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Not just Piłsudski and Dmowski. The Fathers of Polish Independence.

Józef Piłsudski, together with his staff, in front of the governor’s palace in Kielce
Source: Marian Fuks, 1914, domena publiczna.

Link to the lesson

You will learn
  • to indicate when and in what circumstances Poland regained its independence;

  • to list the greatest champions of the “Polish Cause” during World War I and the fight for the borders of the reborn Polish state;

  • to characterize the concepts of regaining independence;

  • to describe what difficulties did the reborn Polish state had to face.

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Nagranie abstraktu

For the entire Partition period the Poles wondered what should be done to regain independence. And when it happens – what form should the reborn Polish state assume? In the second half of the nineteenth century, two great Polish politicians – Józef Piłsudski and Roman Dmowski – began their activities. They devised two ways for the Poles to strive for their independence. Piłsudski aimed to incite another great uprising. Dmowski rejected the idea of armed violence and sought to obtain independence through diplomacyDiplomacydiplomacy. During World War I Piłsudski created the Polish Legions, an armed formation fighting alongside the Austro‑Hungarian army. Dmowski used diplomacy in order to solicit the acknowledgement of the Polish interests by the Western powers. Owing to their efforts, as well as favorable political conditions (the breakdown of all three partitioning states), in the autumn of 1918 the independent Polish state was reborn, and subsequently acknowledged on the international stage.

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Exercise 1
In which year did Poland disappear from the map of Europe?
Tu uzupełnij
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Exercise 2
How many years passed between the loss of Polish independence until the beginning of World War I?
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Exercise 3
Match the states that partitioned Poland to their respective military blocs. Central Powers Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. German Empire, 2. Austro-Hungary, 3. Russian Empire Entente Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. German Empire, 2. Austro-Hungary, 3. Russian Empire
Task 1

Look carefully at the map and describe how the political situation looked on the eve of the great war.

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European military alliances in 1914
Source: Krystian Chariza i zespół.
Task 2

It is 1914. The war, long‑awaited by the Poles, erupts. The partitioning states are fighting one another. Who will support whom? Remember that in those times nobody knew what the outcome would be!

Decision tree – support the Central Powers or the Entente?

  • Objectives and values: to regain independence.

  • Possible solutions: Support the Central Powers. Support the Entente.

  • What would the positive and negative effects of each of the solutions be?

Exercise 4

Were there other possibilities? What were they?

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Exercise 5
Łączenie par. Mark your choices and compare them with the choices of the heroes of the fight for independence during World War I.. Better to support the Entente. Możliwe odpowiedzi: Me, Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski. Better to support the Central Powers. Możliwe odpowiedzi: Me, Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski. We need to fight in the country. Możliwe odpowiedzi: Me, Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski. We need to fight as emigrés. Możliwe odpowiedzi: Me, Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski. Better to fight under arms. Możliwe odpowiedzi: Me, Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski. Better to resort to diplomacy. Możliwe odpowiedzi: Me, Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski
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Exercise 6

Match the photography to the description and describe how each person contributed to the regaining of the Polish independence.

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Wersja alternatywna: Wymień kilka postaci, które przyczyniły się do odzyskania niepodległości Polski.
Source: Patryk Matyjaszczyk, Fotografia w tle: Święto Niepodległości, licencja: CC BY-SA 3.0.
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Task 3

Read the timeline of the Polish struggle for independence. Afterwards, list the most important people and events that contributed to Poland regaining its independence, as well as the acknowledgement of that fact by other countries.

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Wersja alternatywna: Independence timeline. October 1918. A favorable situation. At the turn of October 1918, the situation on the international stage was exceptionally advantageous for Poland. At the outset of World War I, the Poles could only dream that all three of the partitioning states would end up virtually powerless. 10.11.1918 The return of the commander Józef Piłsudski was released from the Magdeburg Stronghold. In the afternoon of the same day he reached Warsaw. Piłsudski’s arrival in Warsaw was met with universal enthusiasm. 11.11.1918 The end of World War I The armistice between the Entente and the German Empire that marked the end of the Great War was signed in a train car in Compiègne, France.The disarming of the German garrison of Warsaw by Poles. The Regency Council decided to hand the authority over the newborn Polish military over to Józef Piłsudski. 18.11.1918 The new government Józef Piłsudski appointed a coalition government, headed by Jędrzej Moraczewski. 22.11.1918 Temporary Chief of State A decree to render the Polish state a republic has been enacted. Until the convocation of the Legislative Sejm, all power in the state was to be held by the temporary Chief of State – Józef Piłsudski. 18.1.1919 The Paris Conference The peace conference in Paris, where the 27 victorious states would set the post-war order of Europe, has been held. One of the most important matters was to determine the borders of the newborn states, including Poland. The Polish representatives at the conference were Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Paderewski.
Source: domena publiczna.
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Exercise 7
Which of the fathers of the Polish independence said that? Match the quote with the person. Józef Piłsudski Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve. Roman Dmowski Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve. Ignacy Jan Paderewski Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve. Ignacy Daszyński Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve. Wincenty Witos Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve. Wojciech Korfanty Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve. Józef Haller Możliwe odpowiedzi: 1. We are different, coming from different parts of Poland and having different interests, yet we are united by one goal. That goal is our Motherland for which we want to live and work., 2. We are a bold and proud nation, and even despite the misfortunes that befell us and the blows that afflicted us we refuse to bow down as slaves would before the powerful and the mighty., 3. The era Poland lives in, its alliances, its economic and geopolitical standing indicate that the nation is going to thrive only when it is going to take direct interest in the affairs of its Motherland., 4. I am of the opinion that never and nowhere shall it suffice for a state, for its defense and everything else, to have a single man, no matter how much of a genius. This burden has to be shouldered by the society as a whole., 5. I shall not have aims other than the good of the Motherland. I wish to work only and solely for the good of the whole of Poland, whose freedom, unity, own coast and full independence need to be fought for by the Polish military., 6. Poland shall not, shall not perish! It shall thrive for centuries in power and glory. For us, for you, and for the whole of humanity., 7. ”Though I’m always complaining about Polish stupidity and badmouthing Poles, it is only Poland that I serve.

Keywords

independence, regaining independence, Dmowski, Piłsudski

Glossary

Triple Alliance
Triple Alliance
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Nagranie słówka: Triple Alliance

Trójprzymierze – inaczej państwa centralne, tajny obronny układ pomiędzy trzema państwami – Niemcami, Austro‑Węgrami i Włochami (do 1915 r.) w okresie przed i w czasie I wojny światowej. Po odejściu Włoch z Trójprzymierza, termin ten oznaczał sojusz Niemiec, Austro‑Węgier i Turcji, która przystąpiła do porozumienia w sierpniu 1914 r.

Triple Entente
Triple Entente
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Nagranie słówka: Triple Entente

Trójporozumienie – inaczej ententa, w czasie I wojny światowej przymierze państw utworzone przez Rosję, Francję i Wielką Brytanię i ich sojuszników.

Diplomacy
Diplomacy
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Nagranie słówka: Diplomacy

Dyplomacja – wszelkie czynności jakie prowadzi państwo w celu rozwiązania w pokojowy sposób problemów międzypaństwowych.

Independence
Independence
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Nagranie słówka: Independence

Niepodległość – niezależność państwa od wpływu innych państw, instytucji na swoje działania.

Authority
Authority
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Nagranie słówka: Authority

Autorytet – osoba lub instytucja ciesząca się uznaniem i szacunkiem.

Federation
Federation
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Nagranie słówka: Federation

Federacja – forma organizacji państwa, które składa się z mniejszych posiadających autonomię państw związkowych, np. stanów, prowincji itp.

Nationalism
Nationalism
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Nagranie słówka: Nationalism

Nacjonalizm – pogląd głoszący wyższość danego narodu nad innymi.

Armistice
Armistice
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Nagranie słówka: Armistice

Rozejm – inaczej zawieszenie broni, oznacza czasowe wstrzymanie działań zbrojnych między walczącymi stronami.