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Poland Travel Guide
History of Poland - Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth


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The location of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (purple) in relation to mid-seventeenth century Europe

A golden age ensued during the sixteenth century after the Union of Lublin which gave birth to the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The szlachta (nobility) of Poland, far more numerous than in Western European countries, took pride in their freedoms and parliamentary system. During the Golden Age period, Poland expanded its borders to become the largest country in Europe.

In the mid-seventeenth century, a Swedish invasion ("The Deluge") and the Cossacks' Chmielnicki Uprising which ravaged the country marked the end of the golden age. Numerous wars against Russia coupled with government inefficiency caused by the Liberum veto, a right which had allowed any member of the parliament to dissolve it and to veto any legislation it had passed, marked the steady deterioration of the Commonwealth from a European power into a near-anarchy controlled by its neighbours. Despite the erosion of its power, the Commonwealth was able to deal a crushing defeat to the Ottoman Empire in 1683 at the Battle of Vienna.

The reforms, particularly those of the Great Sejm, which passed the Constitution of May 3, 1791, the world's second modern constitution, were thwarted with the three partitions of Poland (1772, 1793, and 1795) which culminated in Poland's being erased from the map and its territories being divided between Russia, Prussia, and Austria.

Source: Wikipedia Encyclopedia

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History of Poland: Poland Prehistory, Piast Dynasty of Poland, Jagiellon Dynasty of Poland, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Partitions of Poland, Reconstitution of Poland, World War II of Poland, Postwar Communist Poland, Democratic Poland, Demographics of Poland, Geography of Poland, Rivers in Poland, Geology of Poland, Mountains & Topography, Lakes in Poland, The Coast of Poland, The Desert of Poland, Land Use of Poland, Flora & Fauna of Poland, Climate of Poland, Government of Poland, Administrative Divisions, Economy of Poland, Religion in Poland, Education in Poland, Telecommunication and IT,
Culture of Poland: Famous People of Poland, Cuisine in Poland, Architecture in Poland, Sports in Poland,


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