Poland Paper

This essay has a total of 1835 words and 9 pages.

Poland


Poland lies at 52 00 N and 20 00 E, which places it in the midst of several ancient
empires. These empires include the German and Russian/Soviet which overran the country
during World War II. One major deficit Poland has is no natural boundary. To the north
there is the Baltic Sea. In the Baltic Sea, Poland has three major seaports, Gdynia,
Gdansk, and Szczecin. In the east, the border runs along the Bug River which separates the
country from Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. In the south, there are the tall Tatra
Mountains to separate the country from Slovakia and Czech Republic. To the west was the
Odra River which separates it from Germany.


Another reason for Polandís difference is its uniqueness in Europe. Itís the only
Northwestern European non-Germanic country. There are other smaller countries like
Finland, but they are too influenced by other big countries. On the other hand, Poland is
large enough to be noticed, developed distinct cultural traits, and develop unique art,
architecture, and personalities of the people residing in there.


Poland is a relatively small country, nearly the same size as New Mexico, Unites States.
During winter, Poland has cold temperatures, cloudy days and nights, as well as moderately
severe winters. In the summer, the temperature is mild and the country has frequent
showers and thunderstorms. Itís mainly flat plains which give a lot of living space and a
mountainous south. The story of the struggles and endurance of this country began at
approximately the tenth century.


Polandís recorded history began in the tenth century when the eastward spreading of the
Holy Roman Empire found the well organized state of Polanie, which had been developing a
separate Slavic culture for approximately 200 years. In the marriage of Bohemian princess
Dobrawa in 966 Prince to Duke Mietszko, many Christian missionaries arrived in Poland to
Christianize the area. This marriage also produced the Piast dynasty (reigned 960-1370),
which reigned the country for a long period of time. Under the rule of the Piast dynasty,
Gniezno became the first official capital of the country and a writing system was
developed. After the death of Duke Mietszko, Boleslaus I (reigned 992-1025), became the
new ruler of the country. By now, Poland had become officially Christian and joined the
ranks of the Medieval European Countries.


After generations of succeeding Polish monarchs, the country started crumbling because of
the constant invasions of alien armies. A prince of a region in Poland invited the
Teutonic Knights, a German Crusading Order, to destroy the tribes of northern Poland. By
1288, they had conquered the tribes of northern Poland and settled in the area. They soon
became a major power and tried to expand their power. The expansion started threatening
nearby countries.


King Wladyslaw Lokietek, of Lithuania, soon united the Polish and Lithuanian armies to
fight the Teutonic Order. Casimir III, son of King Wladyslaw Lokietek, increased the power
his father gained. He fortified the country, created laws, and stimulated trades. He also
increased migration of Jews into the country, because almost all other Medieval European
Countries had persecuted them. Using his powers as King, he created treaties with the
Teutonic Order and Bohemia. In Krakow, city founded by King Krakow, he created the first
Polish university.


In 1370, Casimir ďthe GreatĒ died and ended the Piast Dynasty. His nephew, Lous I from
Hungary (reigned 1370-1382) and the French díAnjour Dynasty, became kind, but came to a
quick end. The problem was that he had only two young draughts to inherit his throne.
After the death of Lous I, Jadwiga (reigned 1384-1399), the younger of the two daughters,
became Polandís Queen. Knowing that the country required a ruler with leading
capabilities, she married Jagiello, the archduke of Lithuania. The marriage created an
alliance between Poland and Lithuania. Jagiello was then baptized and crowned King of
Poland, as well as began being known as Ladislaus II (1386-1434).


Probably around the mid-13th century, the Teutonic Knights started extending their
territory. They expanded from the area around the village of Stary Torun to the vicinity
of wooden settlements that were recently destroyed in a Prussian raid. Soon, the joint
forces of Poland and Lithuania faced the power of the Teutonic Order at Grunwald in one of
the largest battle of medieval times. Even though King Jagiello triumphed, he could not
exploit his victory. The Teutonic forces retreated to the safety of their great fortress
at Malbork. Fighting continued over the following thirteen years when the land along the
Vistula River up to Gdansk rejoined the Polish Empire. The land under the control of the
Teutonic Order (later became East Prussia) became an important state of Poland.


The late 15th and early 16th centuries were the height of the Jagiellonian Dynasty. It was
a Golden Age for Poland, the alliance of Poland and Lithuania strengthened the eastern
borders against incoming invasions. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was also being
influenced by the European Renaissance. The arts and sciences flourished during the
Jagiello dynasty. At the same time of the Golden Age of the Jagiellonian Dynasty, a group
of people names the gentry were beginning to acquire great political influence. In 1572,
the Jagiellonian Dynasty came to an end and a reform in the government of Polish began.


Since then, the king would be chosen by an assembly of nobles known as the Sejm. Their
election system had some flaws much like any political system. The candidates were from
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