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Give an account of the three stages by which the state of Poland gradually disappeared from the map of Europe in the late 18th century.

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Introduction

(a) Give an account of the three stages by which the state of Poland gradually disappeared from the map of Europe in the late 18th century. (b) To what extent did the disappearance of Poland as an independent state result From its internal political weaknesses? By 1795, Poland had completely disappeared from the Map of Europe. This happened in three stages known as the Partitions of Poland. The first partition was a result of a series of events. Due to internal conflicts in the country of Poland of the two main noble families, one of which would be elected and this very thing was what would cause the initial problem. Russia saw this as a chance to interfere with Polish issues. She needed influence in Poland as it was part of her policy, expanding westward. Catherine the Great, Czarina of Russia, supported a member of the Czartoryski family and with her help, their candidate, Stanislas Poniatowski was elected as Monarch. Through Poniatowski she tried to change Poland. ...read more.

Middle

Hence, the first partition of Poland took place in 1772. Russia took white Russia and the areas between the rivers of Dvina, Dnieper and Drusch. Austria took most of Red Russia and Galicia. Prussia took West Prussia and smaller areas, excluding Danzig. She benefited most from this war because her land joined her country geographically. She took land because of her good idea and Poland lost because she was seen as the root of all the troubles. As a result of this partition, King Stanislas decided that his country was in need of reform to prevent another partition. Most of his reforms were successful and even encouraged him to resist Catherine's influence over his country by ignoring her position as protector of laws and liberties. Poland also signed a defensive alliance with Prussia which was later broken when the new Austrian King wanted to befriend Prussia after terminating his Russian alliance. Despite this setback, Poland formed a Great Diet which continued to reform the country. ...read more.

Conclusion

His army grew and looked as if he would be able to beat the Russian oppression, as he thought France would assist him. They even managed to set up a provisional government in Warsaw. Their dream was shattered when Prussia allied with Russia and made plans for the third partition. Kosciuszko was jailed. Russia took the rest of Lithuania and Black Russia as well as Courland. Austria took the north of Galicia, which included Cracow. Prussia got the areas between Niemen and Vistulla, which included Warsaw. To say that Poland was partitioned as a result of internal weaknesses is partly true but it does not fully justify the motives behind the partitions. The fact that the Monarchy and government were corrupt meant that the army was unorganized and that Russia could easily interfere. However, Poland was also at the center of three big European countries' foreign ambitions and without natural boundaries to protect her, was an easy target for suppression. All these things worked against Poland and made Polish defense a very important ingredient to keeping the Polish Plum-cake together. Without these the country was quite easily in a position to collapse. ...read more.

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