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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 5 to 6|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||7.69|
Independence Day in Poland
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
1 November 11 is a holiday in Poland. It is Poland's Independence Day. It is a very important holiday in Poland. If you look on a world map, you will see that Poland is in Europe. There are many other countries around it. During its history, Poland was taken over and ruled by other countries. It has been ruled by Germany, Austria, Prussia, Sweden, and Russia. This is why it was so important for Poland to be independent.
2 In 900 AD, the Poles united many tribes into a Polish kingdom, which was big and strong. It became even bigger after it joined with Lithuania in the 14th century. That was a period of prosperity and stability. Poland's territory extended from the Baltic Sea almost to the Black Sea.
3 By the end of the 16th century, internal conflicts divided Poland. It led to the decline of Polish power. The country was even ruled by foreign kings - the Swedish royalty. Throughout the 17th century, Poland had to fight a series of wars with Turkey, Russia, and Sweden. Poland started losing its territories.
4 The first division of Poland came in 1772. The country lost about one-third of its territory and one-half of its population to Russia, Austria, and Prussia. Poland started a series of reforms to improve the social and political climate in the country. They adopted a constitution. They formed a cabinet of ministers. However, Poland's big neighbors - Russia and Prussia - didn't want to see Poland become a strong country. They took over again. In 1793, the second division happened. It reduced Poland to half of what had been left after the first division.
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