Poland

Article

July 6, 2022

Poland (Polish Polska), officially the Republic of Poland (Polish Rzeczpospolita Polska) is a country in Central Europe, bordering Germany to the west, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south, Ukraine and Belarus to the east, and the Baltic Sea to the north, Lithuania. and Russia (in the form of the Kaliningrad enclave). Poland also shares maritime borders with Denmark and Sweden. With an area of ​​312,696 km², Poland is the world's 69th largest country. Poland's population is 38,485,779 (2014) people, mostly living in large cities such as Łódź, the country's historic capital Kraków or the current capital Warsaw. Poland is a parliamentary democracy consisting of sixteen voivodeships, and is the sixth most populous member state of the European Union. The country is a member of NATO, the UN, the OECD and the WTO. The first Polish state emerged in 966, with a territory similar to Poland's modern borders. Poland became a kingdom in 1025, and in 1569 entered into a long-term union with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth was dissolved in 1795, and Poland was divided between its neighbors Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Poland became an independent republic (second Polish republic) in 1918 after the First World War. During World War II, the country was occupied by Germany and the Soviet Union. The areas east of the Curzon line (Polish: Kresy) remained part of the Soviet Union (later Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine) after World War II, at the same time as Poland's border with Germany was moved west to the Oder – Neisse. After the war, Poland was transformed into a communist "Eastern Bloc country" under Soviet control. In 1989, the Communist regime ended and the country became informally known as the "Third Polish Republic".

Etymology

There are several theories about the origin of the Polish name Polska. According to the most widespread theory, the name should come from the Polish tribe (Polish Polanie), who inhabited present-day Greater Poland. The word Polanie, on the other hand, according to one theory comes from the word plemię (tribe), while others believe to see a connection with the word pole (plain, flatland - hence Polanie - plain dwellers), as it is assumed that the Poles were mainly engaged in agriculture. In the past, Poland was familiar with the Latin terms Terra Poloniae (the land of Poland) or Regnum Poloniae (the kingdom of Poland). The name Polska was used throughout the kingdom only in the 11th century. From the 14th century, the land of the Poles was called Staropolska (Old Poland), but later the name was changed to Wielkopolska (Greater Poland). For a change, the lands in the south were called Małopolska (Lesser Poland). Other names for Poland (Persian Lahestān, Lithuanian Lenkija) and for Poles (Turkish Lehce, Russian Ljakh, Hungarian Lengyel) come from the name of the Lędzian tribe, which probably inhabited present-day southeastern parts of Poland. The Polish word rzeczpospolita (as seen in Rzeczpospolita Polska) means republic (actually "commonwealth") and is usually used uniquely for Poland. The word republika (republic), on the other hand, is used for other countries, such as Republika Czeska (Czech Republic).

Natural Geography

Poland can be described as an unbroken flatland that stretches from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Carpathians in the south. Within the flatland, terrain variations spread from east to west. The Baltic coast lacks natural harbors with the exception of the Gdańsk-Gdynia region in the north and the Szczecin area in the northwest. The northeastern region (lake areas) is not very populated and is not used as an agricultural and industrial area, as the region is not rich in natural resources. To the south and west of the lake areas are the central plains, which extend southwest to the Sudetenland at the border with the Czech Republic and Slovakia and southeast to the Carpathians at the border with the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. The length of Poland's borders is 3,511 km, of which 440 km is the coastal border (the Baltic coast, which is not Poland's actual coastal border, is 788 km). Including inland water, Poland's area is 312,683 km². The country stretches 649 kilometers from north ten