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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 still faces the lingering challenges of high unemployment, underdeveloped and dilapidated infrastructure, and a poor rural underclass. 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. With its transformation to a democratic, market-oriented country largely completed, Poland is an increasingly active member of Euro-Atlantic organizations.

Languages & Population

Approximate Population: 38,518,241 (July 2007 est.)

Nationality (Noun): Pole(s)

Nationality (Adjective): Polish

Official Language(s): Polish

Major Languages Spoken: English, Polish

Map of Poland

Country Facts

Country Name (long form): Republic of Poland

Country Name (short form): Poland

Country Name (local long form): Rzeczpospolita Polska

Country Name (local short form): Polska

Name of Capital: Warsaw

UTC Time Difference (from capital): UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Countries Near by, and Bordering Poland: Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany

Land Area: 304465 sq km

Water Area: 8220 sq km

Comparative Area: slightly smaller than New Mexico

Total Land Boundry: 3,056 km

Coastline: 491 km

National Holiday: Constitution Day, 3 May (1791)

International Phone Code: 48

Currency Code: zloty (PLN)

Internet Country Code: .pl

US Embassy Location: Aleje Ujazdowskie 29/31 00-540 Warsaw

US Embassy Mailing Address: American Embassy Warsaw, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-5010 (pouch)


Poland flag

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