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The Affects Of War On Polish Land

1228 words - 5 pages

World War I, 1900, a turning point for many countries and all out conflict for all. Allies formed and countries were torn apart. Leaders had to make decisions and gradually 1 by 1 the countries got pulled into this great fight. Who would have thought it would all start with one man killing another. It is pretty radical to believe that the death of 1 important man (Archduke Ferdinand) spurred the mass death totals in the millions. We all know where the major countries stood in this war and what battles they were involved in. But few know about a country such as Poland, what their situation was, what challenges they faced and what factors determined where Poland stood in this war.It is difficult to talk directly about Poland during the time period of 1900-1914 because the Poles were divided in Europe. It is possible thought to talk about the notable leaders before and continuing into the years that we are discussing. Before 1900 communism did not gain very much support. Despite this a movement led by Józef Pilsudski (1867-1935) was able to win over more followers because of its emphatic advocacy of Polish independence. Pilsudski's Socialist party was the largest of its kind in the entire Russian empire by 1905. The National Democracy of Roman Dmowski (1864-1939) then became the head figure of the right by creating a doctrine that combined nationalism with mistrust of Jews and other minority groups. Eventually by the year 1900 the political life of Poland had grown away from organic work and entered a new stage. This new stage included renewed assertiveness. What we can draw from this is that Pilsudski and Dmowski had spurred long reputations as being the main figures for government relations in Poland. Then after 1900 political activity in Poland was reduced to the Prussian sector only.By the time the year 1900 rolled around Poland was beginning to be separated. The Poles were scattered between Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary. Austria-Hungary and Poland's population consisted primarily of Jews with a population value of 3,393,053 Jews at the year 1900 (Glenn E. Curtis). This statistic should be taken into consideration during World War I and the group that Germany targeted. Austria-Hungary was second in total population of Jews only to Russia. So with allies forming countries wanted to gain the Poles trust and loyalty. Not only would this make the larger country even larger but it would give them recruits and strengthen their army, something all the countries were trying to do, and do fast. This situation put the Polish people high political leverage due to the Allied and Central powers both offering various concessions and future freedom. One group, the Austrians, wanted to incorporate Poland into Galacia, a territory controlled by them. To encourage this they allowed nationalist organizations to form there. Along with this the Russians recognized the Poland's right to liberation and permitted the formation of the Polish National...

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