partition, and the partitions of Poland in general, remains a controversial topic in modern Poland, in academic circles and public discourse alike; especially in context of Poland's relations with Russia, which profited the most from the partitions, by acquiring the most territory and wealth, thereby becoming one of Europe's foremost powers at the time.Węgrów
Węgrów [ˈvɛŋɡruf] is a town in eastern Poland with 12,561 inhabitants (31 December 2003). Situated in the Masovian Voivodeship (since 1999), it is the capital of Węgrów County.
First mentioned in historical records in 1414, it received its city
charter in 1441. Between 16th and 18th centuries it was an important centre for Reformation movements in Poland.
After the Partitions of Poland it became part of Austria in 1795, then
part of the Duchy of Warsaw in 1809, then part of the Congress Poland ruled by Russia in 1815. It became part of Poland again when the country regained its independence in 1918.
Throughout most of its history, the town had a thriving Jewish community, present at least since the 16th century. It numbered about 6,000 in 1939. The community was exterminated during the Holocaust by the Nazis.Włoszczowa
Włoszczowa [vwɔʂˈt͡ʂɔva] (listen) is a town in Poland, in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) west of Kielce. It is the capital of Włoszczowa County. Population is 10,756 (2004). Włoszczowa lies in historic Lesser Poland, and from its foundation until 1795 (see Partitions of Poland), it belonged to Sandomierz Voivodeship. The town has the area of 30 kilometres (19 miles), and is a junction of regional roads nr 786, nr 742, and 785. Włoszczowa has two rail stations: PKP Włoszczowa (on the Kielce - Częstochowa route), and PKP Włoszczowa Północ (Włoszczowa North) (on the Central Rail Line).
Włoszczowa was first mentioned in 1154, when Prince Henryk Sandomierski handed the village known then as Vloszcova to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta monks. It received its town charter in 1539, when King Zygmunt Stary handed the document to the starosta of Chęciny, Hieronim Szafraniec. The town remained the property of the Szafraniec family until the late 18th century. In the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Włoszczowa was part of Lesser Poland’s Sandomierz Voivodeship. After the Partitions of Poland, it belonged to Russian-controlled Congress Poland (1815 - 1918). In the Second Polish Republic, Włoszczowa belonged to Kielce Voivodeship. It had a large Jewish population, which made 50% of its population in 1925. Almost all Włoszczowa’s Jews were murdered by the Germans in the Holocaust. Among points of interest there are remains of a 12th-century gord, with traces of a moat, and ruins of the Szafraniec family castle (16th century). Furthermore, there is a 17th-century parish church, and the 16th-century urban layout of the streets.