● 1025: The kingdom of Poland is proclaimed
● 1569: Union of Lublin. Poland and Lithuania signed the
● 1772: Prussia, Russia and Austria subjected the Commonwealth.
The commonwealth started an anti-Russian revolution.
● 1791: Commonwealth constitution
● 1701 - 1793: Russia and Prussia invaded the Commonwealth.
● 1794 - 1795: The Commonwealth was partitioned between
Prussia, Russia and Austria
● 1815: Kingdom of Poland, ruled by Russia
● 1830-1831: Military revolt in protest at Russia to obtain political
autonomy and civil liberties.
● 1863 - 1864: Poland annexed Russia
● 1918: After WW1 the independent state is restored
● 1926: Nine years of autocratic rule
● 1932: Non aggression pact (Poland and USSR)
● 1934: 10 - year pact (Nazi regime and Poland)
● 1939: Nazi regime and USSR invaded Poland and divided it for them.
● 1940: Concentration camp in Poland.
● 1945: Poland’s borders are set.
● 1947: Poland became Communist.
● 1970: Protest because of the food price
● 1970s: Economic prosperity based on foreign loans.
● 1980 August: Workers at the shipyard, led by Lech Walesa, put forward 21 demands to the
government (including free trade unions and the right to strike). Free trade union called
Solidarity, besides Poland already had free trade unions though they were ineffective in
challenging government policies.
● 1980 August 30: Government agreed to all the Solidarity’s demands
● 1980 September: Solidarity’s membership grew to 3.5 million
● 1980 October: Solidarity membership was 7 million. Solidarity was officially recognized by the
● 1981 January: Member solidarity reached its peak at 9.4 million (more than a third of all the
● Protests over food shortages
● Solidarity was established
● This trade wanted the Soviets to stop controlling
● Undermine communist rules.
● 1980 Demands agreed by government
● 1981 Martial law
● 1982 This revolt was suppressed.
● The USA worked secretly with the Catholic Church.
● 1983 Martial law lifted
● Members of the solidarity were released from prison
● The Polish economy continued to decline → 1988 protests
● 1988 Government agreed to negotiate with Solidarity
● 1989 an agreement was made to hold new elections with a
reduced influence from the communists.
The leader of the movement
Why did the Polish government
agree to Solidarity’s demands in
Solidarity was particularly popular among the
most important industries and workers.
Why did the Polish government
clamp down solidarity in
There were signs that Solidarity was becoming a
● 1989: Solidarity was legalized and permitted to field candidates in
the subsequent elections
● Solidarity won the majority of elections and dominated the Polish
● 1992: Soviet troops started to leave Poland
● 1993: Reformed Communist enter coalition government
● 1994: Poland joined NATO
● 1995: Lech Walesa president
● 1997: Polish parliament adopted a new constitution.
The collapse of communism in Poland was the first event in a chain
reaction that included the fall of the Berlin Wall, several peaceful
anti-communist revolutions throughout Eastern Europe and eventually
disintegration of the USSR
Constitution of the
Republic of Poland