The concepts of the Polish state boundaries on the threshold of independence Cover Image

Koncepcje granic państwa polskiego u progu odzyskania niepodległości
The concepts of the Polish state boundaries on the threshold of independence

Author(s): Piotr Eberhardt
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences, Politics, History, Geography, Regional studies, Recent History (1900 till today), Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919)
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Łódzkiego
Keywords: terytorium Polski; granice Polski; polskie koncepcje graniczne; Polish territory; Polish borders; concepts of Polish borders

Summary/Abstract: W artykule przedstawiono koncepcje i wizje badaczy polskich działających w XIX i na początku XX w. Dotyczyły one rozległości terytorialnej odrodzonego w przyszłości państwa polskiego. Nawiązywały początkowo do granic historycznej Rzeczypospolitej. W późniejszym czasie uwzględniały również kryteria etniczne i strategiczne. Zaprezentowano na kolejnych mapach koncepcje Oskara Żebrowskiego, Stanisława Tomaszewskiego, Aleksandra Janowskiego, Czesława Jankowskiego, Włodzimierza Wakara, Wiktora Skargi-Dobrowolskiego, Józefa Jaskólskiego. Ostatnie dwa omówione programy terytorialne miały już charakter oficjalnych dokumentów. Pierwszy z nich był opracowany w Lozannie przez Komitet Narodowy Polski, ostatni zaś osobiście był przygotowany przez Romana Dmowskiego, ale reprezentował oficjalne stanowisko Rządu Polskiego. After the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was liquidated and disappeared from the map of Europe at the end of the 18th century, and was partitioned by Russia, Prussia, and Austria, Polish activists of the independence movements never consented to the fact and continued to work for the revival of the Polish state. One of the issues pondered about was that of the future boundaries of this state. Initially, the issue was not complicated at all, since it was commonly held that the sole just solution would be the return to the historical boundaries of 1772. In the later period, the awareness arose that this option cannot be realised. This was not only the consequence of the stable and disadvantageous for Poland geopolitical situation in Europe, but also of the ethnic diversification of the territory of the former Commonwealth. That is why various concepts started to appear, concerning the future boundaries of Poland, considering the historical, geopolitical, strategic, and ethnic conditioning. These concepts were primarily the visions of individual scholars or activists, but often they did represent definite ideological and political orientations. The article presents and comments upon some of these designs. Those more original in substantive terms, and containing an interesting cartographic illustration, were selected for presentation. Thusthe article treats the concepts authored by: Oskar Żebrowski, Stanisław Tomaszewski, Aleksander Janowski, Czesław Jankowski, Włodzimierz Wakar, Wiktor Skarga-Dobrowolski, and Józef Jaskólski. These concepts, postulating the shape of boundaries of Poland, differed significantly as to the general territorial reach of the country and the shapes of its boundaries. Some of them were of clear maximalist character, while other ones were more moderate, and so had higher chances of implementation. The two last proposals for the boundaries of Poland, presented in the article, were already the official documents. The first of those two represented the position of the Polish National Committee, which was active in Lausanne in the years 1917–1918. The last concept of the boundary of Poland, shown in the article, was the official stance of the authorities of the newly re-established Polish state, which was presented at the Peace Conference in Paris in 1919. This concept was developed by Roman Dmowski, who headed Polish delegation at this conference. At the end of the article this most important design, prepared for the Versailles conference, is compared to the actual course of boundaries of the Polish state as it re-emerged after the First World War.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 04
  • Page Range: 9-35
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Polish