kids encyclopedia robot

Second Polish Republic facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Republic of Poland

Rzeczpospolita Polska
1918–1939
Coat of arms of Poland
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Mazurek Dąbrowskiego"
(English: "Poland Is Not Yet Lost")
Second Polish Republic in 1930
Second Polish Republic in 1930
Capital Warsaw
52°14′N 21°1′E / 52.233°N 21.017°E / 52.233; 21.017
Common languages

Official:
Polish

Religion
1931 census
Majority:
64.8% Roman Catholicism
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic (1918-1935)
Unitary presidential constitutional republic (1935-1939)
President  
• 1918–1922
Józef Piłsudskia
• 1922
Gabriel Narutowicz
• 1922–1926
Stanisław Wojciechowski
• 1926–1939
Ignacy Mościcki
Prime Minister  
• 1918–1919 (first)
Jędrzej Moraczewski
• 1936–1939 (last)
Felicjan S. Składkowski
Legislature Sejm
• Upper chamber
Senate
• Lower chamber
Sejm
Historical era Interwar period
• End of World War I
11 November 1918
28 June 1919
• Peace of Riga
18 March 1921
1 September 1939
17 September 1939
• Fall of Warsaw
28 September 1939
• Complete occupation
6 October 1939
Area
1921 387,000 km2 (149,000 sq mi)
1931 388,634 km2 (150,052 sq mi)
1938 389,720 km2 (150,470 sq mi)
Population
• 1921
27,177,000
• 1931
32,107,000
• 1938
34,849,000
Currency Marka (until 1924)
Złoty (after 1924)
ISO 3166 code PL
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Poland
German Empire
Russian SFSR
Republic of Zakopane
Ukrainian PR
West Ukrainian NR
Komancza Republic
Lemko-Rusyn Republic
Galician SSR
Galicia and Lodomeria
Republic of Tarnobrzeg
Central Lithuania
Belarusian DR
Nazi Germany
Military Administration
Soviet Union
Lithuania
Slovak Republic
Polish Underground State
Polish govt-in-exile
  1. As Chief of State (Naczelnik Państwa).

The Second Polish Republic, commonly known as interwar Poland, refers to the country of Poland in the period between the First and Second World Wars (1918–1939). Officially known as the Republic of Poland (Polish: Rzeczpospolita Polska), the state was re-established in 1918, in the aftermath of World War I. The Second Republic ceased to exist in 1939, when Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union and the Slovak Republic, marking the beginning of the European theatre of World War II.

In 1938, the Second Republic was the sixth largest country in Europe. According to the 1921 census, the number of inhabitants was 27.2 million. By 1939, just before the outbreak of World War II, this had grown to an estimated 35.1 million. Almost a third of population came from minority groups: 13.9% Ruthenians; 10% Ashkenazi Jews; 3.1% Belarusians; 2.3% Germans and 3.4% Czechs and Lithuanians. At the same time, a significant number of ethnic Poles lived outside the country's borders.

When, after several regional conflicts, the borders of the state were finalised in 1922, Poland's neighbours were Czechoslovakia, Germany, the Free City of Danzig, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and the Soviet Union. It had access to the Baltic Sea via a short strip of coastline either side of the city of Gdynia, known as the Polish Corridor. Between March and August 1939, Poland also shared a border with the then-Hungarian governorate of Subcarpathia. The political conditions of the Second Republic were heavily influenced by the aftermath of World War I and conflicts with neighbouring states as well as the emergence of Nazism in Germany.

The Second Republic maintained moderate economic development. The cultural hubs of interwar Poland – Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań, Wilno and Lwów – became major European cities and the sites of internationally acclaimed universities and other institutions of higher education.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Second Polish Republic Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.