Poland - Chronology of Events - ATPC


Heritage: History


Time lines are a good way to gain a perspective of important events that were involved in the changes within countries that influenced it's people (our ancestors). Many decisions that our ancestors made were the result of political influences such as changes in the territory known as Poland, regimes in power and wars within and beyond it's known borders. We've included resource links for those interested in reading addition materials specific topic.

|MEDIEVAL |16TH |17TH |18TH |19TH |20TH |

Background - Encyclopedia-Poland provides a account summary of this history.
Chronology - Links to further information are included in time-line.
Tip - An interesting way to view these historical events is in relation to the period when your ancestors lived to see what events took place during their lives.

View Poland's Kings at the Gallary of Polish Painting Masterpieces.
Map References

- Europe 1025
- Europe 1402
- Europe 1660
- Europe 1864
- Europe/Asia 1914
A Century of

In the late 18th Century, Poland as a soveriegn state would end for nearly a century. Foreign domination by Prussia, Austria and Russia lead to what is known as the Partitions of Poland. These powers were to enforce policies affecting the native language of Poles and the names of the communities where they lived. This critical period led to many Poles fleeing their homeland and repression of their culture. For those who stayed, they were to be confronted with their homeland being a battle field for the powers of WWI and WWII, only be followed by a period of domination under the Soviet Union. It wasn't until the end of the 1980 that Poles would truly be free again.

Maps of Partitions:
- 1772 1st
- 1793 2nd
- 1795 3rd
- 1918 End of

End of WWII
- 1945

  • 850: Piast Dynasty founded.
  • 963: Reign of Mieszko I.
  • 965: Ibrahim~Ibn Jakus, a Moorish Jew from Tortosa in Spain, documents the earliest record of the area known as Poland.
  • 966: Prince Mieszko adopts Christianity; traditional date of origin of Polish state.
  • 1025: Boleslaw I (the Brave) recognized as first king of Poland.
  • 1025-1034: Mieszko II, son of Boleslaw I reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1076-1079: Boleslaus II reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1079: Bishop Stanislaw of Kraków is executed as a conspirator on the orders of Boleslaw II Smialy. - Boleslaw II Smialy is later assassinated in Hungary. -
  • 1079-1099: Ladislaus Herman, brother and successor of Boleslaus II rules Poland during this period.
  • 1100 - 1102: Ladislaus Herman continues rule of Poland.
  • 1102-1138: Boleslaus III, son of Ladislaus Herman, rules Poland during this period.
  • 1103: Boleslaw III weds Zbyslawa, daughter of Grand Prince of Kiev (Sviatopul II) and sister of Jaroslav of Volynia.
  • 1104: Zbigniew incites Czechs and Pomeranians to attack on two fronts badly ravaging these areas.
  • 1107: Boleslaw III occupies Pomerania, Bilogrod and Kolobrzeg. Zbigniew is excile from the Polish Kingdom.
  • 1111: Boleslaw III signs peace treaty with Czechs, agreeing not to support domestic dessent in neighboring states. Zbigniew returs to Poland dies soon after.
  • 1138: Boleslaw III divides his realm among his sons starting 150 years of dyanastic struggle.
  • 1177-1194: Casimir II, son of Bleslaus III, rules Poland during this period.
  • 1203: Jews are allowed to own land in Calicia.
  • 1226: Teutonic Knights introduced into Polish regions by Duke Konrad of Mozovia to combat the threat of pagan Prussian tribes from Chelmno. They were to later turn against the Poles.
  • 1241: Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, leads Tatars invasion of sourthern Poland causing devastation as far as Silesia. Krakow is burned to the ground.
  • 1241: Incorporation of the first Polish municipality, Wroclaw. A period of reconstruction begins seeking immigrants from the west to repopulate Poland. First Jewish settlers, German and other ethnic groups arrive.
  • 1243: Boleslaw V. Wstydliwy becomes uncontested master of Littl Poland. (Konrad I of Mazovia)
  • 1264: Boleslaw V. Wstydliwy issues charter giving Jews complete freedom and imposing heavy penalities for those would cause them bodily harm.
  • 1300-1305: Short period of Czech rule under Vaclaw II results in the reunification of main parts of Poland.
  • 1308: The Teutonic Knights invade Gdansk leading to the massacre of it's Polish inhabitants.
  • 1320-1333: Following a period of disunity, Wladyslaw Lokietek (also know as Ladislaus I the Short) recognized in Europe as king of Poland.
  • 1333-1370: Kazimierz III (Casimer the Great), reigns as one of Poland's most noted rulers by creating Poland into a major Central-European power and more than doubling it's territory.
  • 1340: Conquest of Red Ruthenia begins.
  • 1364: University of Kraków is founded.
  • 1374: Statue of Kosice (Noble immunities granted).
  • 1384-1399: Queen Jadwiga, daughter of Louis I of Hungary-Poland reigns in Poland while sister reigned in Hungary.
  • 1385: Union of Krewo begins Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth under Jagiellon Dynasty
  • 1386-1399: Ladislaus II, marries Queen Jadwiga in 1886 and reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1400: Founding of Jagiellonian University.
  • 1400-1434: Ladislaus II continues reign as King of Poland.
  • 1410: Forces of Poland-Lithuania defeat Teutonic Knights at Battle of Grunwald (Tannenberg).
  • 1413: The Treaty of Union at Horodlo is established.
  • 1430: The law "Nieminem Captivabimus" or Habeaus Corpus is established.
  • 1434-1444: Ladislaus III, son of Ladislaus II, reigns as King of Poland during this period. He is also King of Hungary as Uladislaus I from 1440-1444.
  • 1440: The Magyars offer Wladyslaw III, son of Wladyslaw Jagiello, the crown of Hungary.
  • 1444: The Turkish army defeats the forces of Poland and Hungary at Varna on the Black Sea taking the life of Wladyslaw III.
  • 1447-1492: Casimir IV succeeds brother, Ladislaus III as King of Poland during this period. In 1440 he had become ruler of Lithuania putting him as ruler of these two countries at the same time.
  • 1466: Casimir IV achieves victory over the Teutonic Order regaining Poland's control of Pomerania and Gdansk leading to the Peace of Torun.
  • 1471: Casimir IV is elected King of the Czechs.
  • 1473: Nicholas Copernicus born in Torun.
  • 1476: Poland is plagued by grasshoppers and widespread famine.
  • 1490: Waldyslaw, the son of Casimir IV, becomes King of Bohemia and Hungary.
  • 1493: Establishment of a Parliament consisting of a Senate and Sejm (elected representatives).

  • 1500-1600: Traditional "Golden Age" of Poland- Lithuania; period when political stability, prosperity, and cultural achievement reach their peak.
  • 1505: The statue of Nihil Novi is enacted giving Parliament total decision powers.
  • 1506-1548: Sigismund I, son of Casimir IV, reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1526: Defeat by Ottoman Turks at Battle of Mohács leads to collapse of Jagiellon (Map of dynasty) rule over Bohemia and Hungary.
  • 1543: Copernicus publishes treatise defining heliocentric universe.
  • 1548-1572: Sigismund II (also known as Sigismund Augustus) succeeds his father, Sigismund I, as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1569: Union of Lublin strengthens Polish- Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • 1569: Transfer of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Poland.
  • 1572: Jagiellon Dynasty ends, and era of truly elective monarchy begins.
  • 1573: Confederation of Warsaw. Religious toleration is guaranteed.
  • 1587-1599: Sigismund III, son of John III of Sweden, rule as King of Poland.

  • 1600-1632: Sigismund III continues reign as King of Poland.
  • 1600s: The golden age of Polish literature. Writers such as Mikolaj Rej (1505-69) who is considered the father of Polish literature; poet, Jan Kochanowski; humanitarian, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski (1503-66); Pitor Skarga (1536-1612); historian, Martin Bieski; and Stanislaus Orzechowski (1513-66).
  • 1609: Poland is invaded by Swedes, Turks and Musovites resulting in a period of wars that were known as the "Deluge".
  • 1632-1648: Ladislaus IV, son of Sigismund III, reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1648-1668: John II, son of Sigismund III, reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1648-1667: "Deluge" period includes internal rebellion and foreign invasion.
  • 1672: Turkey invades Poland resulting in the treaty of Buczacz and leading to the Turks occupying Podolia and the southern portion of Kiev region.
  • 1673: Hetman Jan Sobieski achieves victory over Turks at Chocim.
  • 1674-1696: Hetman Jan Sobieski known as John III, reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1683: The siege of Vienna (Battle of Vienna) is broken by John III (Sobieski).
  • 1697-1699: Agustus II reigns as King of Poland.

  • 1700-1733: Agustus II continues reign as King of Poland.
  • 1700-1725: Poland becomes virtual puppet of Russia during reign of Tsar Peter the Great.
  • 1704-1709: Stanislaus I, also known as Stanislaus Leszczynski, reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1733-1735: Stanislaus I reigns as second time as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1735-1763: Augustus III reigns as King of Poland during this period.
  • 1764:
    Stanislaus II, also known as Stanislaw August Poniatowski, was elected as last king of Poland-Lithuania.

    Polish Ryder by Rembrandt
  • 1768-1772: Confederation of Bar rebels.
  • 1772-1773: Austria, Prussia, and Russia impose first partition of Poland. (Poland's partitions)
  • 1791: Constitution of May 3 (second oldest to United States Consitution) restores hereditary monarchy and reforms political system.
  • 1792-1793: Confederation of Targowica invites foreign intervention; Prussia and Russia carry out second partition of Poland.
  • 1794: Tadeusz Kosciuszko leads rebellion against foreign rule.
  • 1795: Austria, Prussia, and Russia impose third partition of Poland, ending Polish independence for more than a century.

  • 1807-1815: Semi-independent Duchy of Warsaw established by Napoleon; abolished by Russian occupation, 1813; repartitioned by Congress of Vienna after Napoleon's final defeat.
  • 1820-1855: The era of romanticism, of revolutionary and reform movements. Nationalism and freedom are themes of: Poets, Adam Mickiewicz, Juliusz Slowacki and Zygmunt Krasinski; novelists, Josef Korzeniowski, Henryk Rzewuski and Alexander Fredro. The music of Fryderyk Chopin.
  • 1830-31: "November Revolt" against Russian rule in Congress Kingdom of Poland proves unsuccessful.
  • 1846: Polish uprising in Austrian zone of partition fails.
  • 1863-1864: "January Insurrection" in Russian sector culminates in failure, ending phase of nineteenth-century insurrections against foreign domination.
  • 1864-1900: Period of "Organic Work" marks important transition in Polish politics and society.

  • 1914-1918: World War I results in collapse of all partition powers and rise of independent Second Polish Republic at war's end.
  • 1919-21:> War with Soviet Russia; Poland avoids Soviet conquest and gains narrow victory.
  • 1925: On October 16, France and Poland sign Treaty of Locarno setting up a mutual defense pact against Germany aggression against either country.
  • 1926: Jozef Pilsudski gains power by coup and establishes sanacja government that rules until 1939.
  • 1933: Stanislaw Skarzynski makes record breaking flight in a one-seater RWD-5bis variant, the smallest and lightest plane to cross the South Atlantic Ocean.
  • 1939: World War II begins with September invasions (pictures) of Poland by Nazi Germany and Soviet Union; Polish forces defeated. After defeat, Polish government-in-exile forms in London under General Sikorski. [View by New York Times - 1 Sep 1939]
  • 1940-41: Soviet Union incarcerates 1.5 million Poles in labor camps and executes thousands of prisoners of war before ceding Polish lands to Germans.
  • 1941-44: All Polish territory comes under Nazi occupation, taking savage toll of Polish lives; Poland becomes main killing ground of the Holocaust: Polish resistance movements active at home and abroad. - [Read: Polish Children Beg for Help in 1942]
  • 1943: Discovery of Katyn Massacre causes breach between Soviet Union and Polish government-in-exile.
  • 1944: Warsaw uprising by resistance Polish Home Army receives no Soviet assistance, is crushed by Nazis. - [Read: Polish Losses in WWII - Witold J. Lukaszewski]
  • 1945: Red Army liberates Polish territories and establishes communist-dominated coalition government.
  • 1947: Communists consolidate political monopoly after rigged elections.
  • 1947-1949: Sovietization occurs, including nationalization of industry and business, attacks on organized religion, and imprisonment of opposition leaders.
  • 1948-56: Stalinist period brings most severe communist rule; adoption of Soviet-style constitution; attempted collectivization of agriculture.
  • 1956: Worker riots in Poznan result in numerous deaths; in defiance of Soviet Union, Wladyslaw Gomulka chosen as Polish Communist Party leader; he announces commitment to reform and liberalization of system.
  • 1968: Popular disenchantment with Gomulka begins to crystallize opposition that will mature in next two decades.
  • 1970: Government price increase policy brings strikes and demonstrations on Baltic coast; met by lethal force, hundreds die; Gomulka deposed.
  • 1970-1980: Edward Gierek heads communist party; his policies result in severe economic crisis and intensified opposition sentiment; strikes and riots result from price rises, 1976.
  • 1978: Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, elected pope, takes name John Paul II.
  • 1980: Nationwide worker strikes culminate in occupation of Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk; state authorities sign Gdansk Accords, acceding to striker demands and autonomy for the Solidarity trade union.
  • 1980-1981: Solidarity, spearhead of political and social reform movement, exists legally; constant friction between Solidarity and government; Warsaw Pact threatens intervention.
  • 1981: General Wojciech Jaruzelski becomes party head, declares martial law, and carries out military takeover in name of communist party; Solidarity banned, its leadership imprisoned, other union activists driven underground.
  • 1983: Solidarity leader Lech Walesa receives Nobel Prize for Peace.
  • 1984: Father Jerzy Popieluszko murdered by Polish secret police.
  • 1985-1988: Period of gradual liberalization corresponding to advent of Mikhail Gorbachev in Soviet Union; economic crisis and popular frustration deepen.
  • 1988: Renewed labor strikes convince Jaruzelski to initiate talks with opposition.
  • 1989: Round Table talks produce formula for power sharing between communists and Solidarity; partly free elections result in sweeping Solidarity victories; communist regime crumbles.
  • 1989: August First postcommunist prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, forms coalition government.
  • 1990/January: "Shock therapy" economic reform program of Finance Minister Leszek Balcerowicz goes into effect; PZPR formally dissolved and renamed Social Democracy of Republic of Poland (SdRP).
  • 1990/December: Walesa becomes president, Poland's first popularly elected post communist president.
  • 1991: July Warsaw Pact alliance dissolved. Summer Comecon economic grouping dissolved. August Coup fails to take over government of Soviet Union. October Parliamentary elections seat fragmented Sejm; Jan Olszewski chosen compromise prime minister. December Soviet Union officially breaks up.
  • 1992/February: Parliament passes strict antiabortion law after bitter social and political struggle. May Sejm rejection of Olszewski economic program leads to Olszewski's ouster; final accord signed on withdrawal of Russian troops from Poland.
  • 1992/August: September Coalition government of Hanna Suchocka oversees economic growth period and continued political fragmentation.
  • 1993/October: Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak forms new government dominated by SdPR.

    Related references:
  • Polish History Index - U. of Kansas
  • Censorship in Poland: - Three parts by John M. Bates - March 1999
  • Polish Diaspora in Turkmenistan - A Colonial Narrative by Walenty Tyszkiewicz
    (Series appeared in The Sarmatian Review - Rice University)
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