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21

The political reasons of both France and Britain are well explained in other answers, so I just stick to the legal matter. France was not legally obliged by any pact to attack Soviet Union or to send troops to Poland to help. The 1921 Franco-Polish treaty specified the extent of help, which amounted to keeping the communication lines free between France and ...


21

The pre WWII border between Poland and Germany was defined in the Treaty of Versailles, more specifically Part II, Article 27, point 7: From the point defined above to a point to be fixed on the ground about 2 kilometres east of Lorzendorf: the frontier as it will be fixed in accordance with Article 88 of the present Treaty; thence in a northerly ...


19

Personally, I suspect this is mostly an American (USA) stereotype, which chiefly originates from a couple of factors. We had a couple of large waves of East European immigration in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which brought large numbers of Poles who knew little or no English. As human beings, we tend to perceive those who have trouble ...


16

I wouldn't characterize post-Magna Carta England as having a weak central government. Compared to the Holy Roman Empire it had a very efficient central government, in which the parliament played an important role alongeside the king. The early English Parliament already had a House of Commons. Hence not only the nobility was given rights but the common ...


14

The answer is apparently: this border isn't defined anywhere. As you correctly noted, the result of the Potsdam Conference was the Oder-Neiße-line as Poland's western border, without any exception for Stettin. The sources that I looked at agree that the Soviet Union violated that agreement and gave the area around Stettin to Poland in July 1945. It is ...


12

You may want to read this answer while listening to a poetic song by Andrzej Sikorowski and Grzegorz Turnau, called "Nie przenoście nam stolicy do Krakowa", what means "Please don't move the capital back to Kraków", written in the 90's, after the end of communist era in Eastern Europe, when some politics started to express such ideas. Digressions I've ...


12

Columbus' origins are a bit of a mystery. He himself claimed to have been born in Genoa, but this may have been a ruse according to some. http://www.christopher-columbus.eu/birth-1492.htm lists the most notable claims, Poland is not among those. What all the possible locations have in common is that they're in southern Europe, a quick look at the map shows ...


11

The wings varied greatly among each other, a.o. because of the production reasons, as there were no armor factories like recently. Also some hussars wore only one wing at the middle of the back. Also there are two ways to settle the wings - in the times of Sigismund III Vasa they were sticked mainly to the saddle, while under the rules of his son ...


11

Yes they did. The Treaty of Good Neighbourship and Friendly Cooperation qualifies as a "peace treaty"; see preamble and article 1 of the Polish text of the treaty. The treaty was signed in 1991 and went into force on 16 January 1992. It did not say specifically "we have had a war until today, but until tomorrow we are at peace", but it would hardly make ...


10

That Poland avoided internal wars of religion can indeed be attributed to the religious tolerance of the state at this time, a tolerance that stretches back a long time. And this has to do with it's position where many of it's neighbouring countries were not Catholic. To the east the Kievan Rus adopted Orthodoxy, and further north the areas now known as ...


9

If Germany decided to invade Poland to get back East Prussia that it lost to Poland after WWII - would it be a war of independence? One needs a lot of fantasy to call the Polish–Soviet War (this seems to be the official name of the conflict) a war of independence. In 1919 Poland was already independent - it gained its independence with the Treaty of ...


9

No, there was no state of war between Germany and Poland. State of war can end either with a peace treaty or with a surrender. In this case there was a surrender of Germany. Furthermore. German state ceased to exist in mid-1945. If was completely demolished and as such, its foreign relations as well. After a while two new states were instituted by the ...


8

In addition to what you list, the organizational structure, bookkeeping of the monarchs, and relative literacy levels (albeit not high levels absolutely) helped enable a democratic system to emerge. Townhalls and church organizations allowed for some census and accountability to emerge. The later monarchs kept relatively accurate and complete tax records ...


8

Derogatory racial (for lack of a better word) stereotypes tell much about the people who spread them. For instance, in my field - software development, you are not likely to come across "Polish jokes", because some of the best developers in top tech firms are Polish and Polish universities regularly outperform US teams in international programming contests. ...


8

I've finally found the exact sentences, so I'm putting here a new answer instead of the yesterday's one. As it's written in official materials of Copernikus' Museum in Frombork, Poland, such corrections were done simply by striking out some parts of the text and it happened only with something like 8% books that survived until recent times. It was their ...


8

Did Hitler really intend a limited war against Poland? The invasion of Poland was likely not intended to start a major war. Of course we can never be sure of what anybody thinks, but not only did Hitler claim not to want a major war, wanting a major war is in itself a quite strange thing to do. Most likely Hitler wanted to just annex half of Poland ...


7

Poland was already by the Seven Years War a joint protectorate of Russia, Prussia, and Austria [edit] as well as France and Turkey. In a war amongst these three powers, and given the liberum veto which allowed any member of its Diet to nullify the proceedings of the whole, it was unable to have any bearing on the course of the war: (The Cambridge History of ...


6

On August 25, two days after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, the Agreement of Mutual Assistance between the United Kingdom and Poland was signed. The agreement contained promises of mutual military assistance between the nations in the event either was attacked by some "European country". The United Kingdom, sensing a dangerous trend of German expansionism, sought to ...


6

Unfortunately I don't have a resource that would have lat/long for the Polish borders pre-wwii, but I did find a detailed map that shows multiple towns that could help map to their present day locations. It's for Poland and the Baltics, but it does seem to have decent detail along the Polish/German border. Let me know if this helps at all.


6

The Polish-Bolshevik war (as it is known in Poland, I believe rest of the world use term Polish-Soviet war) is not known as the war for independence. After all, Poland re-gained independence on November 11, 1918 - when I World War ended (which was later confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles). In this light, things like Greater Poland Uprising, Silesian ...


6

Manuel da Silva Rosa, an information technology analyst, claims that Columbus was the son of Władysław III of Poland (and Hungary, but for some reason nobody seems to mention that). To make this claim, he has to first claim that Władysław III, who died in a battle in 1444 without having children and had his head displayed on a pole, for no good reason faked ...


6

The documents were published by Federal Archive Agency (I hope this name translates so, in Russian it is Федеральное архивное агентство) of Russian Federation in April 2010 on personal order by Russian President, D. Medvedev. They are available (in Russian) on this site: http://rusarchives.ru/publication/katyn/spisok.shtml The documents were presented by ...


5

Warsaw is not a port. It is in the middle of the "country" (the earlier version of Poland, not today's), which is why it was chosen as the capital. Warsaw was also something of a rail hub, as far as was the case in Eastern Europe in those days. The easiest way to get to a port such as Gdansk, on the Baltic, was by rail from Warsaw. A few other cities in ...


5

Here is the map: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grosser_Nordischer_Krieg_Phase1.png Most important Swedish allies became the Ukrainians under Mazepa. Initially, Charles XII was going south to conquer them, but until he got there they decided to join forces against Russia. Mazepa had been promised an independent Ukraine. ...


5

Interwar borders of Poland can be found on wikipedia: The map in canadiancreed's answer is a map of Poland between Brest-Litovsk and Versalles treaties in 1918 (treaties ending WWI) and treaty of Riga in 1920 (treaty after the war between Soviet Russia nad Poland). Poles managed to defeat soviets in 1920 (see Warsaw battle, or miracle at Vistula), and ...


5

There was a medieval saying, "Stadluft macht Frei." (City air makes one free.) One important aspect of England (and Greece and Rome before it) was the relative urbanization of its time. The most "progressive" and democratic elements of society tend to concentrate in cities, whereas the most conservative and pro monarchic influences are generally found in ...


5

Only one person can be involved in a personal union (hence the name). The trouble with being in a personal union – that is, sharing your monarch with a different country – is that your singular monarch might make choices that serve the other country's interests at the expense of your own. Mary held the Hungarian crown after her father's death – her sister ...


5

This is a great question! :) Basically speaking, Poland was in state of some kind personal unions for most time from 1370 (death of last Piast king) up to Poland's collapse in 1795. Louis's rule, as Jake Jay mentioned, was somewhat uneventful, the King resided in Hungary, and reigned Poland through regents (also, worth mentioning, he took Red Ruthenia from ...


5

Poland had many foreign kings and in my opinion it does make sense to include them all into this discussion, even though only a few of them were ruling another country at the time when they accepted Polish crown. The sheer fact that they were foreigners heavily influenced their politics. In one extreme case it even resulted in moving the capital of Poland ...


5

I've just received a confirmation from Warsaw, that as it's written in the book "Encyklopedia Warszawy" (PWN, 1994), by that time, until January Uprising, it was just a marshal prison for criminals, which was transferred there from Baszta Mostowa (Bridge Tower). The linked source says it used to be "Więzienie Inkwizycyjne", which means prisoners temporary ...



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