Third Partition of Poland

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Third Partition of Poland
Partitions of Poland.png
Aftermath of the Third Partition of the Commonwealth, with the disappearance of sovereign Poland and Lithuania.
Population losses in the 3rd Partition
To Austria1.2 million
To Prussia1 million
To Russia1.2 million
Final territorial losses
To PrussiaNorthern and Western Poland (Podlachia)
To the Habsburg MonarchySouthern Poland (Western Galicia and Southern Masovia)
To Russia Lithuania

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 Habsburg Monarchy, and the Russian Empire which effectively ended Polish–Lithuanian national sovereignty until 1918. The partition was followed by a number of Polish uprisings during the period. [1]

Contents

Background

Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, in an attempt to strengthen the greatly weakened Commonwealth, King Stanisław August Poniatowski put into effect a series of reforms to strengthen Poland's military, political system, economy, and society. These reforms reached their climax with the enactment of the May Constitution in 1791, which established a constitutional monarchy with separation into three branches of government, strengthened the bourgeoisie and abolished many of the privileges of the nobility as well as many of the old laws of serfdom. In addition, to strengthen Poland's international standings, King Stanislaus signed the Polish-Prussian Pact of 1790, ceding further territories to Prussia in exchange for a military alliance. Angered by what was seen as dangerous, Jacobin-style reforms, Russia invaded Poland in 1792, beginning the War in Defense of the Constitution. Abandoned by her Prussian allies and betrayed by Polish nobles who desired to restore the privileges they had lost under the May Constitution, Poland was forced to sign the Second Partition of Poland in 1793, which ceded Dobrzyn, Kujavia, and a large portion of Greater Poland to Prussia and all of Poland’s eastern provinces from Moldavia to Livonia to Russia, reducing Poland to one third of her original size prior to the First Partition.[ citation needed ]

Outraged with the further humiliation of Poland by her neighbors and the betrayal by the Polish nobility, and emboldened by the French Revolution unfolding in France, the Polish masses quickly turned against the occupying forces of Prussia and Russia. Following a series of nationwide riots, on March 24, 1794, Polish patriot Tadeusz Kościuszko took command of the Polish armed forces and declared a nationwide uprising against Poland’s foreign occupiers, marking the beginning of the Kościuszko Uprising. Catherine II and Frederick William II were quick to respond and, despite initial successes by Kosciuszko’s forces, the uprising was crushed by November 1794. According to legend, when Kosciuszko fell off of his horse at the Battle of Maciejowice, shortly before he was captured, he said "Finis Poloniae", meaning in Latin "[This is] the end of Poland."[ citation needed ]

Terms

Austrian, Prussian, and Russian representatives met on October 24, 1795, to dissolve the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, with the three conquering powers signing a treaty to divide the region on January 26, 1797. This gave the Habsburg Monarchy control of the Western Galicia and Southern Masovia territories, with approximately 1.2 million people; Prussia received Podlachia, the remainder of Masovia, and Warsaw, with 1 million people; and Russia received the remaining land, including Vilnius and 1.2 million people. Unlike previous partitions, no Polish representative was party to the treaty. The Habsburgs, Russia, and Prussia forced King Stanislaus to abdicate and retire to St. Petersburg, where he died as Catherine II's trophy prisoner in 1798. The victors also agreed to erase the country's name:

"In view of the necessity to abolish everything which could revive the memory of the existence of the Kingdom of Poland, now that the annulment of this body politic has been effected ... the high contracting parties are agreed and undertake never to include in their titles ... the name or designation of the Kingdom of Poland, which shall remain suppressed as from the present and forever ..." [2] [ page needed ]

Aftermath

Part of the permanent exhibition dedicated to the partitions of Poland at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw Main exhibition Encounters with modernity 02.jpg
Part of the permanent exhibition dedicated to the partitions of Poland at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw

The Third Partition of Poland ended the existence of an independent Polish state for the next 123 years. [3] Immediately following the Third Partition, the occupying powers forced many Polish politicians, intellectuals, and revolutionaries to emigrate across Europe, in what was later known as the Great Emigration. These Polish nationalists participated in uprisings against Austria, Prussia, and Russia in former Polish lands, and many would serve France as part of Napoleon's armies. In addition, Polish poets and artists would make the desire for national freedom a defining characteristic of the Polish Romanticist movement. Poland briefly regained semi-autonomy in 1807 when Napoleon created the Duchy of Warsaw, but this effectively ended with the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Congress created a Kingdom of Poland, sometimes called Congress Poland, as a Russian puppet state. Even this, however, came to an end after a Polish insurrection in 1831, at which point Russia dissolved the Congress Kingdom and exacted multiple punitive measures on the Polish populace. In 1867, Russia made Poland an official part of the Russian Empire, as opposed to a puppet state. Poland would not regain full independence until the end of World War I, when the signing of the Treaty of Versailles and the collapse of the Russian Empire allowed for the resurrection of Polish national sovereignty.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

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The Partition Sejm was a Sejm lasting from 1773 to 1775 in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, convened by its three neighbours in order to legalize their First Partition of Poland. During its first days in session, that Sejm was the site of Tadeusz Rejtan's famous gesture of protest against Partition. The Sejm also passed other legislation, notably establishing the Permanent Council and the Commission of National Education. Cardinal Laws were confirmed.

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West Galicia geographic region

New Galicia or West Galicia was an administrative region of the Habsburg Monarchy, constituted from the territory annexed in the course of the Third Partition of Poland in 1795.

The Polish–Lithuanian and Prussian alliance was a mutual defense alliance signed on 29 March 1790 in Warsaw between representatives of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Prussia. It was signed in the brief period when Prussia was seeking an ally against either Austria or Russia, and the Commonwealth was seeking guarantees that it would be able to carry out significant governmental reforms without foreign intervention.

Prussian Partition

The Prussian Partition, or Prussian Poland, refers to the former territories of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth acquired during the Partitions of Poland, in the late 18th century by the Kingdom of Prussia. The Prussian acquisition amounted to 141,400 km2 of land constituting formerly western territory of the Commonwealth. The first partitioning led by imperial Russia with Prussian participation took place in 1772; the second in 1793, and the third in 1795, resulting in Poland's elimination as a state for the next 123 years.

First Partition of Poland 1772 event

The First Partition of Poland took place in 1772 as the first of three partitions that eventually 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.

History of Poland in the Early Modern era (1569–1795) aspect of history (1569–1795)

The early modern era of Polish history follows the late Middle Ages. Historians use the term early modern to refer to the period beginning in approximately 1500 AD and lasting until around 1800.

History of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764–1795)

The History of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1764–1795) is concerned with the final decades of existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The period, during which the declining state pursued wide-ranging reforms and was subjected to three partitions by the neighboring powers, coincides with the election and reign of the federation's last king, Stanisław August Poniatowski.

Russo-Prussian alliance

The Russo-Prussian alliance signed by the Kingdom of Prussia and the Russian Empire on 11 April 1764. It was pivotal to the people of Prussia and Russia, and it followed the end of the Seven Years' War. The alliance agreement expanded on the Treaty of Saint Petersburg of 1762, which ended the war between those two countries. It was a defensive alliance, in which each party declared it would protect the territorial stability of the other. It further allowed both countries to intervene in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, which was one of the primary intentions of the treaty.

References

Footnotes

  1. Susan Parman, California State University; Larry Wolff (1994). "Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment". Book review. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. ISBN   0-804-72314-1. Archived from the original on March 6, 2012.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. Davies, Norman. God's Playground: A History of Poland. Revised Edition ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005.
  3. "The History Of Poland". www.kasprzyk.demon.co.uk.

Bibliography