In the 15th and 18th centuries, Poland was one of the most powerful nations militarily, culturally and economically. The map clearly shows this large and, in fact, the strongest state in Europe.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the Poles conquered Moscow and almost conquered all of Russia. A combined army of Poles and Cossacks entered Moscow, placing False Dmitry on the throne.
Poles are very close to Russians both culturally and genetically. They were not perceived as strangers as the French or the Germans. Therefore, they could well have taken over our country. The Russians would have easily assimilated. But our ancestors managed to gather strength into a fist and after 13 years knock out the Poles.
The Poles were driven out of Russia, but this did not cause them serious damage. Poland itself has been inactively investing in this campaign. Detachments of volunteers and Cossacks went to Russia. And Poland in 1700 was a strong large state on the map of Europe.
How did it happen that this strong state collapsed overnight?
The main reason is that the mechanism for the transfer of power was not thought out. When the Jagiellonian dynasty was interrupted, the throne passed to their relatives the Swedes. And they plunged Poland into their European strife. As a result, the Swedes simply used Poland as a resource to their advantage and quickly destroyed a strong country.
The second reason is the freedom-loving aristocracy. The Polish parliament had great power. And the nobles through the deputies lobbied for their interests. As a result, decisions were not made due to the contradiction of factions.
The third reason is enmity with neighbors. Prussia was against the expansion and strengthening of Poland, because it infringed on her interests. And she did everything to weaken the diplomatic positions of the Poles. This was not difficult to do, given the first two reasons I wrote about above.
And at the end of the 18th century, the Rzeczpospolita was divided into three parts between Prussia, Austria and Russia. Poland was no longer an independent state.
Nicholas II went to meet the Poles. He promised them during the First World War that as the war ended, Poland would be restored as a country. And she will be given back the lands that Russia will conquer from Prussia and Austria. But the 1917 revolution confused all the cards. Poland was formed as a small country, practically within the borders that we now know on the map.
So for me personally, it remains a mystery why the Poles do not like Russians so much, to whom they themselves came with the war.
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