Chronography of Poland

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Demography of Poland


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4.0, Solidarity, triumph over Soviet Communism, 1989-90

3.0, Conflict, Solidarity versus Communist control., 1980-88

2.0, Gomulka Presidency, 1957-70

1.0, Hardline Communist regime set up in Poland

0.0, World War Two, 1939-45

-1.0, Pilusdki regime 1926 � 35

-2.0, Polish independence from Russia � Polish-Russian War, 1916-21

-3.0, Russian crackdown on Polish rebels, and further unrest in Poland, 1864-1906

-4.0, 3rd Polish revolt against Russia, failed, 1850-63

-5.0, Emancipation of Polish peasants, 1846-48

-6.0, 2nd Polish revolt against Russian occupation, 1795- 1831

-7.0, 1st Polish revolt againsr Russian occupation, 1794

-8.0, Partition of Poland � 2 stages, 1772 and 1793 (1755 � 1793)

-9.0, War of the Polish Succession, 1733 � 35

-10.0, Disputed Polish succession; Swedish backed candidate versus German candidate, 1704 � 09

-11.0, King Stephen Bathory, 1575 � 86

-12.0, King Casimir IV, 1447 � 92

-13.0, King Ladislas IV, 1306 � 33

-14.0, Reign of King Boleslav III (Wry Mouth), 1102-38

-15.0, Reign of King Boleslav II (The Bold), 1058 - 81

-16.0, King Boleslav I, 992-1025


10/2019, In elections the eurosceptic Law and Order Party retaoined control of the lower House of Parloiamernt, but lost control in the Senate to centre and left wing Parties.

4/2017, NATO troops were deployed in north east Poland, as Western concenrs about the Russian occupation of the Crimea grew.

10/2016, After large street protests, the ruling Law and Justice Party decided not to implement proposed severe restircitons on abortion.

1/2016, The European Union challenged, as a �threat to Euroipean values�, a new Polish law that would allow the government to appoint heads of the state media radio and TV channels.

10/2015, The eurosceptic Law and Order Party won an overall majority in Polish elections.

15 May 2014, General Wojciech Jarulzelski died, aged 90. He was appointed Defence Minister of Poland in 1968; in 1970 his troops shot dozens of striking shipyard workers in Gdansk and Gdynia, and was leader of Poland during the rise of Solidarnosc.

10 April 2010, Polish President Lech Walesa and other senior government officials were killed in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia. They were travelling to Russia to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Russia blamed pilot error; Poland blamed poor pilot advice from Russian air traffic control.

2/2008, Poland agreed to host a US missile defence systetm, causing controversy with Russia. In 2010 the US decided not to install this system.

28 January 2006, 66 pigeon fanciers died in Katowice, Poland, when the roof of the conference hall they were meeting in collapsed under18 inches of snow.

11 October 2005, Edward Szczepanik, last Prime Minister of the Polish Government in exile, died (born 21 August1915)

26 August2005, Jean Michael Jarre held a �Space of Freedom� concert in Gdansk, Poland, to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Solidarnosc trade union.

2004, Poland joined the European Union.

6/2003, A referendum in Poland approved joining the European Union.

12/2002, The European Union formally invited Poland to join, in 2004 (see 1998).

1999, Poland joined NATO.

1998, Poland began talks with the European Union on joining the bloc. See 12/202.

24 January 1993, In Poland the ferry boat John Heweliusz sank, with 52 killed.

14 October 1992, The Russian KGB handed over documents to Poland�s Lech Walesa revealing that the Russians killed Polish officers in 1940 in the Katyn Forest Massacre. The Kremlin had previously insisted it was the Germans who had done this.


4.0, Solidarity, triumph over Soviet Communism, 1989-90

22 December1990. Lech Walesa became president of Poland.

25 November 1990, Lech Wałesa and Stanisław Tyminski won the first round of the presidential elections in Poland.

27 January 1990. The Polish Communist Party dissolved itself. On 28 January 1990 East Germany formed an all-party government.

15 November 1989, Lech Walesa, leader of the Polish Solidarity movement, addressed a Joint Session of the United Nations Congress.

19 September 1989, Poland became the first country in Eastern Europe to end one-party rule, as Solidarity�s Tadeusz Mazowiecki became Prime Minister.

19 August1989, Tadeusz Mazowiecki of Solidarity became Prime Minister of Poland, the first non-Communist PM in 42 years.

19 July 1989, General Wojciech Jaruselski, who imposed martial law in 1981, was elected President of Poland by 270 votes out of 537, However he was the only candidate; 233 voted against and 34 abstained. Solidarity declared the vote illegal. Poland was bankrupt with a resentful population.

19 June 1989, The second round of elections to the Polish National Assembly. Solidarity won an overwhelming victory.

4 June 1989. Poland held partially-free elections. The result was a major embarrassment for the country�s leaders as Solidarity won the lion�s share of the vote. On a turnout of 62% - smaller than Solidarity had hoped for � the union�s candidates had by 6 June 1989 won all Warsaw�s constituencies except Zoliborz, where the result was still awaited. In some constituencies Solidarity won over 80% of the vote cast. Few government candidates won over 18% of the votes cast.

17 April 1989. In Poland, Solidarnosc was legalised after an 8-year ban.

5 April 1989, The Polish Trades Union Solidarnosc won the right to contest partially-free elections in Poland and to publish its own newspaper. Solidarnosc had been banned by the Polish Government under General Jaruzelski since 1982.


3.0, Conflict, Solidarity versus Communist control., 1980-88

2 May 1988, In Poland, thousands of shipyard workers went on strike, and 7 Solidarnosc union leaders were detained.

29 April 1988. The worst industrial unrest in Poland since the 1981 martial law crackdown on Solidarnosc. Workers demanded large pay rises after the Polish government raised food prices by 40%, rents by 50%, and electricity by 100%; a spell of austerity was needed to restore economic stability, said the government.

29 November 1987, A referendum was held on a proposed new Polish Constitution. Solidarnosc was banned from political participation but its boycott of the process meant too few voted and the result was disqualified. The process proved Solidarnosc dissent against Communism was still strong.

1 May 1985, May Day celebrations in Gdansk, Poland. 10,000 Solidarity supporters clashed with police.

30 October 1984, The body of pro-Solidarity priest Father Jerzy Popieluszko, 37, was found by police frogmen in a reservoir in Wloclawek Reservoir, northern Poland. He had been kidnapped 12 days earlier; hardline opponents of Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski were suspected.

21 July 1984. Poland granted amnesty to 652 political prisoners.

5 October 1983. Lech Walesa, leader of the Polish trade union Solidarnosc, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

22 July 1983, Polish Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski lifted martial law after 19 months.

1 May 1983. Polish police broke up demonstrations in 20 Polish cities.

22 April 1983, Lech Walesa, leader of Polish trades union Solidarnosc, returned to work at the Gdansk shipyard.

7 February 1983, The Polish Communist Party suffered a financial crisis as many members refuse to pay their dues.

3 January 1983. Poland formed new trade unions.

19 December1982. Poland lifted martial law. In May 1981 more than 3,000 Poles were arrested when Polish police used teargas and water cannonsto break up anti-government demonstrations in Warsaw. Other serious riots took place in the Polish cities of Szcecin, Wroclaw, the steel town of Nova Huta, and the Baltic port of Gdansk where Solidarnosc began. In October 1981 Solidarnosc and Rural Solidarnosc were banned, but their leader, Lech Walesa, who had been held in prison since late 1981, was released on 12 November 1982.

12 November 1982. In Poland, Lech Walesa was freed after one year�s detention.

13 October 1982, Strikes in Polish shipyards were suppressed by the military.

10 October 1982, The US imposed trade sanctions on Poland.

8 October 1982. The trades union Solidarnosc was outlawed in Poland.

13 August1982, Rioting in Poland against martial law.

17 February 1982, General Jaruselski imposed martial law in Poland as he cracked down on Solidarnosc.

13 December1981, The Soviet Union posed a threat of invasion to Poland, if the Solidarnoc dissidents were not curbed.

12 December1981. The Polish Communists outlawed the Polish Trade Union Solidarity, and imposed martial law in Poland.

16 August1981, The USSR postponed Polish debt repayments and increased supplies of raw materials and consumer goods to Poland.

7 August1981. In Poland, 1 million Solidarity members went on strike, in protest over food shortages.

3 August1981, In Poland, Solidarnosc blockaded Warsaw city centre in protest at food shortages.

23 July 1981, The Polish Government announced plans to cut rations and quadruple food prices.

12 June 1981, In Poland, General Jaruzelski reshuffled the government to deal with the economic crisis.

27 March 1981, Polish workers staged a General Strike in protest at police harassment of the Solidarnosc Union. The Polish leader, General Jaruzelski, was considering banning Solidarnosc and declaring martial law.

9 February 1981. General Jaruselski, Defence Minister, became Prime Minister of Poland. He had close links with the USSR and promised a crackdown on Solidarity and its leader Lech Walesa.

31 October 1980, The Polish Government recognised Solidarity.

22 September 1980. The Polish trades union Solidarnosc was founded.

30 August1980. Lech Walesa won the right to form independent trades unions in Poland.

14 August1980. Polish ship workers went on strike and seized the Lenin shipyard at Gdansk. A wave of strikes in Poland had been triggered by a rise in the meat price. Panic buying of food in Poland ensued, as 17,000 ship workers struck. The strike took on a political dimension as the Trade Union Solidarnosc (Solidarity) demanded the legalisation of independent Trades Unions, an end to press censorship, and the release of imprisoned dissidents. In September the Polish authorities gave in and on 17 September 1980 the Independent National Committee of Solidarnosc convened in Gdansk, electing the shipworker�s leader Lech Walesa (born 1943) as its Chairman. In 2002 Poland and 10 other nations succeeded in their applications to join the EU in 2004, enlarging the EU from 15 to 25 members.


24 June 1976, In Poland, Jaroszewicz announced large food price increases, believing that one sudden large riise was better than a number of smaller ones, Basic food prices would rise some 60% from 27 June 1976. Sugar would be up 100%, meat an average 69%, and butter and cheese up 30%. Low wage earners and OAPs would receive pay rises to compensate, and farmers would be paid more for their produce. On 25 June 1976 there were riots, some violent, across Poland. Many rioters suffered arrest, police brutality, summary imprisonment, and dismissal from their jobs. However an amnesty in July 1977 meant most were released from jail.


2.0, Gomulka Presidency, 1954-70

20 December1970 The Polish leader Gomulka resigned after more rioting, to be replaced by Edward Gierek.

16 December1970. Six killed in riots at the Gdansk shipyard, Poland.

15 December1970, Food riots in Poland. Poor weather conditions caused bad harvests in 1969 and 1970, and imports of grain to feed animals had virtually ceased because Gomulka wanted Poland to be self-sufficient in animal feed by 1970. Pig and cattle numbers fell dramatically and meat prices soared. Heavy price rises on consumer goods came in just before Christmas 1970.

8 March 1968, Student unrest in Poland intensified. On 30 January 1968 a play by Mickiewicz, Dziady (The Forefathers) was shown at the Warsaw National Theatre for the last time; the authorities were concerned that the play provoked anti-Soviet sentiments in its audience. On the occasion of its last showing, Warsaw University students staged a street demonstration. The organisers of the demonstration were arrested; meanwhile the Warsaw branch of the Writers Union, supported by well-known personalities such as Slonimski, Jastrun, Andrzejewksi, Kolakowski and Jasienica protested the decision to close Dziady as Party censorship curtailing creativity. On 8 March 1968 a student protest meeting was brutally broken up by police and paramilitaries. Unrest spread onto the streets of Warsaw and to other Polish universities. The intelligentsia supported the students but the workers, influenced by official propaganda, opposed them. Around 1,200 students were arrested but only a small number were tried and received jail terms. Some were temporarily suspended from their university, Some academics also lost their posts, entire university departments were closed, new academic appointments were made on political grounds not ability, and overall, academic freedom was replaced by repression and suspicion, at least while Gomulka held power in Poland.

29 February 1968, In Poland, the Writer�s Union called for an end to censorship and resumption of performances of the play Dziady.

30 January 1968, Student demonstrations in Poland when the play, Dziady, by 19th century playwright Adam Mickiewicz, was withdrawn from theatres. Anti-Russian passages in the play had been enthusiastically applauded.

2 October 1965, Oskar R. Lange, Polish economist and diplomat, died aged 61.

22 April 1957, Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister, was born.

20 January 1957. Wladyslaw Gomulka was elected First Secretary of the Polish Communist Party. Aware of the USSR�s crackdown in Hungary in 1956 he tempered ideas for a Polish form of Communism, strengthening links between Poland and the USSR. However he ended collective farming in Poland, returning 80% of arable land to private hands, and curbed the worst excesses of the Polish secret police.

18 November 1956, Polish leader, Gomulka, won concessions from the USSR including greater autonomy, territorial integrity guarantees, cancellation of debts to the USSR and limitations on Soviet troop movements within Poland.

28 June 1956. In riots in Poznan, Poland, tanks were called out; 38 people died and 270 were wounded.

8 December1956, The Polish government completed a process of reconciliation with the Catholic Church. Cardinal Wyszynski had been released from prison on 26 October 1956, and on this day the Church was now free to make its own ecclesiastical appointments. Religious teaching in schools, and religious posts in hospitals and the army, were restored. Criticism of government policies in church sermons was permitted.

1 August1955, Warsaw hosted the Communist Youth Congress.

December 1954, The Polish nationalist, Wladyslaw Gomulka, was quietly released from prison into house arrest, and later (August 1956) readmitted to the ruling Communist Party. Stalin was wary of Gomulka for his promotion of �Polish Communism�.


24 November 1953, Professor Marek Korowicz, having defected in October 1953 from a Polish inspection team in North Korea to the US whilst in the demilitarised border zone, gave details of Polish forced labour camps at a press conference in New York. He said there were at least 73 such camps in the country, with around 300,000 inmates in total. The inmates included middle class merchants, labelled �class enemies�, also a considerable number of young male former anti-Nazi resistance fighters.


1.0, Hardline Communist regime set up in Poland, 1944-53

9 February 1953, The Polish Government made itself responsible for all appointments and dismissals of posts within the Polish Catholic Church.

20 November 1952, In Poland, after the first general election held under the new constitution (26 October 1952), Boleslaw Bierut, Communist, was elected Prime Minister by the Sejm.

23 November 1951, Car production began in Poland as part of post-War reconstruction.

20 March 1950, Poland's Sejm passed a law requiring the nation's Roman Catholic churches, and all other religious associations, to transfer their property to government ownership. The purpose, according to the introduction, was "to remove the last remains of the landowner feudal privileges in the Church estates and to secure the material needs of the clergy". The church pastors were allowed to keep and operate their own private farms, and houses of worship and office buildings were exempt, but all other church-owned assets were confiscated.

5 February 1947, Bolesław Bierut became President of Poland.

30 June 1946, In Poland a national referendum approved a programme of nationalisation of industry, land reform, and a single-house Parliament, as proposed by the Communists.

18 January 1946, Poland appropriated all farms of over 100 hectares (50 hectares for arable land) and redistributed the land to farm labourers. 6 million hectares of land were reassigned, resulting in the disappearance of the landowning gentry class.

10 November 1945, In Poland a Central Planning Office was established; renamed as the State Planning Commission in 1949.

6 September 1944. The Polish Committee for National Liberation decreed the expropriation of farms with over 50 Ha (123.5 acres) arable land, or more than 100 ha (247 acres) land overall. Some of this land was given to agricultural labourers; the rest was made into state farms, and the forests were nationalised.


0.0, World War Two, 1939-45

For main events of World War Two see France-Germany

January 1945, Soviet forces took Warsaw. Poland was totally cleared of Nazi forces by 3/1945.

29 September 1943. Polish leader Lech Walesa was born in Popovo, the son of a carpenter.

10 April 1940, Soviet secret police massacred some 22,000 Polish Army officers, civil servants and other Polish professionals in the Katyn Forest. The USSR blamed the massacre on the Nazis until acknowledging guilt in the late 1980s. The massacres took place over several weeks from about this date.

1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, starting World War Two. Russia also invaded Poland, and the two aggtressors divided the country between them.

28 August1939, The Tarnow rail station bomb attack was carried out in southern Poland. A time bomb left by a German agent exploded, killing 20 and wounding 35.

7 May 1939, Poland rejected an alliance with Russia.

21 March 1939, Nazi-Germany demanded Gdansk (Danzig) from Poland.


26 November 1938, Poland, now more exposed to German attack, renewed its non-aggression pact with the USSR.

2 October 1938, Poland annexed Trans-Olza, taking over from Czechoslovakia that portion of Austrian Silesia to which Poland had laid claim since 1920.

1 March 1937, In Poland, Government supporters unified under the Camp of national Unity, led by Colonel Koc. The called for popular support of the Army, resistance to Communism, land reform, and supported the 1935 Cpnstitution. They were opposed by workers peasants and intel;lectuals, who formed a group opposed to Koc. Peasant strikes led to violence. Hitler then saw Poland as a useful buffer State between Germany and the Soviet Union.


-1.0, Pilusdki regime 1926 - 35

12 May 1935, Pilsudski, Polish leader, died.

6 March 1933. Poland occupied the free city of Danzig, now renamed Gdansk.

25 July 1932. The USSR, Poland, and Japan signed a non-aggression pact.

26 October 1931, 11 political leaders went on trial in Poland for conspiring to overthrow J�zef Piłsudski.

15 March 1931, In Poland the Peasants� Party was founded.

23 November 1930, Pro-Piludski faction won a majority in Polish elections.

27 June 1928, In Poland, after elections, Kazimierz Bartel replaced Jozef Piludski as Prime Minister. However Piludski remained as Minister of Defence.

2 October 1926, In Poland, Jozef Piludski became Prime Minister.

31 May 1926, In Poland, the Parliament elected Jozef Piludski as leader, but he declined to take the office. On 1 June 1926, Ignace Moscicki was elected in his place.

14 May 1926, Josef Pilsudski seized power in a military coup in Poland.


26 October 1928, Rodryg Dunin, Polish ndustrialist and agriculturalist, died aged 58.

15 November 1923. Poland was in the grip of hyperinflation, though not as bad as Germany�s. The Polish mark went from 9.8 to the US$ in November 1918 to 580 by end-December 1920, and to 17,800 to the US$ by December 1922. By November 1932 the rate stood at 2,300,000 Polish Marks to the US$.

14 March 1923. The Allies recognised Vilna and East Galicia as Polish.

1 December1922, Jozef Pilsudski, President of Poland, resigned.

4 September 1922, Silesia voted to remain with Prussia.

15 May 1922. Germany ceded Upper Silesia to Poland.

6 April 1922, The territory of the former Republic of Central Lithuania was incorporated by annexation into Poland and renamed Wilno Land (Ziemia Wileńska). It included Vilnius, the former and future capital of the nation of Lithuania.

20 February 1922, Referendum in Vilna favoured joining Poland.

1921, Poland declared part of the Bialowiecza Forest a National Park.

12 October 1921, The Council of the League of Nations awarded the upper two thirds of Silesia to Poland (along with most of its coal mines and steelworks). Germany reluctantly accepted the decision.

3 March 1921, Poland signed an alliance with Romania. This resulted in a decline in previously-close Hungarian-Polish relations.


-2.0, Polish independence from Russia � Polish-Russian War, 1916-21

9 February 1921. A peace treaty was signed between Poland and Russia, at Riga.

17 November 1921, The Polish Constitution was established.

15 November 1920. Danzig was declared a free city.

6 October 1920. Poland and Russia signed an armistice at Riga, Latvia.

19 August1920, The Russian army was defeated by the Poles at Warsaw.

16 August1920. As Russian troops closed in on Warsaw, US warships were sent to Danzig. On 23 August1920, with the support of British airmen, the Poles repelled the Russian advance on Warsaw.

31 July 1920. Russia postponed peace talks and marched on Warsaw.

23 July 1920, Poland sought peace with Russia.

10 July 1920, Lloyd George proposed the Curzon Line as a Polish-Russian frontier.Subsequent correspondence was handled by the UK Foreign Secretary, George Curzon.The line, from Grodno through Brest-Litovsk and Przemysl to the Carpathians, excluded from Poland lands mainly inhabited by Ukrainians, Lithuanians, and Russians.Poland rejected the Curzon proposal, subsequently securing twice as much as Lloyd George suggested.In September 1939 the Russian and Germans divided Poland along, approximately, the Curzon line and in 1945 it became the eastern frontier of Poland.

6 July 1920. Major offensive by Red Army against Poland. Poland sought peace with Russia on 23 July 1920. On 31 July 1920 the Russians postponed peace talks and marched on Warsaw.

17 January 1919, Ignacy Paderewski became Prime Minister of Poland.

For main events of Russian Revolution 1917 see Russia

For main events of World War One see France-Germany

27 December1918, Poznan rebelled against the Germans, ending a 103-year-old German occupation.

22 November 1918, The Poles took Lvov.

6 November 1918. Republic of Poland proclaimed.

5 November 1918, The Poles occupied Lvov, Galicia.

27 October 1918. Poland declared its independence.

15 August1917, In Lausanne Dmowski formed a Polish National Committee, It was almost a government-in-exile, recognised by the Allies as representing Polish interests.

4 June 1917. In France, with the co-operation of the provisional Russian government, a Polish army was formed to fight Germany.

16 November 1916, Polish General Jozef Pilsudski gained recognition of an independent Poland from the Central Powers, he had commanded a Polish Army fighting for Germany against Russia.


11 June 1908, Georg Adler, Polish economist, died.

6 February 1905, Wladyslaw Gomulka, post-War Polish leader, was born (died 1982).

22 July 1902, Miecislaus Ledochowski., Polish Cardinal, died.

11 May 1887, Maryan Langiewicz, leader of the Polish revolt in 1863, died in Constantinople. After defeat by the Russian she had escaped to Austria, where he was interned at Josephstadt fortress until release in 1865; he then joined the Turkish military.


-3.0, Russian crackdown on Polish rebels, and further unrest in Poland, 1864-1906

15 August1906, �Bloody Wednesday� in Poland. 80 people were killed in terrorist attacks by socialists against Russian occupation of the country. Pilsudsky had visited Japan in 1904 and secured their backing in the fight against Russia; Japan was fighting Russia in the Far East.

12 November 1905, Russia imposed martial law in Poland.

18 June 1905, A group of striking textile workers from Lodz, Poland, were fired upon by Cossacks and soldiers, killing five. This led to several days of rioting, in which (official figures) 151 were killed, including 55 Poles, 79 Jews and 17 Germans. The Polish middle classes feared more unrest and over the next year some 33,000 applied for passports to emigrate from Poland.

22 March 1905, Russia's Committee of Ministers voted to abolish the compulsory use of the Russian language in schools in Poland.

1 February 1905, The General Strike that began in Warsaw (27 January 1905) now spread to Czestochowa and the Dabrowa Basin.

27 January 1905, A General Strike began in Warsaw in support of socialism and workers rights The army was brought in to suppress the strike and 29 companies of infantry along with 5 squadrons of cavalry and 4 Cossack companies killed (official figures) 64 strikers, a further 29 dying of their wounds later. In fact some 200 were killed and 270 wounded.

18 November 1904, In Poland the illegal Polish Peasant Union (Polski Zwiazek Ludowy, PZL) was formed. It demanded a political voice for the workers and peasants.

13 November 1904, In the Plac Gryzbowski, Warsaw, a serious worker uprising took place. In clashes with the police and army, 6 were killed, 27 wounded and hundreds arrested.

28 July 1904, In Poland the Interior Minister, Plehve, was assassinated by the socialist revolutionary, Sazonov.

28 July 1895, In Poland the Peasant Electoral Committee (Ludowy Komitet Wyborcy) assembled in Rzeszow; from this meeting emerged the Polish Peasant Party (Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe). The PSL demandeduniversal suffrage, redistribution of land from the gentry, and an end to peasant service obligations to their landlord.

6 May 1892, A worker�s uprising began in Lodz, Poland; all workers came out on strike. Order was not restored until 10 May 1893, by which time 217 people had been killed or wounded and 350 arrested.

19 April 1888, Zygmunt Florenty von Wrobleski, Polish physicist, died in Cracow.

20 December1885, The trial of Proletariat Party members in Poland ended (began 23 November 1885). The trial produced the first Socialist martyrs; the Russian Piotr Bardovsky, also Stanislaw Kunicki, Michal Ossowski (shoemaker), and Jan Petrusinski (weaver) were hanged on 28 January 1886. Warysnki was also found guilty, and died in the Schlusselberg fortress in St Petersburg in 1889. Maria Bohuszewicz took over leadership of the Party and was herself condemned to exile; she died on the way to Siberia. Stefan Ulrych became the next leader, and was sentenced to exile in Siberia in 1888. Marcin Kasprzak and Ludwik Kulczycki became the next leaders. The movement laid the foundations of Polish socialism.

23 November 1885, The (political) trial of Proletariat Party members in Poland began.

1 September 1882, In Poland Ludwik Warynski founded the Proletariat Party,, a �social-revolutionary party working for the liberation of both the rural and urban working class�.

1864, The Russian language was made compulsory in Polish schools.


-4.0, 3rd Polish revolt against Russia, failed, 1850-63

18 March 1863, Russian forces routed the Polish rebels at Zagosc.

10 March 1863, Maryan Langiewicz, leader of the Polish revolt against Russia, proclaimed himself dictator of Poland and attempted to form a Government; however the Russians fought back, see 18 March 1863.

23 February 1863, Polish forces defeated the Russians at Malogoszcza.

8 February 1863, Russia and Prussia co-operated in suppressing a nationalist revolt in Poland.

22 January 1863, An uprising in Warsaw against Russian rule.

17 January 1864, The Battle of Iłza, in the January Uprising.A party of 830 Polish rebels under Karol Kalita clashed with a 400 Russian troops. The Poles lost 5 men, but Russian losses were much higher.

18 November 1860, Paderewski, Polish politician and first Prime Minister of Poland, was born in Kurylowka.

29 November 1850, An uprising began in Warsaw against Russian rule.


-5.0, Emancipation of Polish peasants, 1846-48

22 April 1848, To placate a restive peasantry, the governor of Galicia, Franz von Stadion, ordered that peasant tenant farmers should receive the freehold to their land and the gentry landlords be compensated by the State. Furthermore on 7 September 1848 (see date above also) the peasants were granted unrestricted access to woods, meadows and pastures.

13 April 1846, To quell peasant unrest, the Polish government abolished the duty on them of extra days unpaid labour previously due to their manorial lord. There was an ongoing famine in Poland, aggravated by cholera and typhus outbreaks; in 1847 there were 380,000 deaths in Poland, compared to the previous annual average of 153,000.


-6.0, 2nd Polish revolt against Russian occupation, 1795- 1831

8 September 1831, Russian troops captured Warsaw. Russia now sought to totally imncorpotare Poland into Russia, erasing all traces of Polish nationality, but this served to inflame Polish dissent even more.

26 May 1831. The Russians defeated the Poles at the Battle of Ostrolenska.

25 February 1831. The Poles halted the Russian advance at the Battle of Grochow. The Russians npow halted whilt winter ended, as the Poles became divided internally.

25 January 1831, The Polish Diet deposed Nicholas I, Romanov King of Poland, and declared Polish independence.

29 November 1830, Polish rebellion in Warsaw against the Russians. They had hoped for aid from France. Anarchy ensued in Poland as troops, civilians, even prisoners, joined a general insurgency against Grand Duke Constantine (1827-1892), the brother of Czar Nicholas I of Russia (1796-1855). Constantine fled Poland, but Russian forces then invaded Poland.

25 May 1815, Post-Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna created a �Kingdom of Poland�, but under Russian rule.

19 October 1813, Jozef Antoni Poniatowski, Polish prince, died.

26 June 1812, The Polish Diet (Parliament) declared Poland independent and denounced the partition by Prussia, Austria and Russia

3 June 1809, Austrian forces occupying warsaw were forced to withdraw by advancing Russian and Polish forcesand the city bcame under French control again.

19 July 1807, The Grand Duchy of Warsaw was formed. It was ruled by Frederick Augustus, King of Saxony and ally of France, thereby establishing a strong Naploeonic presence in eastern Europe. This was a political move to gain the support of the Poles against Russia.

19 June 1799, Jan Dombrowski, Polish General, died (born 29 August1755).

26 January 1797, A final Treaty formalising the Third partition of Poland was signed by Austria, Prussia and Russia.

24 October 1795, King Stanislaus II of Poland, aged 63, abdicated after a 31 year reign as his country was partitioned a third time.

23 August1795, Prussia joined the secret agreement between Russia and Austria to partition all remaining Polish territory

3 January 1795, Russia and Austria signed a sectret treaty providing for the 3rd partition of the remaining Polish territory.


-7.0, 1st Polish revolt againsr Russian occupation, 1794

9 November 1794, Russian forces entered Warsaw, ending the Polish rebellion.

10 October 1794, The Polish army, 7,000 menunder Tadeusz Kosciusko was heavily defeated by the Russians, 16,000 men, at Maciejowice, and its leader taken prisoner. Kosciusko was released by Czar Paul in 1796, and died on 15 October 1817 when his horse fell over a precipice.Polish army was heavily defeated by the Russians, and its leader taken prisoner.

26 August1794, Russian forces began an unsuccessful siege of Warsaw, to 6 September 1794, which was being held by nationalists resisting Russian occupation.

3 April 1794, Polish Nationalist leader Tadeusz Kosciuzko, leading an insurrection against Russian and Prussian forcers, defeated the Russians at Raclawice.


-8.0, Partition of Poland � 2 stages, 1772 and 1793 (1755 � 1793)

23 January 1793, Prussia signed a treaty with Russia.Poland was partitioned, with Prussia obtaining Danzig, Thorn, Posen, and most of Great Poland.Russia received Minsk, Pinsk, and the frontier on the Zbrucz.Austria received promises of help in re-conquering Belgium, as well as some Polish territories.

23 July 1792, The Polish King, faced by a political division and disintegration of his country, abdicated. Katherine the Great of Russia, also alarmed by the French revolution, now enforced a second partition on Poland.

See map at

18 May 1792. Russian troops invaded Poland.

3 May 1791, Poles, seeking the rebirth of their country, declared a parliamentary constitution in Warsaw. Before this date the Polish aristocracy could block the adoption of any measure into the Diet (Parliament) by a single vote. Therefore there was no taxation on the nobility, the Treasury was empty, the monarch was powerless, and Poland had limited representation abroad. Russia, alarmed, sent an army against Poland. The Sjem backed down.

7 October 1788, The Polish Sejm, elected this day, began aligning the country with Prussia, away from Russia. Poland began remodelling its constitution on western European lines.

5 August1772. Russia, Prussia, and Austria signed a treaty agreeing on the partition of Poland. Poland lost about a third of its land and half its population. Frederick II of Prussia wanted the wedge of territory known as West Prussia separating Brandenburg from East Prussia. Catherine of Russia saw a weak Poland as an opportunity for Russian expansion. To appease Austrian concerns about an expansionist Russia, Austria was given the Polish land of Silesia.

1768, The Confederation of Bar was formed. It was a patriotic Polish, anti-Russian, association of Catholic nobles. When Protestants and Greek Orthodox Christians were granted equal rights with Catholics in Poland, the Confederation started an uprising that led to civil war and the First Partition of Poland (5 August1772).

23 February 1766, Stanislas I Leszczynski , former King of Poland, died.

25 November 1763, The intervention of the Russian Army ensured that Poniatowski, not the Saxony candiudate, was crowned King of Poland this day, see 5 October 1763. Russia was now able to reinforce the rights of Russian Orthodox Christians in Poland, threatening the Catholic hegemony there. The Ottoman Empire was alarmed by the expansion of Russian influence into Poland. Austria was also concerned, see 5 August1772.

5 October 1763, Death of King Augustus III of Poland, also Grand Duke of Lithuania. Born 17 October 1696, he acceded to the throne in 1734.This created a vacancy for the Polish throne, and there were two contenders. Catherine the Great of Russia wanted her ally Poniatowski; however the House of Saxony wanted their candidate as Polish King. See 25 November 1763.

29 August1755, Jan Dombrowski, Polish General, was born (died 19 June 1799).


-9.0, War of the Polish Succession, 1733 - 35

26 January 1736, Stanislas I Lesczynski formnally abdicated as King of Poland.

5 October 1735, The War of the Polish Succession ended with the Treaty of Vienna. The Elector of Saxony was accepted as King Frederick Augustus III of Poland.

2 June 1734, Danzig fell to the Russians after an 8-month siege. Stanislas managed to escape to Prussia.

12 September 1733, Stanislas Lesczcynski (1677-1766) was elected as (disputed) King of Poland.

1 February 1733, Augustus II of Poland died aged 62, precipitating the War of the Polish Succession. Austria and Russia demanded the succession of Augustus�s only legitimate son, the 36-year old Elector of Saxony, However France persuaded the Polish nobilityto restore Stanislas Leszczynski. Russia invaded Poland, forcing Leszczynski to flee to Danzig.


-10.0, Disputed Polish succession; Swedish backed candidate versus German candidate, 1704 - 09

8 July 1709, Following the Battle of Poltava this day, Augustus of Saxony renounced the Treaty of Altranstadt and reclaimed the Polish throne. He failed to make his post hereditary, but succeeded in holding it until his death in 1733,

24 September 1706, Elector Augustus II of Saxony abdicated the Polish Crown in the Treaty of Altranstadt, and recognised Stanislas Lesczyinski as Polish King. Augustus II broke his alliance with Peter the Great of Russia.

24 September 1705, Stanislas Leszczynski was elcted King of Poland, with Swedish help (see 2 July 1704). He assisted King Charles XII of Sweden in his war against Russia, in the Great Northern War (see Sweden, Russia)

2 July 1704, King Charles XII of Sweden used intimidation and bribery, through his ambassador at Warsaw, to secure the elction of Stanislas Leszcynski, aged 37, as Polish King to replace the Elector of Saxony, Augustus II.


22 September 1702, Battle of Thorn, Great Northern War. Sweden, under Charles XII, defeated the Poles and installed Stanislas Leszcynski as King of Poland.

10 June 1701, Swedish forces under King Charles XII relieved Riga, which had been under siege by Saxony troops (Great Northern War). Charles XII then went on to invade Poland.

2 June 1697, Frederick Augiustus I, Elector of Saxony, was elected King of Poland as Augustus II.

17 October 1696, Augustus III, King of Poland, was born in Dresden (died in Saxony 5 October 1763).

17 June 1696, John III Sobieski, King of Poland, died aged 72, after a 20-year reign. In 1697 Poland chose the Elector of Saxony, Frederick Augustus, aged 27, to succeed him. He was crowned in September 1697 and ruled as Augustus II until his death in 1733.


Polish conflict with Turkey, 1670-83

1 April 1683, Poland made a treaty of mutual defence with the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, against the threat from Ottoman Turkey.

16 October 1676, The Treaty of Zuravno ended the 4 year war between Poland and the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman Turkey acquired Podolia and much of the Polish Ukraine, thereby bringing Ottoman territory up to the border with Russia.

21 May 1674, Jan III Sobieski was elected King of Poland-Lithuania.

11 November 1673, Second Battle of Chocin (Chotyn). Sobieski annihilated a Turkish army of 30,000 men, and captured the fortress of Chocin. Turkey then withdrew its forces from Poland.

9 December 1671, Ottoman Sultan Mohammed IV declared war on Poland. In 1667 Poland and Russia had agreed a common frontier along the Dnieper River, which left the territory of Cossack Chieftain Peter Doroshenko within Poland. However Doroshenko refused to accept Polish rule and in 1668 made allegiance to Turkey. Poland made efforts to suppress the �Cossack Revolt�, and Turkey then demanded cession of the Ukraine. Poland refused, although it was unprepared for war.

1670, The Ukrainian Cossacks rebelled against Polish rule, but were defeated by General Sobieski.

Cossack rebellion begins; war with Ottoman Turkey


12 May 1670, Augustus II, King of Poland, was born in Dresden (died 1 February 1733 in Warsaw).

19 June 1669, Michael Wisniowiecki, Lithiuanian, was elected King of Poland, thereby thwarting French attempts to gain influence in the country.

19 September 1668, King John II Casimir of Poland abdicated, aged 58, to become a priest.

31 January 1667, After eight years war between Russia and Poland, the Treaty of Andruszow between them divided up Ukraine between them, along the Dneiper River.

3 November 1656, Treaty of Nimieza ended the war between Poland and Russia.There was a three year truce and an anti-Swedish alliance was formed.

28 July 1656, The Battle of Warsaw began (ended 30 July 1656). Warsaw fell to a Swedish-Brandenburg army.

26 September 1654, Czar Alexis captured Smolensk after a siege of nearly 3 months (2 July 1654)

2 July 1654, Czar Alexis began a siege of Smolensk, see 26 September 1654.

1654, Russia, seeking revenge for past defeats by Poland, now took advantage of Poland�s conflict with the Cossacks. The Cossack leader, Bogdan Chmielnicki, offered to surrender the Ukraine to the Czar. Russia invaded Lithuania.

20 May 1648, King Ladislas IV of Poland died aged 55, after a 16-year reign. He was succeeded by his 39-year-old Jesuit brother, who reigned until 1668 as John II Casimir.

1632, Polish King Sigismund III Vasa died aged 65 after a 44-year reign. Russia declared war on Poland as Sigisund�s son, King Ladislas IV, aged 37, began a 16-year reign.

1630s Swedish campaign to acquire the southern Baltic, see also Germany and Sweden

25 September 1629,The Treaty of Altmark ended the Polish-Swedish war, for six years. Gustavus of Sweden was now, summer 1627, to start a campaign in northern Germany.

2 June 1624, John Sobieski, King of Poland, was born.

24 September 1621, Jan Chodkiewicz, Polish General, died (born 1560).

13 February 1619, Treaty of Delino ended the Russian-Polish war.

1596, Warsaw replaced Krakow as capital of Poland.

18 October 1588, The Polish postal service was created, when King Zygmunt August established a permanent postal route from Krak�w to Venice.

18 September 1587, Poland elected the Swedish King Sigismund III Vasa (1566 � 1632) as their King.


-11.0, King Stephen Bathory, 1575 - 86

12 December1586, Stephen Bathory of Poland died suddenly, aged 53 after an 11-year reign. He was succeeded by the 12-year old son of the Swedish Kingas Sigismund II.

10 August1582. After 25 years of conflict, Russia made peace with Poland and gave up its claim on the Baltic state of Livonia.

15 January 1582, Ivan IV, The Terrible, of Russia ceded, at the Peace of Zapoli, Livonia and Polotsk to Stephen Bathory of Poland. He also ceded this day, by the Trucve of Ilyusa, Ingria to Sweden. Muscovy lost the Baltic seaboard for over a century.

5 August1579, Stanislaus Hosius, Polish Cardinal, died (born 5 May 1504).

15 December1575, Stephen Bathory of Transylvania, aged 42, was elected King of Poland. He reigned until his death in 1586.


28 January 1573, The Compact of Warsaw gave all non-Catholics in Poland freedom of worship.

7 July 1572, The Estates of Poland now declared the monarchy to be elective. Henry, Duke of Anjou, heir to the French throne, was elected to the Polish throne in May 1573.

6 July 1572, Sigismund II, King of Poland, died.

1 July 1569, The Union of Lublin united the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Treaty was signed at Lublin Castle. This strengthened Poland against possible attacks from Russia.

28 November 1561, The Order of the Teutonic Kinghts ceased toi rule Livonia. By the Union of Wilno, the last Master of the Teutonic Kinghts, Gotthard Kettler, became a secular Duke and Wilno was ceded to Poland.

1 April 1548, Sigismund I, King of Poland, died aged 81, after a reign of 42 years. He was succeeded by his 28-year old son, Sigismund II who ruled for 24 years.

8 September 1514, At the Battle of Orsha, a combined force of Poles and Ukrainians defeated the Russians.

24 January 1507, Cornation of King Sigismund I of Poland.

20 October 1506, King Sigismund I of Poland succeeded the late King Alexander I.

5 August1506. Death of King Alexander of Poland. Born in 1461, he succeeded his brother Albert to the Polish throne in 1501.His power was greatly eroded by the Polish nobility and senate. Consequently, because of lack of funds, Alexander was unable to restrain much the expansion of the Muscovy or the Teutonic Order in Prussia.

5 May 1504, Stanislaus Hosius, Polish Cardinal, was born (died 5 August1579).


-12.0, King Casimir IV, 1447 - 92

6/1492, King Casimir IV died aged 65 after a 45-year reign. He was succeded by his 33-year-old son who ruled until 1501 as John Albert.

19 October 1466, King Casimir IV signed the Second Peace of Thorn, ending thewarfare which began in 1454 when Casimir IV agreed to help the Prussian Confederation against the Teutonic Knights. Under this Treaty, Prussia was divided; half was still controlled by the Teutonic Knights, and half became a vassal state of Poland.

17 September 1462, The Poles decisively defeated the Teutoinic Knights at the Battle of Pluck, a fortress on the Vistula River south of Tczew.

1455, Gdansk (Danzig) was captured by Poland from the Teutonic Knights.

1454, The Thirteen Years War began between Poland and the Teutonic Order Knights.

25 June 1447, The nobility of Poland chose the 20-year-old Grand Duke of Lithiania to succeed the late Ladislas VI, his older brother. He began a 45-year reign as Casimir IV. He reunited Poland and Lithuania, giving Poland access to the Baltic.


10 November 1444, Ladislas VI, King of Poland, died.

1 June 1434, Ladislas V Jagiello, (born ca. 1362), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, died aged 84 after a 38-year reign. He was succeeded by his 10-year-old son who ruled as Ladislas VI until his death in 1444.

30 November 1427, King Casimir IV of Poland was born.

1 February 1411, The Teutonic Knights regained their supremacy at the Peace of Torun. Poland and Lithuania failed to gain any Baltic territories, and the Knights only had to surrender part of Lithuania.

15 July 1410. The Poles and Lithuanians defeated the Teutonic Knights at the First Battle of Tannenberg / Battle of Grunwald). The Order of the Teutonic Knights had established a State in Prussia, from where they launched Crusades against their non-Christian neighbours to the east, including the Duchy of Lithuania. In 1386 the ruler of Lithuania converted to Christianity and married the Queen of Poland; on her deathhe became ruler of Poland, as King Ladislav II Jagiellon. The Teutonic Knights contested the sincerity if his conversion, and in 1409 their Grand Master, the volatile Ulrich von Jungingen, declared war on Poland and Lithuania. He had underestimated the power and unity of the joint Polish-Lithuanian State. In Summer 1410 a joint Polish-Lithuanian army, led by King Jagiellon and Grand Duke Witold of Lithuania, marched upon the Teutonic Knights capital at Marienberg. The Knights confronted the invaders at a point between the villages of Grunwald and Tannenberg; they enjoyed initial success but were outflanked by Lithuanian cavalry and mostly slaughtered. However the Poles did not press on and take Marienberg, and peace terms were mild. In Soviet Russia, some credit was claimed for this battle because troops from Smolensk also supported the Poles. In an early German victory over Russia in World War One, the Germans called this battle �Tannenberg� to avenge defeat 5 centuries earlier.

1382, Louis King of Poland died. He was succeeded by his daughter Jadwiga (Hedwig) who married Jagiello, Grand Duke of Lithuania, in 1386 and ruled Poland for 48 years as Vladislov V.

17 November 1370, King Louis I of Hungary, having been nominated by the childless Casimir III as his successor, was crowned King of Poland, formally uniting the two countries. However the Poles never fully submitted to his rule.

5 November 1370. King Casimir III of Poland died in a hunting accident, aged 60, after a 37 year reign. He had repulsed a Mongol invasion, annexed Galicia, and encouraged the immigration of Jews to serve as bankers and tax collectors. He founded the University of Cracow, and codified the law and administration.

8 July 1343, Casimir III of Poland ceded his Pomeranian territories to the Tuetonic Knights.


-13.0, King Ladislas IV, 1306 - 33

3/1333, King Ladislas IV of Poland died aged 72, after a 13-year reign he was succeeded by his 23-year-old son who ruled for 37 years as Casimir III.

1332, First recorded mention of the present day city of Lodz.

27 September 1331, Battle of Plowce. The Teutonic Knights were defeated by a Polish army under Ladislas IV Lokietek.

1320, Poland�s King Ladislas IV Lokotiek was finally crowned, 14 years after ascending the throne.

30 April 1310, King Casimir III of Poland was born.

12 November 1308, The Teutonic Knights seized Danzig (Gdansk), massacring its inhabitants.

1306, With the death of King Wenceslas III (see 1305) the Premyslid Dynasty became extinct. King :Ladislas IV aged 46 now became ruler of Poland, backed by Pope Boniface VIII. Ladislas united the Principalities of Great and Little Poland. He was crowned at Cracow in early 1320, and reigned until 1333.


1305, Poland�s King Wenceslas II abdicated, and died soon afterwards. He had ruled for 5 years.He was succeeded as King of Poland and Bohemia by his 16-year-old son who reigned until his death in 1306 as King Wenceslas III. See Bohemia and Germany.

18 March 1241, The Mongols plundered the Polish city of Cracow, their furthest penetration westwards.

-14.0, Reign of King Boleslav III (Wry Mouth), 1102-38

1138, King Boleslav III (Wry-mouth) of Poland died aged 62 after a 36-year reign, He divided his realm amongst his five sons. Krakow became the capital of Poland.

1109, Boleslav III defeated the Pomeranians at the Battle of Naklo, and defeated the Germans at the Battle of Hundsfeld, near Breslau.

1102, King :Ladislas I Hermann resigned the throne after a 22 year reign, in an effort to procure peace by supporting Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Her was succeeded by his 16-year old son, who after a struggle for the kingship with another son became King Boleslav III.


-15.0, Reign of King Boleslav II (The Bold), 1058 - 81

1081, King Boleslav II died (born 1039, succeeded his father Casimir I in 1058).

1067, King Boleslav II captured the city of Kiev.

28 November 1058, Poland�s Grand Duke Casimir died aged 43, having restored Christianity and regained much of the territory Poland lost with the help of the late King Henry III of Germany. Casimir was succeeded by his 19-year-old son who ruled until 1079 as Boleslav II (The Bold).


15 March 1034, King Mieszco II of Poland died. Paganism re-emerged in Poland.


-16.0, King Boleslav I, 992-1025

1025, King Boleslav I died, having made Poland one of Europe�s most powerful countries, with Russia as a vassal state, ruling territory from the Danube to the Baltic. He was succeeded by his son, Mieszko II, who ruled until 1034; however other sons fought for parts of the country, and Poland lost much of its territorial gains to neighbouring countries.

21 July 1018, Boleslav I defeated Jaroslav of Novgorod, who had seized Kiev. Anti-Polish uprisings then forced Boleslav to retreat, but nevertheless he still retained Czerwien and Przemsyl for Poland.

30 January 1018, The Treaty of Bautzen ended a 15-year war between Germany and Poland. Boleslav the Brave gained Lusatia.

8/1017, German Emperor Henry II made an unsuccessful attack on Polamd.

24 May 1012, Boleslav of Poland paid homage to the German Emperor Henry II, and kept all his conquests except Bohemia.

31 March 1000, Easter Sunday. Emperor Otto III crowned Boleslav I as King of Poland, recognising Poland�s ecclesiastical and political independence.

994, Boleslav compeleted his invasion of eastern Pomerania.

992, Meiszko I of the Plast family died. He was succeeded by 25-year-old Boleslav the Brave (Chobry),who ruled until 1025. Boleslav invaded eastern Pomerania so as to gain access to the Baltic.


997, Earliest mention of the city of Gdansk (as Danzig, German Prussia).

14 April 966, Mieczyslaw I, the first King of Poland, was baptized a Christian. This is usually considered the beginning of the Polish state.

965, Mieczyslaw I arrived at what is now Poznan Castle, on an island in the Warta/Cybina Rivers.

960, Mieczyslaw I became the first King of Poland.


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