Diplomatic difficulties were further compounded by domestic political chaos in the 1920s, as the republic's infant and fragile parliamentary democracy was undermined by a military coup in 1926, which brought about a semi-authoritarian regime under Marshal Józef Piłsudski, a highly-revered WWI and Polish-Soviet War leader.

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Weak in foreign affairs and internally divided by its nobility (szlachta), Russia, Prussia, and Austria seized on Poland-Lithuania's weakness and coordinated three partitions in 1772, 1793, and 1795.

Responding to these partitions and a drastic need for political reform, Poland became the first country in Europe (and the second in the world after the United States) to pass a written constitution in 1791, a highly progressive and strong document for its time.

The first major settlements were Poznań, Gniezno, Giecz, and Ostrów Lednicki.

Gniezno was probably the most important city at that time, as the first king's coronation, of Bolesław the Brave, took place there in 1025.

World War II officially began with an attack on Poland by Nazi Germany from the west and north, and Nazi puppet Slovakia from the south on 1 September 1939.

Hitler used the issue of Danzig (Gdańsk) and German nationalism to trigger a war with Poland in much the same way he used the Sudetenland crisis to divide and conquer Czechoslovakia.

located on the Amber Trail to the Baltic Sea, were mentioned by Roman writers in the first century AD, yet the first Polish settlement in Biskupin dates even further back to the 7th century BC.

Poland became a unified kingdom in the first half of the 10th century, and officially adopted Catholicism in 966.

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