Puola poikkeaa muista Tsaarin imperiumista I maailmansodan jälkeen itse-näistyneistä maista maista siinä, että se on entinen supervalta yhdessä Liet-tuan kanssa itsekin. Sellainen myös ”uuden”, itsenäisyytensä palauttaneen (Suur-)Puolan oli tarkoitus olla: peilikuva ”Venäjästä” sellaisena kuin monet, useimmat puolalaiset sen käsittivät, kapeasta vinkkelistään. 

Puolan kuningaskunta oli tsaarin imperiumissa eri valtio kuin Venäjän keisa-rikunta aivan kuten Suomikin. Sillä olivat omat, aatelisvaltaiset lait ja yhteis-kuntajärjestys. Sen erikoisuus oli feodaalisesti matala-arvoinen, omin käsin maatöitä tekevä, ratsuväessä asevelvollinen ns.”lantakasa-aateli” (Lenin), joka oli syntynyt siten, että aatelisto omisti tiluksensa kapitalistisesti, ja ne myös jaettiin kapitalistisesti kaikkien miespuolisten perillisten kesken (eikä feodaa-lisesti velvollisuuksien mukaan). Koska aatelisto oli keskenään poliittiisesti tasa-arvoista, ”tasavaltaista” (ja muilla ei käytännössä ollut poliittisia oikeuk-sia),valta kertyi sen suurimmalle ryhmälle lantakasa-aatelille.Tämä oli tsaarin- vallan ja tsaarinvalta lantakasa-aatelin tukipylväs.  Jopa 25% väestöstä kuului aatelistoon.


Olen ottanut itsenäisyyspäivämääräksi sen tunnustamisen päivämäärän Venäjän väliaikaisen hallituksen toimesta, lähes ensi töikseen. Kyseessä oli ns. Kongressi-Puola, jonka rajat ja valtiojärjestyskin oli muo dostettu Napoleonin sotien jälkeisessä Wienin kongressissa (1814-15), ja sen olivat Venäjän keisarikunnan lisäksi, jonka kanssa se oli personaaliunionissa (tsaari on Puolan kuningas ja Liettuan suuriruhti-nas), myös kaikki muutkin Kongressin osanottajamaat eli käytännössä kaikki Euroopan itsenäiset valtiot.

Map of Congress Poland (in German), coloured in light green. Dark line shows borders of pre-partition Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.





Kuvassa näkyy myös harmaasta Kongressi-Puolasta kaakkoon "Krakovan tasavalta" joka oli vastaavalla Itävallan "suojeluksen" alinen. "Tasavalta" tarkottaa AATELIS-tasavaltaa, jossa kullakin täysi-ikäisellä aatelismiehellä oli yksi ääni. Vastavanlainen systeemi oli ainakin ollut Puola-Liettuassa ennen jakoa. Puola jaettiin siis kolmeen osaan: Venäjän, Saksan ja Itävallan kesken,karkeasti ottaen. Edelleen Liettua, joka oli kuulunut Puolaan osin omin laein, jaettiin kolmeen osaan Puolaan (Suwalki, kuvassa pienempi pohjoinen alue), Saksaan, Itä-Preussi/ Vähä-Liettua) ja Venäjään (Vilnan alue).

Alueen koilliskärjessä sijaitseen Kaunasin kaupunki, raja kulki sen halki virtaavassa Nemunas-joessa. Nykyään kaupunki on enemmän sen poh-joispuolella.Sittemmin muodostettiin (Venäjän) Kaunasin kuvernementti liittämällä liettuan- ja žemaitinkie-lisiä alueita Kongressi-Puolan ulkopuolelta. Alueen sotilasditattaattoriksi suurin val-tuuksin pistämään yhteiskuntaa uusiksi hankittiin Saksassa syntynyt ja kasvanut mutta syntyjään umpivenäläinen konsultti: Pjotr Stolypin "aatelismarsalkan" tittelil- lä. Mutta Liettuasta,jonka itsenäityminen oli monimutkaisin, pitää kirjoittaa erikseen.

Jari Hanski kirjoitti vertailevassa tutkimuksessaan I maailmansodan seurauksena itsenäistyneistä maista mm.:

-Maa:

Puola 27 miljoonaa asukasta (1918).

-Itsenäistyminen:

.
Venäjä tunnusti Puolan itsenäiseksi 30.3.1917, joskin Puolan maa-alue oli kokonaan keskusvaltojen hallussa. Muut Entente-maat ottivat tämän jälkeen myönteisen kanssa Puolan itsenäistymiseen.
 .
- Asema ja tila ennen itsenäistymistä_
 .

Puola oli jaettuna Saksan,Itävalta-Unkarin ja Venäjän kesken.Ensimmäisen maail-mansodan aikana Saksa ja Itävalta lupasivat autonomista asemaa ja puolalaisaluei-den yhdistämistä. Venäjän väliaikainen hallitus julisti Puolan itsenäiseksi 30.3.1917.

- Asema ja tila sen jälkeen:

Perustuslaki hyväksyttiin 17.3.1921. Ensimmäiset parlamenttivaalit 26.1.1919. Jósef Piłsudskista valtionjohtaja ja ylipäällikkö. Suurimmat puolueet kansallisdemokraatit ja Puolan sosialistipuolue.
.

- Vallankumous, kapina, sisällissota?

Ei.

-Sota entistä emämaata vastaan?

Kyllä:Ukrainan kanssa Itä-Galitziasta,sopimus,jolla alue liitettiin Puolaan 25.6.1919. Neuvosto-Venäjän kanssa laajamittainen sota, joka päättyi 18. 3. 1921, ei aluemuu-toksia. Liettualta valloitti Vilnan kaupungin Piłsudskin käskystä toimineen kenraalina avulla. Saksalta sai kansannousun avulla Posenin

provinssin. Tšekkoslovakialta ei saanut haluamaansa Cieszyn aluetta.

... Soti tai esitti vaatimuksia kaikille naapurimaille alueiden omistuksesta.

-Armeija, muut joukot:

Ei suojeluskuntatyyppistä organisaatiota, armeijassa 100 000 miestä alkuvuodesta 1919 ja 700 000 syksyllä 1919.

- Miten itsenäisyys eteni?

Puola oli demokratia vuoteen 1924 asti,jolloin Piłsudski kaappasi armeijan tuella val-lan. Piłsudskin kuoleman jälkeen vallassa oli hallituksen Yhteistyöryhmä-niminen puolue, jonka Piłsudski oli luonut. Saksa ja Neuvostoliitto jakoivat maan toisessa maailmansodassa, ja sodan jälkeen maan uudet rajat olivat huomattavasti lännem-pänä kuin ennen sotaa. Maa oli osa Varsovan liittoa, kunnes Neuvostoliiton hajoamisen jälkeen se suuntautui länteen ja pääsi Euroopan unionin jäseneksi 2004.


PUOLA, päivämääriä

14.8.1914 Venäjän julistus Puolan alueen yhtenäisyydestä ja autonomiasta

5.11.1916 Saksan ja Itävallan julistus, jonka mukaan Puolan kuningaskunta (= Kongressi-Puola) oli perustettu uudelleen

30.3.1917 Venäjän väliaikainen hallitus tunnusti Puolan itsenäisyyden

20.9.1917 Ranskan hallitus ilmoitti, että Roman Dmowskin johtama kansalliskomitea oli Puolan virallinen edustaja

8.1.1918 Yhdysvaltain presidentti Wilsonin 14 kohdan ohjelma, jossa vaadittiin Puolan itsenäisyyttä ja merellepääsyä

26.1.1919 Perustuslakia säätävän parlamentin vaalit

17.3.1921 Uusi perustuslaki hyväksyttiin

18.3.1921 Rauhansopimus Neuvosto-Venäjän kanssa

(Liettuan kanssa ei ollut rauhansopimusta: maat olivat periaatteessa sotatilassa koko 30-luvun, kuten Liettua ja Saksakin.)


Hanski: " Puolan ensimmäinen kuningaskunta syntyi jo 800-luvulla. Ensimmäinen tunnettu Puolan alueella olleen kuningaskunnan kuningashuone oli Piastien hallitsi-jasuku.Vuonna 1386 syntyi Puolan ja Liettuan personaaliunioni, joka hallitsi huomat- tavaa aluetta nykyisen Puolan, Valko-Venäjän ja Venäjän alueella. Tämän jälkeen Puolassa valtaa pitivät vaalikuninkaat, kunnes 1700-luvulla Puolan heikkous sai sen naapurimaat jakamaan Puolan alueen keskenään vuosina 1772,1793 ja 1795: näi-den seurauksena Puola katosi kokonaan ja tuli osaksi Venäjää, Preussiaja Itävaltaa. Puolalainen kansallishenki ei kuitenkaan kadonnut vaan nousi 1800-luvun kuluessa."

RK:Puola EI kadonnut valtiona,vaikka tsaari rupesi heti nakertamaan sen erikoisase-maa (tosin kuin Suomessa aluksi, jossa sitä kehitettiin, saman Aleksanteri II:n joh-dolla, joka oli Puolassa ja Liettuassa verinen hirmuvaltias), sillä ulkovaltiot, esimer-kiksi Englanti ja Ranska, EIVÄT OLLEET MUUTTANEET TUNNUSTUSTAAN PUOLAN ERIKOISASEMALLE, eivät sen romuttamista tunnustaneet myöskään mitkään Venäjän enenmmän tai vähemmän demokraattiset oppositiovoimat, vaan ne pitivät tsaarin toimia laittominna.

Asiassa oli vielä tsaarin kannalta eräs iso hallinnollinen mutka: aatelisto, joka ensin käytti tuomiovaltaa "laillisestikin" kukin paani alueillaan,ja sen jälkeenkin luokkana, jonka tehtäviin se kuului, tykkäsi paljon enemmän Puolan aatelivaltaisesta laista ja yritii vääntää sitä Venäjällekin eikä päinvastoin,kun raja häivytettiin. Lakiahan ei voida tuosta vain hävittää tekemällä "kaikki vanha laittomaksi". Niinpä Venäjä Valkoiset ajoivatkin PUOLAN LAKIA ja keulakuva-tsaaria (sotilasdiktatuurille) eikä mitään Nikolain mallia! Nikoli olikin (myös) heidän tapettavien listallaan!

Sovjetskaja kertoo tsarinhallinnon käänteistä:

https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Poland

At the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15, Poland was again partitioned. Tsarist Russia received most of the former Duchy of Warsaw, which was transformed into the King-dom of Poland. Earlier, in 1807, Russia had taken the Białystok region. The rest of the former Duchy of Warsaw be- came the Grand Duchy of Poznań under Prussian rule. In addition, Prus- sia retained Pomerania and Silesia, which it had seized ear-lier. Kraków and its environs were proclaimed a “free city",called the Kraków Repub- lic. The republic lasted until 1846, when its territory was annexed by Austria.

The 1815 borders remained virtually unchanged until the October 1917 Revolution in Russia. The “Polish question” long remained one of the knotty problems of interna-tional relations, and the Polish liberation mo- vement became an important element in the general European revolutionary movement. After the 1815 partition of Polish territory, tsarism became the direct oppressor of the Polish people. Under these circumstances Polish-Russian revolutionary ties became an important factor in the development of the revolutionary movement in Russia and Poland.

...

In the Kingdom of Poland the relatively liberal constitution signed by Tsar Alexander I in 1815 soon had restrictions placed upon it by the tsarist authorities. In response, a legal opposition formed in the Sejm, and secret patriotic societies arose. The cen-ters of student opposition were the University of Wilno (Vilnius),where the Philomats were active from 1817 to 1823,and Warsaw University.W.Łukasiński,an army offi- cer, founded a secret society called the National Freemasonry in 1819, and after it was dissolved he organized the Patriotic Society in 1821.

The secret Polish organizations established contact with the Decembrists. However, the program of the Polish gentry revolutionaries was limited to nationalistic and poli-tical slogans. An important phase in the Polish people’s struggle for national inde-pendence was the Polish Uprising of 1830–31,which engulfed the areas under tsarist rule. After crushing the uprising in the Kingdom of Poland,the tsarist authorities per- secuted the leaders of the liberation movement. The 1815 consti- tution was abroga-ted, the Sejm and the Polish Army were disbanded, the administrative structure was incorporated into that of the Russian empire, and the universities were closed down. In 1850 the customs barrier between the kingdom and Russia was abolished. Martial law, declared in 1833 in connection with J. Zaliwski’s attempt to begin another uprising, remained in effect until 1856.

The lessons learned from the Uprising of 1830–31 helped many of the Polish exiles overcome the limitations of the gentry revolutionary pro- gram. The democrats in the liberation movement urged not only politi- cal changes but social and economic ones as well. Their main organization was the Polish Democratic Society,founded in Paris in 1832. The first revolutionary-democratic organization, called Polish People (Lud Polski), was established in London in 1835. The democrats among the exiles were opposed by the conservative monarchical camp, led by Czartoryski. Calling for the independence of Poland, the conservatives placed their hopes on help from Western bourgeois monarchies. They regarded the Constitution of May 3, 1791, as their political ideal.

Among the revolutionary conspiratorial organizations within Poland, the largest was the Association of the Polish People,founded in 1835 through the efforts of S. Ko-narski.During the 1840’s revolutionary organizations were formed by E.Dembowski and H. Kamienski. Among other revolutionary groups were a secret peasant organi-zation led by P. Ściegienny in the Kingdom of Poland and the Union of Plebeians, headed by W. Stefański, in the Grand Duchy of Poznan.The uprising that Ściegien- ny was preparing was foiled by the tsarist authorities in the autumn of 1844.The Po- lish Democratic Society had made preparations for a nationwide uprising,but as a re- sult of measures taken by the tsarist and Prussian authorities, the uprising was con-fined to the Krakow Republic and nearby parts of Galicia. Simultaneously the pea-sant antifeudal Galician Uprising of 1846 broke out. The peasant revolt frightened the moderate gentry “fellow travelers” and drove them out of the liberation move-ment, but it strengthened the consistent democrats in their conviction that the anti-feudal and national-liberation causes were interwoven in a democratic “agrarian” re-volution.The all-European revolutionary movement of 1848 also engulfed the Polish lands, where the Poznan Uprising of 1848 broke out. The revolutionary movement in Galicia compelled the Austrian government to promulgate a peasant reform and abolish feudal obligations in April 1848. A capitalist social system was evolving in Prussian and Austrian Poland; it was burdened, however, by vestiges of feudalism.

As the revolutionary situation of 1859–61 unfolded in Russia, an alliance with the Russian revolutionaries became increasingly important for the Polish liberation movement.The close cooperation between A.I.Herzen and S. Worcell indicates that the revolutionaries in exile recognized the need for such an alliance. The objec-tive interrelationship between the Russian revolutionary movement and the “Polish ferment” (V.I. Lenin, Poln. sobr. soch.,5th ed., vol. 5, p. 29), both directed against a common foe - tsarist autocracy - was reflected in the conclusion of a Russo-Polish revolutionary alliance in 1862. The alliance was worked out during talks in London and St. Petersburg between representatives of the Centralizacja (Central Board) and the editors of Kolokol, the Central Committee of Land and Liberty, and the Committee of Russian Officers in Poland.

The culmination of the revolutionary movement in Poland was the Polish Uprising of 1863–64. Although it ruthlessly suppressed the uprising, the tsarist government was obliged to promulgate a peasant reform in 1864 and essentially recognize the agra-rian changes that had taken place during the uprising. Land worked by the peasants became their property, and some of the landless peasants received tiny allotments of land,for which landowners were indemnified by the state.The peasant reform in the Kingdom of Poland was more bourgeois than in most of the Russian provinces, but it also had certain characteristics of serfdom. The reform preserved manorial landholding - the source of feudal serf-owning vestiges. The development of capita- lism in agriculture procee- ded along Prussian lines in the Kingdom of Poland.The Uprising of 1863 – 64 and the Reform of 1864 became the principal milestone in the transition from a feudal social system to a capitalist one.

During the 1860’s a political compromise was reached between the Polish landlords of Galicia and the Austrian monarchy. In return for supporting the Hapsburgs, the Polish propertied classes, led by the Stańczyk Party from the late 1860’s, received wide internal autonomy in Galicia. Autonomy enabled the Stańczyks to preserve Po-lish as the language of public education and commerce and to oppress the Ukrainian popu- lation of eastern Galicia. However, by the late 19th century the position of the conservative landowners in Galicia was already seriously threa- tened by the growing workers’ and peasants’ movement and by the Ukrainian national liberation movement.

In the Kingdom of Poland, after the Uprising of 1863–64, the tsarist authorities openly pursued a policy of national oppression of the Polish people. All traces of au-tonomy vanished, and the Kingdom of Poland was even renamed the Vistula Terri-tory. The russification of the schools and the judiciary was detrimental to the inte-rests of the Polish people. After the creation of the German empire in 1871, a vigo-rous germanizing policy was introduced in the Polish lands during the 1870’s under the guise of the Kulturkampf. The Colonization Commission, founded in 1886, used government subsidies to settle German colonists on Polish lands. Like other Pan-German organizations, the Union of the Eastern Borderlands (Hakata), founded in 1894, conducted intensive chauvinistic propaganda wih the support of the German government.

Some of the Polish revolutionaries in exile developed a consistent revolutionary-democratic program dealing with the most important social and national problems. Their contacts with the First International were strengthened after many Polish revolutionaries, headed by J. Dabrow- ski and W. Wróbłewski, took part in the Paris Commune of 1871.

During the 1860’s and 1870’s the movement known as Warsaw positi- vism emerged in the Kingdom of Poland, proclaiming as its program “organic work” - bourgeois en-trepreneurship. Affirming its loyalty to tsa- rism, the conservative gentry proposed a program of accommodation. A workers’ and socialist movement arose in Poland in the 1870’s.A prominent role in it was played by L.Waryński, who headed the Equa-lity (Równość) group in Geneva, which paved the way for the founding in 1882 of the Proletariat, a workers’ party. The party’s influence and the upswing in the workers’ movement were manifested in the Żyrardów Strike of 1883 - the first mass demon-stration of the Polish proletariat. To replace the Proletariat, which was suppressed by the tsarist authorities, two new workers’ organizations were founded: the second Proletariat in 1888 and the Polish Workers’ Union in 1889. In 1890 the international May Day celebration was marked by political strikes.The Łódź Strike of 1892 was an important factor in the political maturation of the Polish proletariat. In 1893 the wor-kers’ organizations united to form the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland, which in 1900 became the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithua-nia (SDKPL). At the same time the nationalist-reformist current took shape as the Polish Socialist Party (PSP). The bourgeois-radical movement shifted to the right, and the National Democratic Party (NDP) was founded in 1897, becoming the most powerful Polish bourgeois nationalist party.

Initial stage in the development of monopoly capitalism (prior to 1918).

The economic crisis of 1900–03 accelerated the process of industrial concentration and the growth of monopolies, especially in the Kingdom of Poland and in Silesia, the most industrially developed areas. At the same time, the capitalists in the Polish lands became increasingly dependent on Russian, German, and Austrian capital.

The early 20th century was a time of revolutionary upswing. The revolutionary trend in the Polish workers’ movement, headed in the kingdom by the SDKPL, gathered strength through the struggle against the nationalism and opportunism of the PSP and the Social-Democratic Party of Galicia and Silesia (founded in 1892 and later known as the Polish Social-Democratic Party, PSDP), as well as against the separatism of the Bund.

The Revolution of 1905–07 in the Kingdom of Poland was an integral part of the Russian Revolution. A mass antitsarist and antilandowner movement engulfed the countryside, workers went on strike, and schoolchildren and students boycotted the schools. On Apr. 30, 1905, a workers’ demonstration in Warsaw (one of whose lea-ders was F. Dzerzhinskii) was fired upon, and this action provoked new strikes, cul-minating in the Łódź Rebellion in June. In October and November 1905 the workers of the Dąbrowa Coal Basin struck, as well as workers in Warsaw and Łódź. After the tsarist authorities imposed martial law in the kingdom, the proletariat of St. Peters-burg went on strike in November to show its solidarity with the Polish workers. The Polish workers in turn supported the December Armed Uprising of 1905 in Moscow by calling a number of strikes. There were more peasant outbreaks.

In April 1906 the SDKPL joined the RSDLP as an autonomous territorial organi-zation - a sign that the Russian-Polish revolutionary alliance was growing stronger. The PSP became more revolutionary and in November 1906 expelled J. Piłsudski and his followers, who soon founded the PSP-Revolutionary Wing (from 1909 again called the PSP). The majority of the the PSP’s members gradually shifted to a revolutionary and internationalist position and became known as the PSP-Left Wing. The revolutionary outbreaks in Russia and the kingdom caused an upswing in the workers’ and democratic movement in western Galicia, Silesia, and other Polish lands. In the Polish lands under Prussian domination the struggle against the Hakata and anti-Polish legislation intensified.

The industrial expansion that took place in the kingdom after 1909 was accompa-nied by a revival of the strike movement, which spread under the influence of the mass demonstrations of the Russian proletariat sparked by the Lena Massacre of 1912. The leaders of the SDKPL - R. Luxemburg, J. Tyszka, and J. Marchlewski - vacillated on questions of tactics, which provoked opposition (Rozlamowcy group) and eventually led to a split within the SDKPL in December 1911. (In 1916 the party was reunited.) The Roztamowcy, led by J. Hanecki, J. Leński, and J.S. Unszlicht, cooperated closely with the Bolsheviks and with V. I. Lenin, who lived in Kraków and its environs from 1912 to 1914.

At the outbreak of World War I the Polish ruling classes in all three parts of Poland supported, respectively, the governments of Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary. Piłsudski’s men led the Polish Legions, which they had organized, in military ope-rations against the Russian Army.The SDKPL and the PSP-Left Wing took an inter- nationalist position. In the summer of 1915, German and Austro-Hungarian troops occupied the entire kingdom. On Nov. 5, 1916, the occupation forces, supported by some members of the Polish bourgeoisie and Pilsudski’s followers, announced the creation of a “Polish state” on part of the kingdom’s territory, hoping thereby to strengthen their position and mobilize Polish youth. Under the influence of the February 1917 Revolution in Russia a revolutionary liberation movement unfolded in Poland.

The reestablishment of the Polish state; bourgeois-landowner Poland between 1918 and 1926.

Many of the Polish workers who had been forcibly evacuated from the kingdom and resettled in Russia by the tsarist administration in 1915 joined in the struggle for a socialist revolution. The more than 40 SDKPL groups that had been founded in the industrial centers of Russia joined the Bolshevik Party and took an active part in the struggle to bring the soviets to power. Meanwhile, some Polish bourgeois circles be-gan to seek the support of the Western Powers. Founded in Paris in August 1917, the Polish National Committee was soon recognized as the official representative body of the Polish people by the Entente powers and the USA.

Under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, the struggle against the German and Austrian invaders intensified in Poland. During its negoti-ations with Germany and its allies in Brest, the Soviet government demanded that the Polish people be granted an opportunity to decide their destiny. On Aug. 29, 1918, the Soviet government adopted a decree, signed by V. I. Lenin, nullifying the treaties and acts concluded by the government of the former Russian Empire regarding the partitions of Poland. This decree created a firm juridical and political foundation for Poland’s independence.

After World War I, the German and Austro-Hungarian troops were withdrawn from most of the Polish lands they had occupied. From early No- vember 1918, more than 100 soviets were founded in Poland. However, the SDKPL and the PSP-Left Wing, which merged to form the Communist Party of Poland (CPP) in December 1918, did not have any influence on the working-class masses and other toilers. Un-der the guise of unifying all democratic and national forces, the leaders of the PSP-Revolutionary Wing pursued a policy of cooperation with bourgeois liberal elements and the peasant parties,such as the Liberation Party (Wyzwolenie), founded in 1915. They also supported Pitsudski,to whom the Regency Council, founded in September 1917, transferred military power on Nov.11,1918, and civil authority three days later.

On Pilsudski’s instructions a government headed by J.Moraczewski,one of the PSP leaders, was formed in Warsaw on Nov.17,1918. The government granted civil liber-ties, announced elections to the Sejm, and decreed an eight-hour workday. At the same time it launched a struggle against the revolutionary movement within the country and took a hostile position toward Soviet Russia. On Jan. 2, 1919, gen-darmes shot the members of a Soviet Red Cross delegation which had come to Warsaw, headed by B. Wesołowski. The CPP was persecuted, the soviets were suppressed, and the Red Guards, which had been organized in several areas, were defeated and disarmed. Having assured the preservation of the bourgeois-landow-ning system, the PSP and the “left-wing” parties cooperating with it yielded their power to the National Democrats and Pilsudski’s followers in January 1919 and became the opposition. (Piłsudski’s men had reached an agreement with the Polish National Committee, and a government was formed, headed by I. Paderewski.)

The ruling circles of bourgeois Poland began a war to seize the Western Ukraine. Pursuing an anti-Soviet policy, they made a number of impor- tant concessions to German imperialists.Paderewski’s government signed the Peace Treaty of Versailles in 1919,by which Germany retained almost all of Silesia and several other Polish lands. Under the treaty Poland obtained access to the Baltic Sea through a narrow strip of land, known as the Polish corridor, and Gdanńk (Danzig), along with its sur-rounding area, was declared a free city. The population of these areas continued to struggle for reunification with Poland, and uprisings broke out in Silesia in 1919, 1920, and 1921. After suppressing the strikes and dispersing the last soviets by the summer of 1919, the government cut short the growing peasant movement by adop-ting a land reform law on July 10, 1919. In April 1920 the rulers of Poland began the Polish-Soviet War. During the Red Army’s counteroffensive,the Polish Revolutionary Committee, the first revolutionary government of Poland’s working masses, func-tioned in Białystok in July and August 1920. Under the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921, Poland acquired the Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia, which became, as it were, internal colonies of Poland. As early as October 1920, Poland had taken the Wilno (Vilnius) region from Lithuania. By 1921 Poland was a multinational bourgeois landowners’ country, artificially shifted to the east, whereas a considerable portion of the Polish lands remained within Germany.

One of the first measures taken by the Polish ruling circles was the adoption of a constitution (on Mar. 17, 1921). The constitution estab- lished a republican form of government, provided for a bicameral par- liament consisting of the Sejm and the Senate, proclaimed the equality of all citizens before the law, and guaranteed free-dom of speech, press and assembly. In practice this bourgeois democracy was imp-lemented only insofar as it did not clash with the interests of the ruling classes. The social rights of the working class were not respected. Despite their juridical equality, the national minorities, constituting more than 50 percent of Poland’s population, were discriminated against. Vestiges of feudal relations, primarily large estates, per-sisted in agriculture. Some 0.6 percent of the landowners owned 44.8 percent of the privately owned land. In industry foreign capital was playing an increasingly large role. The general index of industrial production in the interwar period did not exceed the index of industrial output in the Polish lands in 1913.

The intensity of the social and national conflicts was apparent from the numerous strikes, peasant movements, and guerrilla activities in Wes- tern Byelorussia and the Kraków Uprising of 1923.The Second Cong- ress of the CPP (1923), at which the party took a firm Marxist-Leninist stand on national and peasant questions, streng-thened the party and increased its influence on the working class. The Independent Peasant Party, the Byelorussian Peasants’ and Workers’ Group, and several other revolutionary organizations founded in 1924 were under the in- fluence of the CPP and its autonomous organization - the Communist Party of the Western Ukraine, es-tablished in 1923, and the Communist Party of Western Byelorussia,formed in 1924. Poland’s international position deteriorated as a result of the Dawes Plan, aimed at restoring German imperialism’s military-industrial potential, and the Locarno Treaties of 1925, which did not guarantee the security of Poland’s western borders. The country’s unfavorable position in foreign affairs and the tense domestic political situation were used by Pilsudski’s followers as grounds for staging a coup d’etat on May 12–14, 1926, and establishing the reactionary sanacja regime.