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The Polish history dates back to the 10th century, when prince Mieszko I united several Slavic tribes under his rule and gave rise to a Polish state.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Poland, then united with Lithuania, was one of the major European powers under the Jagiellonian dynasty. When the dynasty came to an end in 1572, Poland entered a long period of decline, culminating in the partition of the country between Russia, Austria and Prussia in 1772, 1793 and 1795.

Poland regained it's independence after the First World War for two decades, but became the first to fall against the German and Soviet attack at the beginning of the Second World War. In 1939, it was partitioned for the fourth time by Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Since 1944, the Communist party was steadily gaining power. The uprisings in 1956 and 1968 were suppressed. In 1978 Karol Wojtyła became Pope John Paul II. In 1989, led by a reform movement called Solidarity, Poland became the first Eastern European state to break free of the Communism. Poland entered the way of transition towards democracy and market economy. The new Constitution was finally adopted in 1997.
Source: http://www.explore-poland.pl/History.html