Seuraa blogiani Bloglovinin avulla Follow

Total views on my most magnificent blog

perjantai 21. huhtikuuta 2017

Bulgaria, Cool Facts #176

<= 175. Macedonia                                                                                                        177. Greece => 

1. Two Bulgarian Empires

First Bulgarian Empire 681-1018 

- Established around the year 681 when Bulgar tribes led by Asparukh moved to the north-eastern Balkans
- Several wars against the Byzantine, but also times of peace and alliance with the Byzantines
- In 864 Christianity was adopted in Bulgaria, which was influenced by Byzantium
- Bulgars confronted the Arabs in the Second Arab siege of Constantinople, preventing an Arab invasion of Southeastern Europe
- Bulgars also confronted Pechenegs, Cumans and Magyars
- In 893 Old Bulgarian was adopted as a national language
- Old Bulgarian became the lingua franca of much of Eastern Europe and it became known as Old Church Slavonic
- First Bulgarian Empire ceased to exist in 1018 when it surrendered to the Byzantine Empire

Bulgaria in the early 10th century

Second Bulgarian Empire 1185-1396 

- In 1185 the Second Bulgarian Empire was established after a major uprising organized by Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV
- 1257 The Asen dynasty ended and the country's military and economic might declined, facing internal conflicts and constant Byzantine, Hungarian and Mongol attacks
- The empire declined in the late 1200s under constant invasions by Mongols, Byzantines, Hungarians and Serbs besides all the internal unrest and revolts
- On the eve of Ottoman conquest, Bulgaria was divided into three parts
- In 1396 Ottoman Empire conquered all Bulgarian lands south of Danube
- Many clerics and scholars emigrated to Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia and Russian principalities after the Ottoman conquest

Second Bulgarian Empire

2. Principality of Bulgaria 1878-1908

End of Ottoman Rule
The Bulgarian Empire fell in 1396 after the Bulgarian-Ottoman Wars. Bulgaria remained a part of Ottoman Empire until 1878 and officially it was declared independent in 1908. In 1877-1878 the uprisings against the Ottoman Empire in the Balkan region escalated into the Russo-Turkish War.

De facto independence 1878
After the war Bulgaria in 1878 Bulgaria became de facto independent, but nominally vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. In the Treaty of San Stefano the proposed Bulgarian state comprised the areas of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. The great powers feared the establishment of a large Russian client state on the Balkans and decided to revise the earlier treaty and scaled back the proposed Bulgarian state. The autonomous principality of Bulgaria was established in the Treaty of Berlin, which was much smaller than in the first proposition. The principality annexed Eastern Rumelia in 1885 in a bloodless revolution.

Independence 1908
In 1908 Bulgaria declared independence as the Kingdom of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria and Russia relations
Bulgaria was very grateful for Russians, because the Russo-Turkish War led to the independence of Bulgaria. The Bulgarians were so grateful that they didn't declare war against Russia or Soviet Union in both of the World Wars, although they were allied with Germany in both wars. Bulgaria showed its gratefulness in their flag, which resembles the Russian flag. Bulgaria was also one of the most loyal members in the Soviet-led Comecon and Warsaw Pact

Bulgarian Principality (green), Eastern Rumelia (light green)

3. Two Balkan Wars in 1912-1913

Balkan region before First Balkan War
First Balkan War 
- Fought between October 1912 and May 1913
- The Balkan League defeated the Ottoman Empire
- The Balkan League consisted of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece and Montenegro
- Almost all remaining Ottoman areas in Europe were partitioned by the League
- Independent Albania was established after the end of the war
- Bulgaria was dissatisfied with the partitioning of Macedonia, which provoked the Second Balkan War

Balkans after First Balkan War

Second Balkan War
- Fought between June 1913 and August 1913
- Bulgaria was dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War and started the war
- Bulgaria attacked its former allies Serbia and Greece
- Serbian and Greek armies counter-attacked and entered Bulgaria
- Previous territorial disputes with Romania provoked Romanian intervention against Bulgaria
- The Ottoman Empire also took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territories from the previous war
- Bulgaria asked for armistice when Romanian forces approached the capital Sofia
- Two peace treaties were made
- In the Treaty of Bucharest Bulgaria had to cede parts of its First Balkan War gains to Serbia, Greece and Romania
- In the Treaty of Constantinople Bulgaria had to cede Edirne to the Ottomans

Balkans after Second Balkan War

4. Human Rights in Bulgaria 

The human rights situation in Bulgaria is not the best. Here is a list of things mentioned in the Human Rights Report of Bulgaria.

- Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in Europe (Corruptions Perceptions Index, 2016)
- Intolerance and marginalization towards Romani minority peoples
- Discrimination against other ethnic groups and LGBTI people
- Elections fraud
- Human trafficking
- Online anti-semitism
- Religious discrimination and harassment
- Problems with refugee integration, processes and policies
- Violence against children
- Violence and discrimination against women

Protest in Bulgaria

5. Unesco World Heritage Sites in Bulgaria 

There are nine historical and natural objects in Bulgaria, that have been included in the list of Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Cultural sites (7)

Boyana Church
Madara Rider
Rock-Hewn Churches of Ivanovo
Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak
Ancient City of Nesebar
Rila Monastery
Thracian Tomb of Sveshtari

Natural sites (2)

Pirin national park

500BC Persians conquered most of present-day Bulgaria
480BC Many Thracian tribes were united in the Odrysian kingdom by king Teres
46 Romans conquered the Odrysian kingdom
395 Roman Empire is divided into two and Bulgaria came under Byzantine rule
500s South Slavs started gradually settling in the region
600s Bulgars, Turkic nomadic tribe from Middle Asia, arrived to the region
681 First Bulgarian Empire was established after a battle against the Byzantium
864 Paganism was abolished under Boris I
971 Seizure of the capital Preslav by the Byzantine army
1018 Byzantium ended the First Bulgarian Empire 
1185 Second Bulgarian Empire was established after a major uprising organized by Asen dynasty nobles Ivan Asen I and Peter IV
1257 The Asen dynasty ended and the country's military and economic might declined, facing internal conflicts and constant Byzantine, Hungarian and Mongol attacks
1396 Ottoman Empire conquered all Bulgarian lands south of Danube
1598 and 1686 Tarnovo uprisings against the Ottoman Empire
1688 Chiprovtsi Uprising
1689 Karposh's Rebellion
1876 April Uprising in which 30,000 Bulgarians were killed as Ottoman authorities put down the rebellion
1878 The autonomous principality of Bulgaria was established after the Turko-Russian War
1885 The Bulgarian principality won a war against Serbia and incorporated the semi-autonomous Ottoman territory of Eastern Rumelia
1908 Bulgaria declared itself an independent state
1912 Bulgaria joined Serbia, Greece and Montenegro in the war against Turkey, which they won in the First Balkan War
1913 Bulgaria lost the Second Balkan War against its former allies
1914-1918 Bulgaria joined the losing side Central Powers in World War I
1918-1943 Royal authoritarian dictatorship of Tsar Boris III
1923 Prime minister Alexander Stamboliyski was murdered in a military coup
1934 Military coup after which King Boris III was given rights of an absolute ruler
1941 Bulgaria entered World War II as a member of the Axis but declined to participate in Operation Barbarossa and saved its Jewish population from deportation to concentration camps
1943 Boris III died
1944 Soviet Red Army occupied Bulgaria and the communist-dominated Fatherland Front took the power in Bulgaria and joined the Allied side for the rest of the war
1946 The one-party people's republic was established in Bulgaria
1984 An assimiliation campaign was launched in order to erase the identity of the ethnic Turks, which included closing mosques and forcing ethnic Turks to adopt Slavic names
1989 The communist rule in Bulgaria ended
1990 First free elections were won by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (the freshly renamed Communist Party)
2001 Economic, political and geopolitical conditions started improving greatly
2001 Former King Simeon II won the parliament elections and became the Prime Minister
2004 Bulgaria joined Nato
2007 Bulgaria joined European Union 

maanantai 17. huhtikuuta 2017

Macedonia, Cool Facts #175

<= 174. Hungary                                                                                                        176. Bulgaria => 

The ancient Kingdom of Macedonia was mostly within the borders of present-day Greece.

808 BC Ancient Kingdom of Macedonia was established by Caranus
512/511-493 BC Darius I made Macedonia a vassal kingdom of the Persian Achaemenid Kingdom 
492-479 BC Macedonia was a fully subordinate part of Persia
479 BC Macedonia gets back independence after the Persians withdrew from their European territories after the loss in the Second Persian invasion of Greece
356 BC Philip II of Macedonia annexed the regions of Upper Macedonia and the southern part of Paeonia into the Kingdom of Macedonia
338 BC Philip II conquered the Greek city states, that were having wars against each others and his son Alexander the Great created a huge Empire reaching to Far East, over Egypt and Persia until India
323 BC The kingdom was divided into three parts after the death of Alexander, but Macedonia remained the leading state in Greece until the Roman conquest
322-275 BC Wars of the Diadochi, which were a series of conflicts fought between Alexander the Great's generals over the rule of his vast empire, after his death
148 BC Macedonia became a Roman Province

Map of the Kingdom of Macedonia in 336BC

2. Name Dispute between Macedonia and Greece 

There is a dispute about the name of Macedonia. Greece prohibits Macedonia to use the name Macedonia alone. First Greece denied the country's name and flag. Then it demanded the term FYROM, Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia to be used of the country. 

Greece has also objected the use of the term "Macedonian" for the country's largest ethnic group and language. Millions of Greeks in the province of Macedonia in northern Greece identify themselves as Macedonians who are unrelated to the Slavic people in the Republic of Macedonia. 

The reason is that according to Greece the name Macedonia belongs to the Greek Hellenistic culture. Both Greece and Serbia consider Macedonia to be historically their own land because of historical reasons. 

The dispute between Greece and Republic of Macedonia has escalated to the highest level of international mediation, involving numerous failed attempts to achieve a resolution. There isn't a final agreement of the name yet. 

Map of the Macedonian geographical region

3. Flag of Republic of Macedonia  

The Republic of Macedonia is the only country in the world, which hasn't been able to decide about its flag on its own. Greece has accused the Republic of Macedonia of using symbols and figures that are historically considered part of Greek culture such as the Vergina Sun and Alexander the Great. 

Between 1992-1995 Republic of Macedonia used a flag, which had the Vergina Sun, the ancient Hellenic symbol used by the Macedonian kings Philip II and Alexander the Great. The Greeks thought they had the exclusive right to this symbol. The Greek province of Macedonia used the same symbol with a blue background.

Greek objections prevented the flag from being flown at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The blockade was lifted in October 1995 when the Republic of Macedonia agreed to modify the flag. 

Republic of Macedonia flag 1992-1995 
Flag of Greek Macedonia

4. Albanian insurgency in 2001

In 1999 the Kosovo war destabilized the border with Macedonia and a wave of 360,000 Albanian refugees arrived to Macedonia.

In 2001 between February and August there was a conflict between the government and ethnic Albanian insurgents, mostly in north and west parts of the country.

Nato intervention
The insurgency ended with a Nato intervention and after that the Macedonian government agreed to devolve greater political power and cultural recognition to the Albanian minority. The Albanian side agreed to abandon separatist demands and to recognize all Macedonian institutions fully. They also handed over their weapons to a Nato force.

Conflict map
Albanian insurgents hand over their weapons to U.S marines

5. Rulers of Macedonia  

After the division of Rome in 395, Macedonia remained under Byzantine rule 

First Bulgarian Empire
In the 800s Macedonia was part of the First Bulgarian Empire 

In 1014 Byzantium won Bulgaria and within four years the Byzantines restored control over the Balkans. 

Second Bulgarian Empire
The Second Bulgarian Empire gained control of the area in the 1200s.

Byzantium and Serbian Empire
The region came under Byzantine rule again in the beginning of the 1300s and later a part of the Serbian Empire.

Ottoman Empire
In 1371 the Ottomans conquered the territory and ruled it for over 500 years. 

Bulgarian Exarchate 
In 1870 the bishoprics of Skopje, Debar, Bitola, Ohrid, Veles and Strumica voted to join the Bulgarian Exarchate. 

Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria
After the Two Balkan Wars in 1912-1913, Macedonia was divided between Serbia and Greece, leaving a small slice to Bulgaria.

In 1918 Macedonia became a part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which later was renamed as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after the Second World War the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Independence of Republic of Macedonia
In 1991 Macedonia was peacefully declared independent, unlike many other constituent states of Yugoslavia, which entered a war against each other. 

Division of the region Macedonia after the Balkan Wars 

Macedonia in Yugoslavia

Mount Korab in Macedonia


808 BC Kingdom of Macedonia was established
500s BC Achaemenid Persians under Darius the Great conquered the Paeonians
479 BC The Persians withdrew from their European territories after the loss in the Second Persian invasion of Greece
356 BC Philip II of Macedonia annexed the regions of Upper Macedonia and the southern part of Paeonia into the Kingdom of Macedonia
338 BC Philip II conquered the Greek city states, that were having wars against each others and his son Alexander the Great created a huge Empire reaching to Far East, over Egypt and Persia until India
323 The kingdom was divided into three parts after the death of Alexander, but Macedonia remained the leading state in Greece until the Romans defeated it in the four Macedonian Wars
148 BC Rome made Macedonia into a Roman Province 
395 Macedonia remained under Byzantine rule after the division of Rome
500s Slavic peoples settled in the Balkan region
800s Macedonia was part of the First Bulgarian Empire
1014 Byzantium won Bulgaria and within four years the Byzantines restored control over the Balkans
1200s A revived Bulgarian Empire gained control of the area
1300s The region came under Byzantine rule again in the beginning of the century and later a part of the Serbian Empire
1371 The Ottomans conquered the territory and ruled it for over 500 years
1800s Ottoman rule in the Balkan started to erode and several movements arose in Macedonia, which had the aim of establishing an autonomous Macedonia
1870 The bishoprics of Skopje, Debar, Bitola, Ohrid, Veles and Strumica voted to join the Bulgarian Exarchate
1903 Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization organized the Ilinden-Preobrazhenie Uprising against the Ottomans, which after some initial success was crushed violently
1912-1913 After the Two Balkan Wars, Macedonia was divided between Serbia and Greece leaving a small slice to Bulgaria
1915 Macedonia joined the Central Powers in World War I 
1918 Macedonia became a part of the newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
1929 The Kingdom was renamed as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
1941-1945 Yugoslavia was occupied by Axis Powers during the World War I
1944 Socialist Republic of Macedonia became one of the six constituent countries of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1946-1949 Macedonian communist insurgents supported the Greek communists during the Greek civil war
1991 Macedonia was peacefully declared independent, unlike many other countries in Yugoslavia
1994 Greece declared a trade embargo on Macedonia, because the country used the name Macedonia, which Greece regards to belong to the Greek Hellenistic culture
1999 Kosovo war destabilized the border with Macedonia and a wave of 360,000 Albanian refugees arrived to Macedonia 
2001 Albanian insurgency, which ended with a Nato intervention and after that the Macedonian government agreed to devolve greater political power and cultural recognition to the Albanian minority 

"Maailman maat - liput ja historia" by Kimmo Kiljunen

sunnuntai 9. huhtikuuta 2017

Hungary, Cool Facts #174

<= 173. Poland                                                                                                         175. Macedonia =>

1. Hungarian raids in Europe

Hungarians raided in Europe starting from the 800s. In 895 Hungarian tribes united and settled in the Carpathian Basin. The raids continued in the 900s.


861 Saint Cyril was attacked by Hungarians in Crimea, but seeing him praying the Hungarians became peaceful
862 First raid in the Carpathian Basin against East Francia by the request of Rastislav of Moravia
892 Hungarian troops attack Great Moravia in alliance with East Francia

895 Hungarians conquer the eastern part of the Carpathian Basin, starting the Hungarian Conquest

899 Hungarian troops attack the Italian kingdom
900 Hungarian army units conquer Pannonia
901 Hungary attacks to Carinthia and Northern Italy
902 Hungary conquers the eastern parts of Great Moravia
906 Hungarian troops devastate the Duchy of Saxony
908 Hungarians attack Thuringia and Saxony
909 Hungarians raid Bavaria and Swabia
912 Hungarians attack Franconia and Thuringia
917 Hungarians attack Basel, Duchy of Alsace, Lotharingia and other places in the same region
924 Campaing in Italy and Southern France
931 Hungarian army burns the Italian city of Piacenza
934 Raids in the Balkans
942 Hungarian army attacks the Caliphate of Cordoba
947 Campaings in Italy
955 Raids in Central Europe
961 Hungarian attacks to Thrace and Macedonia
966 Hungarians attack the First Bulgarian Empire
968 Hungarians attack the Byzantine Empire

970 End of Hungarian invasions of Europe 

Hungarian raids map

The Battle of Mohács was a battle fought between the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.

The Hungarian state collapsed in the battle as the Ottomans defeated the Hungarians, whose lands were partitioned for several centuries between Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy and the Principality of Transylvania. Further the death of Louis II marked the end of the Jagiellon dynasty in Hungary and Bohemia, whose dynastic claims passed to the House of Habsburg.

After this battle Hungary hasn't been able to get the same influence as it had in Europe. For the following two hundred years after the battle, Hungarian lands were ravaged by constant warfare between the Ottoman Empire and Habsburg Monarchy. In moments of bad luck, Hungarians still say "more was lost in Mohács ".

The Battle of Mohács
Mohács Monument, markers of where bodies were found

3. Budapest

Formation of the city
In 1873 the cities of Buda, Óbuda and Pest were all united to create the new metropolis of Budapest.

The capital of the Hungarian Kingdom from 1361 until 1541. Between 1541-1686 Buda was under Ottoman rule. Today it comprises about one third of Budapest.

The name means Old Buda and it now forms part of District III-Óbuda-Békásmegyer of Budapest.

Writing dating back to 1148 reveal that Pest was a separate independent city long time ago. Currently it comprises about two thirds of Budapest's territory.

Buda and Pest in c1850

4. Treaty of Trianon 1920

The Treaty of Trianon was a peace agreement between the Allied and Associated Powers and Hungary. The treaty regulated the status of an independent Hungary and defined its borders. The modern boundaries of Hungary were defined in this treaty, except for three villages that were transferred to Czechoslovakia in 1947.

Terms of the treaty

- Left Hungary only 28% of the pre-war territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, which was part of Austria-Hungary
- The principal beneficiaries of territorial division of pre-war Hungary were the Kingdom of Romania,  Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the Czechoslovak Republic
- Population of Hungary was 7,6 million, only 36% of the pre-war population of 20,9 million
- 3,3 million (31%) Hungarians were left outside of post-Trianon Hungary
- Hungary had to pay war reparations to its neighbors

Hungary borders after Treaty of Trianon

5. Hungarian Revolution of 1956 

In World War II, Hungary was a member of the Axis powers, allied with Nazi Germany's side. Hungary participated in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Soviet Union managed to force back, the invading powers and in 1944 was advancing to Hungary. Hungary feared the invasion and started armistice negotiations with the allies. Then Germany invaded and occupied its ally and set up its own pro-Axis regime in Hungary. In 1945 the Soviet troops defeated both the Hungarian and German troops in the country.

Soviet occupation
After World War I Hungary was a multiparty democracy between until 1949. The Soviets concluded a mutual assistance treaty, Comecon, that granted the Soviet Union rights to continued military presence and assuring ultimate political party. The Hungarian People's Republic was also declared in 1949.

In 1956 the revolution started as a student demonstration. One student died, when the State Security Police fired students who tried to enter the radio building to broadcast their demands to the government. The dead person was wrapped in a flag and held above the crowd. This was the start of the revolution. The revolt spread quickly and the government collapsed. Finally the a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country. The resistance was stopped on November 10th.

The revolt caused the death of 2,500 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops and 200,000 Hungarians fled as refugees. By January 1957 the new Soviet-installed government had suppressed all public opposition. Public discussion of this revolution was also suppressed in Hungary for more than 30 years.

Revolution in 1956 
Tanks in Budapest


35BC-9BC The Roman Empire conquered the territory west of Danube
Before 895 the area was ruled by the Huns and after them the Germanic Ostrogoths, Lombards, Gepids, Avars, East Francia, First Bulgarian Empire and Great Moravia
895 Hungary was established as a federation of united tribes
907-910 The Hungarians defeated thee major East Frankish Imperial Armies
955 The Hungarians lost in the Battle of Lechfeld, when the German King Otto I defeated them
972 The ruling prince Géza officially started to integrate Hungary into the Christian Western Europe
1000 Saint Stephen I became the First King of Hungary after defeating his pagan uncle Koppány
1006 Stephen made reforms to convert Hungary into a Western feudal state. The country switched to use the Latin language, which remained the official language of Hungary until 1844
1102 Personal union of Croatia and Hungary was established
1222 The Golden Bull of 1222 by Andrew II was the first constitution in continental Europe
1241-1242 Mongol invasion killed almost half of Hungary's population
1285 The Mongols returned but the newly built stone-castles and new tactics stopped them
1301-1308 A destructive period of interregnum after the death of the last Árpád king
1411 Sigismund of Luxembourg succeeded to the throne and in 1433 he also became the Holy Roman Emperor
1439 The first Hungarian Bible translation was completed
1458-1490 The Renaissance King Matthias Corvinus was the last strong king of medieval Hungary
1479 Hungarian army destroyed the Ottoman and Wallachian armies at the Battle of Breadfield
1521 The strongest fortress in the South Nándorfehérvár fell to the Ottoman Empire
1526 The Hungarian state collapsed in the Battle of Mohács as the Ottomans defeated the Hungarians
1541 Buda was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, the north-western part was annexed by the Habsburgs and the eastern part became the independent Principality of Transylvania under first Ottoman suzerainty and later Habsburg
1686 The Holy League's army reconquered Buda from the Ottomans
1703-1711 Large scale uprising against the Habsburg's led by Francis II Rákóczi
1718 The entire Kingdom of Hungary was removed from Ottoman rule
1828-1848 Reform period
1848-1849 A revolution by Hungarians in Buda and Pest against the Habsburg dynasty, who managed to suppress the revolution with the help of Russia 
1866 Austria lost against Prussia in the war and had to abandon the German Confederation
1867 Dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary was established
1873 The old capital Buda, Óbuda and Pest were all united to create the new metropolis of Budapest
1910s Hungary allied with the Central Powers in the First World War
1916 Emperor Franz Joseph died
1918 Hungary's union with Austria was dissolved and Hungary became independent 
1919 In March Communists led by Béla Kun overthrew the government and proclaimed the Hungarian Societ Republic, but by August Romanian troops occupied Budapest and ousted Kun
1920 Miklós Horthy was proclaimed Regent of the reestablished Kingdom of Hungary
1938 Hungary occupied Slovakia's southern parts
1940 Hungary formally joined the Axis Powers in World War II, declaring war on the Soviet Union
1944 Germany occupied Hungary,overthrew Horthy and installed a puppet government, because Germany had found out Hungary's secret plan to seek peace with the Allies
1945 Budapest surrendered, the German troops left the country under Soviet military occupation
1946 Hungary was declared republic
1948-1956 Purges of about 350,000 officials and intellectuals imprisoned or executed
1949 Hungarian People's Republic was declared
1955 Hungary joined Warsaw Pact
1956 Revolution in Hungary, Nagy took Hungary out of the Warsaw Pact, which resulted Soviet troops to suppress the revolution
1958 Nagy was captured and executed 
1968 New Economic Mechanism introduced free-market elements into socialist command economy
1980s Living standards steeply declined again due to a worldwide recession
1989 The Republic of Hungary was declared
1990 First free elections were held and the winner was the Hungarian Democratic Forum
1994 The Socialist party won the elections 
1999 Hungary joined Nato
2004 Hungary joined European Union  
2006 Major protests after a socialist PM claimed in his private speech that his party had lied to win the recent elections
2010 The national-conservative Fidesz won the elections and adopted a new constitution and legal changes like banning abortion and gay marriages among other controversial laws 

maanantai 3. huhtikuuta 2017

Poland, Cool Facts #173

<= 172. Czech Republic                                                                                              174. Hungary =>

1. Casimir III the Great 

Casimir III the Great was the king of Poland between 1333-1370. He was born in 1310 and died in 1370. 

Facts of his rule: 

- Inherited a weakened kingdom and made it prosperous and wealthy
- Reformed the Polish army
- Doubled the size of the kingdom
- Founded the University of Krakow
- Introduced laws to end the overwhelming superiority of the nobility
- Allowed Jews to settle in Poland and introduced laws defending them
- The only king in Polish king to receive and retain the title "Great"
- Black Death (1347-1351) was a plague that ravaged in Europe, but it didn't affect Poland, because Casimir decided to quarantine the nation's borders

Death of Casimir III 

- Left no lawful male heirs
- With his death the Piast dynasty died out
- The nephew of Casimir III, King Louis I of Hungary, succeeded him as king of Poland in personal union with Hungary
- In 1386 Casimir's daughter Jadwiga married the Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila, which meant the beginning of the Polish-Lithuanian union

Casimir III the Great
Poland in 1370

2. Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 

What ?
- A dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a monarch, who was both the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania
- One of the largest and most populous countries in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s
- At its peak in the 1600s it had an area of 1,2 million square kilometers and a population of 11 million

- Since 1386 the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were in a de facto personal union with the marriage of the Polish queen Hedwig and Lithuania's Grand Duke Jogaila 
- In 1569 the union was formalized by the Union of Lublin 

End - The Polish partitions in 1772, 1793 and 1795 reduced the nation's size and after the last one the Commonwealth disappeared as an independent state 
- The Polish-Lithuanian was partitioned between Prussia, Austria and the Russian Empire in the 1700s

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth at its maximum extent in 1619 after the Truce of Deulino 

3. Polish Partitions 

First partition 1772 
Austria, Prussia and Russia partitioned Poland to restore the regional balance of power in Central Europe. Poland was unable to defend itself and foreign troops were already inside the country so the Polish parliament (Sejm) had to ratify the partition in 1773. 

Second partition 1793 
The second partition was made by Russia and Prussia in the aftermath of the Polish-Russian War of 1792. 

Third partition 1795 The last partitioned was made by Russia, Prussia and Austria and it ended the existence of an independent Poland for the next 123 years.

Partitions of Poland

4. Polish-Soviet War 1919-1921 

Polish independence 
In November 1918 Poland had regained independence as the Second Polish Republic. It managed to became independent after 123 years, because the Austrian, German and Russian Empires surrounding it fell in World War I.

War against Soviet Union 
Soviet troops tried to occupy Poland, but Poland managed to prevent this. Poland inflicted a crushing defeat on the Red Army at the Battle of Warsaw. This event was very important as it's considered to have halted the advance of Communism into Europe and forced Vladimir Lenin to reconsider his goal  of achieving global socialism. This event is often referred to as the "Miracle at the Vistula". 

Territorial changes
Poland took control of Western Ukraine and West Belarus.

Polish-Russian War 1919-1921

5. How Poland became part of the Eastern Bloc

- In 1944 Stalin had made guarantees to Churchill and Roosevelt, that he would maintain Poland's sovereignty and allow democratic elections to be held 
- In 1945 the elections, organized by the occupying Soviet authorities, were falsified
- The Soviet Union instituted a new communist government in Poland 
- The Soviet occupation of Poland met with armed resistance like elsewhere in Communist Europe
- The new Polish government accepted the Soviet annexation of the pre-war eastern regions of Poland despite widespread objections 
- The new Polish government also agreed to the permanent garrisoning of Red Army units on Poland's territory 
- In 1952 the People's Republic of Poland was officially proclaimed 

Poland's old and new borders in 1945


400s Slavic tribes that would form Poland migrated to these areas
966 Mieszko I, who is considered the creator of the Polish state, converted into Christianity
1030 Pagan reaction in Poland, a series of uprisings and rebellions caused by the dissatisfaction with the process of Christianization
1038 The capital was transferred to Krakow, because of the pagan unrest
1109 Prince Boleslaw III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany and stopped the German march into Poland
1138 Poland fragmented into several smaller duchies when Boleslaw divided his lands among his sons
1238-1241 Henry I the Beaded and Henry III the Pious almost succeeded to unite Polish lands, but the Mongols invaded the country from the east and defeated the Polish forces
1320 Wladyslaw I took the throne and became the first king of a reunified Poland
1347-1351 The Black Death, a plague that ravaged didn't affect Poland much because Casimir the Great decided to quarantine the nation's borders
1370 The Piast dynasty came to an end, when Casimir the Great died leaving no legitimate male heir
1386 The Polish-Lithuanian union was established after Casimir's daughter Jadwiga married the Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila
1410 Battle of Grunwald, a decisive victory for the Polish-Lithuanian army over the Teutonic Knights, allowing Poland-Lithuania's territorial expansion to the north 
1505 The state was ruled by the "free and equal" Polish nobility after the Polish Sejm (parliament) transferred most of the legislative power from the monarch to the Sejm
1543 The Polish astronomer, Nicholaus Copernicus published his work about the heliocentric theory 
1569 The Union of Lublin established the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
1573 The Warsaw Confederation confirmed the religious freedom to all the inhabitants of Poland, which was a very important decision for the stability of the multiethnic society of Poland
1588 Serfdom was banned
1655-1660 Deluge, a series of campaigns in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth by Sweden and other nations, causing the death of four million people in famines and epidemics out of the population of eleven million people
1667 East Ukraine was annexed to Russia and Sweden conquered Poland's provinces in the Baltics
1764 Stanislaw II August, the last King of Poland, took the throne after the royal election
1772 First Partition of Poland by Russia, Prussia and Austria
1793 Second Partition of Poland by Russia and Prussia, ended the existence of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
1795 After the failed Kościuszko Uprising Poland was partitioned the third time by Russia, Prussia and Austria
1807 During the Napoloenic Wars, Napoleon I of France recreated the Polish state as the satellite Duchy of Warsaw
1815 In the Congress of Vienna, Poland was partitioned between Prussia and Russia
1830 November uprising against the Russians
1846 During the Spring of Nations in Europe, the Prussians suppressed the Greater Poland Uprising and ended the autonomy of Grand Duchy of Posen
1863-1864 The failed January Uprising against the Russians
1918-1919 Great Poland Uprising against the German rule 
1918-1939 Second Republic of Poland
1919-1921 Polish-Soviet War, which Poland won and halted the advance of Communism into Europe
1926 May Coup by Józef Klemens Piłsudski, who continued his authoritarian rule until his death in the year 1935 
1939 Nazi Germany invaded Poland and started the Second World War, Poland was divided into two zones, the other controlled by Germany and the other by Soviet Union 
1945 Soviet troops occupied Poland and after the war Poland's territory was reduced by 20% 
1952 The People's Republic of Poland was officially proclaimed 
1955 Warsaw Pact was established 
1978 Polish Karol Wojtyla became the first non-Italian pope since Dutch Pope Adrian VI, who had been a pope in 1522-1523 
1980 Labour turmoil led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity"
1981-1983 Martial law in Poland as the authoritarian communist government attempted to crush political opposition 
1989 Solidarity won Poland's first partially free and democratic parliamentary elections after which Poland became a republic
1990 Lech Walesa won the presidential elections
1991 Poland joined the Visegrad Group and Nato
2004 Poland became a full member of European Union
2010 President Lech Kaczynski, along with 89 high-ranking Polish officials died in a plane crash near Smolensk, Russia