The opole (Latin : vicinia) is a historical unit of administration in Poland. An opole was characterised by close geographical ties between a group of settlements and common legal responsibilities collectively affecting all of them. The institution of the opole predates the Kingdom of Poland, and began disappearing around the 13th to 15th centuries. It was the lowest unit of administration in the medieval Polish kingdom, subordinate to the castellany.
Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 administrative subdivisions, covering an area of 312,696 square kilometres (120,733 sq mi), and has a largely temperate seasonal climate. With a population of approximately 38.5 million people, Poland is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. Poland's capital and largest metropolis is Warsaw. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk, and Szczecin.
The Kingdom of Poland was the Polish state from the coronation of the first King Bolesław I the Brave in 1025 to the union with Lithuania and the rule of the Jagiellon dynasty in 1385.
A particular opole would be named after its largest, capital settlement.Most notably, the term survived as a name of a major city in Poland, Opole, and is also associated with the Opolans tribe.
Opolans were the West Slavic tribe that lived in the region of upper Odra. Their main settlement (gord) was Opole. They were mentioned in the Bavarian Geographer, under the name Opolini, as one of the seven tribes living in Silesia. The other six were: Dziadoszanie, Golęszyce, Ślężanie, Trzebowianie, Bobrzanie and Lupiglaa.
The organization of the opole predates the first Polish state, the Kingdom of Poland. 300 square kilometres (120 sq mi). Opoles would comprise both larger settlements and individual manors.Opoles were characteristic of the Slavic tribes and had their genesis in ties between neighbourhoods. In the loose organizational structure of those times, the opole stood as an intermediate stage between an extended family and the wider tribe; Henryk Łowmiański refers to opoles as the "constituent units of the tribe". At first, depending on the density of inhabitants, an opole could cover an area of between few dozen to a few hundred square kilometers, with an average area of about
An extended family is a family that extends beyond the nuclear family, consisting of parents like father, mother, and their children, aunts, uncles,grandparents and cousins, all living in the same household.
In anthropology, a tribe is a human social group. Exact definitions of what constitutes a tribe vary among anthropologists. The concept is often contrasted with other social groups concepts, such as nations, states, and forms of kinship.
Henryk Łowmiański was a Polish historian of the medieval period. A researcher of ancient history of Poland, Lithuania and the Slavs in general, Łowmiański was the author of many works, including the 6 volume Początki Polski.
Opoles had several forms of collective responsibility; for example the members of the opole were required to pay certain taxes as a unit and perform services for the state (such as providing cattle or aiding in searches for fugitives).In some documents, the term opole would be used to refer to those obligations.
Collective responsibility refers to responsibilities of organizations, groups and societies. Part of it is the concept known as collective guilt by which individuals who are part of such collectives to be responsible for other people's actions and occurrences by tolerating, ignoring, or harboring them, without actively engaging.
The close geographical ties between a group of settlements, and common legal responsibilities collectively affecting all of them, can be seen as the primary defining characteristics of an opole.However, Bardach notes that practically nothing is known about the internal organization of the opole. They were subordinate to the local castellany.
Opoles began disappearing around the 13th to 15th centuries.According to Bardach, the causes included a proliferation of settlements applying Magdeburg rights (German legal codes), and the advent of economic and judicial immunities among the feudal lords (nobility and clergy), which removed many settlements from the state's jurisdiction. Those processes accelerated around the time of the fragmentation of Poland (12th to 14th centuries). Opoles disappeared earliest in Silesia and Lesser Poland, and survived the longest in the Masovia region of east-central Poland.
Magdeburg rights were a set of town privileges first developed by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (936–973) and based on the Flemish law, which regulated the degree of internal autonomy within cities and villages, granted by the local ruler. Named after the German city of Magdeburg, these town charters were perhaps the most important set of medieval laws in Central Europe thus far. They became the basis for the German town laws developed during many centuries in the Holy Roman Empire. Even more importantly, adopted and modified by numerous monarchs including the rulers of Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland, the laws were a milestone in urbanization of the entire region and prompted the development of thousands of villages and cities.
Silesia is a historical region of Central Europe located mostly in Poland, with small parts in the Czech Republic and Germany. Its area is about 40,000 km2 (15,444 sq mi), and its population about 8,000,000. Silesia is located along the Oder River. It consists of Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia.
Lesser Poland, often known by its Polish name Małopolska, is a historical region of Poland; its capital is the city of Kraków.
Pacta conventa was a contractual agreement, from 1573 to 1764 entered into between the "Polish nation" and a newly elected king upon his "free election" to the throne.
The Henrician Articles or King Henry's Articles were a permanent contract between the "Polish nation" and a newly elected king upon his election to the throne that stated the fundamental principles of governance and constitutional law in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Pospolite ruszenie is a name for the mobilisation of armed forces during the period of the Kingdom of Poland and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The tradition of wartime mobilisation of part of the population existed from before the 13th century to the 19th century. In the later era, pospolite ruszenie units were formed from the szlachta. The pospolite ruszenie was eventually outclassed by professional forces.
Veche was a popular assembly in medieval Slavic countries.
The liberum veto was a parliamentary device in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was a form of unanimity voting rule that allowed any member of the Sejm (legislature) to force an immediate end to the current session and to nullify any legislation that had already been passed at the session by shouting, Sisto activitatem! or Nie pozwalam!. The rule was in place from the mid-17th century to the late 18th century in the Sejm's parliamentary deliberations. It was based on the premise that since all Polish noblemen were equal, every measure that came before the Sejm had to be passed unanimously. The liberum veto was a key part of the political system of the Commonwealth, strengthening democratic elements and checking royal power and went against the European-wide trend of having a strong executive.
A rokosz originally was a gathering of all the Polish szlachta (nobility), not merely of deputies, for a sejm. The term was introduced to the Polish language from Hungary, where analogous gatherings took place at a field called Rákos. With time, "rokosz" came to signify an armed, semi-legal, rebellion by the szlachta of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth against the king, in the name of defending threatened liberties. The nobles who gathered for a rokosz formed a "confederation".
This article is about a legal concept, not a political union of territories (confederation), also known in Poland as "konfederacja".
A sejmik was one of various local parliaments in the history of Poland. The first sejmiks were regional assemblies in the Kingdom of Poland, though they gained significantly more influence in the later era of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Sejmiks arose around the late 14th and early 15th centuries and existed until the end of the Commonwealth in 1795, following the partitions of the Commonwealth. In a limited form, some sejmiks existed in partitioned Poland (1795–1918), and later in the Second Polish Republic (1918–1939). In modern Poland, since 1999, the term has revived with the voivodeship sejmiks, referring to the elected councils of each of the 16 voivodeships.
Royal elections in Poland was the election of individual kings, rather than of dynasties, to the Polish throne. Based on traditions dating to the very beginning of the Polish statehood, strengthened during the Piast and Jagiellon dynasties, they reached their final form in the period of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1572 and 1791. The "free election" was abolished by the Constitution of 3 May 1791, which established a constitutional monarchy.
The general sejm was the bicameral parliament of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It was established by the Union of Lublin in 1569 from the merger of the Sejm of the Kingdom of Poland and the Seimas of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Ruthenia and Samogitia. It was one of the primary elements of the democratic governance in the Commonwealth. The sejm was a powerful political institution and the king could not pass laws without the approval of that body.
The Christianization of Poland refers to the introduction and subsequent spread of Christianity in Poland. The impetus to the process was the Baptism of Poland, the personal baptism of Mieszko I, the first ruler of the future Polish state, and much of his court. The ceremony took place on the Holy Saturday of 14 April 966, although the exact location is still disputed by historians, with the cities of Poznań and Gniezno being the most likely sites. Mieszko's wife, Dobrawa of Bohemia, is often credited as a major influence on Mieszko's decision to accept Christianity.
The Cardinal Laws were a quasi-constitution enacted in Warsaw, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, by the Repnin Sejm of 1767–68. Enshrining most of the conservative laws responsible for the inefficient functioning of the Commonwealth, and passed under foreign duress, they have been seen rather negatively by the historians.
Juliusz Bardach was a Polish legal historian. Professor of the University of Warsaw, member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He specialized in the history of governance and law of Lithuania and Poland.
Abolition of serfdom in Poland occurred over a period of time. At the end of 18th century a reform movement in Poland resulted in the Constitution of May 3, 1791 which took the peasantry under protection of state. Full abolishment was enacted by the Proclamation of Połaniec but it was also short-lived as Poland was parted by her neighbours. In the 19th century various reforms on Polish territories were taking place at different paces in the Austrian partition, Prussian partition and the Russian partition. Serfdom was abolished in Prussia in 1807, in Austria in 1848, in Russia in 1861, and in Congress Kingdom of Poland, in 1864.
Sejm of the Duchy of Warsaw was the parliament of the Duchy of Warsaw. It was created in 1807 by Napoleon, who granted a new constitution to the recently created Duchy. It had limited competences, including having no legislative initiative. It met three times: for regular sessions in 1809 and 1811, and for an extraordinary session in 1812. In the history of Polish parliament, it succeeded the Sejm of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and was followed by the Sejm of the Congress Poland.
Slavery in Poland existed on the territory of Kingdom of Poland during the times of the Piast dynasty in the Middle Ages. It continued in various forms until late in the 14th century and was supplanted by the institution of serfdom, which has often been considered a form of modified slavery.
Serfdom in Poland became the dominant form of relationship between peasants and nobility in the 17th century, and was a major feature of the economy of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, although its origins can be traced back to the 12th century.
The privileges of the szlachta formed a cornerstone of "Golden Liberty" in the Kingdom of Poland and, later, in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Most of the privileges were granted between the late 14th and early 16th centuries. By the end of that period, the szlachta had succeeded in garnering numerous privileges, empowering themselves and limiting the powers of the monarch to an extent unprecedented elsewhere in Europe at the time.
Army of the Congress Poland refers to the military forces of the Kingdom of Poland that existed in the period 1815–1831.
The general sejm was the parliament of Kingdom of Poland. It had evolved from the earlier institution of wiec. It was one of the primary elements of the democratic governance in the Kingdom of Poland. The sejm was a powerful political institution, and from early 16th century, the Polish king could not pass laws without the approval of that body. The Sejm and the Seimas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was merged into the Sejm of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth by the Union of Lublin in 1569.