Poland’s Political System

Gabriel Morris

Poland was first declared a kingdom thus being ruled by a monarch in 1025. In 1569 Poland creates a union with Lithuania, in this Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth there is a powerful parliament and an elected king. Poland is partitioned three times amidst social change promising civil rights for peasants from 1772-1795 among its neighbors: Russia, Prussia and Austria, until Poland no longer exists on the map. Napoleon then creates the Duchy of Warsaw as a way to rally the Polish people to his cause in 1807. The congress of Vienna then puts Poland under Russian control in 1815. Under Russian control Poland had its civil liberties eroded and as a result there were many revolts. From 1864-1914, there was a Polish national movement strengthening the Polish culture and identity. Poland achieved independence after World War I in 1918 under Marshal Jozef Pilsudski. A Soviet invasion is repelled in 1920 keeping out communism. In 1926 Pilsudski stages a military coup, creating an autocratic dictatorship. Nazi Germany invades and occupies Poland along with the Soviet Union in 1939, beginning World War II. Soviet forces capture Warsaw in 1945 and Poland is subject to communist rule beginning in 1947. In 1956 riots break out in Poznan over demand for greater freedom. A president is elected and the market is reformed, including large-scale privatization in 1990. In 1997 Polish parliament adopts a new constitution. Poland joins NATO in 1999 and joins the EU in 2004.

Ever since 1997 when Poland adopted its new constitution it has been a democracy. It is a polyarchy because its government is separated into a legislative, judicial, and executive branch. It is also a representative democracy because there is an elected parliament. Poland is a federal government, as the national government shares power with smaller local governments. Since Poland is also in the EU, it could also be considered part of a confederation. Poland has experienced massive political change in the past century. It has been under control of both Nazis and Soviets, so endured through both fascism and communism. Because of the hardships it experienced under these oppressive regimes, Poland cares greatly for social and economic freedom in the modern age.


Works Cited

“Poland Timeline.” BBC News, BBC, 18 Jan. 2012,                                                                                           news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/country_profiles/1054724.stm. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017.

“Polish Political System.” President of the Republic of Poland / About Poland / Polish Political             System, Prezydent.pl, http://www.president.pl/en/about-poland/polish-political-system/.              Accessed 25 Feb. 2017.

“Territorial Government.” President of the Republic of Poland / About Poland / Territorial                     Government, Prezydent.pl, http://www.president.pl/en/about-poland/territorial-                                 government/.                Accessed 25 Feb. 2017.



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