Background: Poland is an ancient nation that was conceived near the middle of the 10th century. Its golden age occurred in the 16th century. During the following century, the strengthening of the gentry and internal disorders weakened the nation. In a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795, Russia, Prussia, and Austria partitioned Poland amongst themselves. Poland regained its independence in 1918 only to be overrun by Germany and the Soviet Union in World War II. It became a Soviet satellite state following the war, but its government was comparatively tolerant and progressive. Labor turmoil in 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union "Solidarity" that over time became a political force and by 1990 had swept parliamentary elections and the presidency. A "shock therapy" program during the early 1990s enabled the country to transform its economy into one of the most robust in Central Europe, but Poland currently suffers low GDP growth and high unemployment. Solidarity suffered a major defeat in the 2001 parliamentary elections when it failed to elect a single deputy to the lower house of Parliament, and the new leaders of the Solidarity Trade Union subsequently pledged to reduce the Trade Union's political role. Poland joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.
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Blogs from Kraków
Latest Blogs from Kraków
- September 4th 2012 Salt and Sausage Dogs in Krakόw - Poland
by Words: 766 Photos: 42
- August 24th 2012 Poland a Country Rising from the Ashes: Auschwitz, Krakow and Warsaw
by Words: 505 Photos: 59
- July 22nd 2012 On the Road
by Words: 595 Photos: 7
- July 21st 2012 A quick visit to the Old Town of Krakow...
by Words: 1003 Photos: 45
- July 20th 2012 Safe and Sound!
by Words: 443 Photos: 1
- July 19th 2012 To The Skies!
by Words: 126 Photos: 0
- July 17th 2012 July 4th - Life, Death and Everything
by Words: 818 Photos: 2
- July 16th 2012 July 3rd - Out of Oki Doki, into Tutti Frutti
by Words: 652 Photos: 2
- July 10th 2012 A really nice city, in the south of Poland
by Words: 695 Photos: 10
- July 4th 2012 Happy 4th of July from Poland
by Words: 508 Photos: 5
- July 3rd 2012 Auschwitz-Birkenau
by Words: 494 Photos: 23
- July 2nd 2012 Arrived in Krakow (Cracow), Poland
by Words: 283 Photos: 6
- June 29th 2012 Krakow first day!
by Words: 9 Photos: 0
- May 21st 2012 Chopin
by Words: 231 Photos: 13
- May 19th 2012 Nalesniki and Prost
by Words: 731 Photos: 3
- May 18th 2012 Walking Tour Kakow
by Words: 191 Photos: 8
- May 17th 2012 City of Crack
by Words: 1000 Photos: 39
- April 14th 2012 Visiting Krakow, this time with Dzl, Magda and Al
by Words: 401 Photos: 9
- April 10th 2012 Poland: Land of the cheap... and I love it!
by Words: 1643 Photos: 0
- February 27th 2012 AUSCHWITZ
by Words: 220 Photos: 77