Partitions of Poland

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The Partitions of the Poland (Polish: Rozbiór Polski) were a series of three partitions of the country by Poland's neighbors Russia, Prussia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th century. The effect of these partitions was to, in the end, completely remove Poland from the map of Europe. Previously, The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had been one of the strongest nations in Europe. The partitions were on: August 5, 1772, January 23, 1793, and October 24, 1795.

Russia tended to take lands in the eastern part of the country, Prussia mainly took lands in the north and north-west, and the Austrians took the land in the south and south-west.

Some blame Poland's vulnerability on their inability to effectively govern themselves. In Poland, there was a policy of Liberum veto, or the right of any member of the sejm (Polish parliament) to veto any act brought forth. This policy led to a lack of effective law making and a weak central government. However, it is not clear whether or not this was a true factor.

Poland was reformed as a country as a provision of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.


Lukowski, Jerzy. A Concise History of Poland. Cambridge: University Press, 2001.