MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of Places



Congress Kingdom of Poland

(Królestwo Kongresowe Polskie)
aka Congress Poland

Polish autonomous state created on May 3, 1815, by the Congress of Vienna (1814-15); the Kingdom of Poland comprised most of the former Grand Duchy of Warsaw (127,470 square kilometres). The territory was created as part of the political settlement at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Tsar Alexander I imposed a constitution on the territory on November 27, 1815, providing it with a Polish legislature and army.

When in 1830-31 Poland revolted against the Russian autocratic rule; then Tsar Nicholas I dissolved the constitution, along with the Polish army and legislature. Tsar Nicholas I instead sent the Russian Army into Poland to establish and maintain a military government over the Polish population. After much tension and conflict, the people of Poland revolted again in the Polish National Liberation Insurrection of 1863-64, but were brutally suppressed. Alexander II, the third Russian tsar of Congress Poland, stripped all autonomy away from Poland, making it a province of the 'Great Russian Empire'. Changing the name to Land of the Vistula (Wisla in Polish: the largest river in Poland, flowing by canal through Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia), Alexander II began a policy of cultural genocide, stripping away the Polish language and culture in place of a brutal Russification policy.

Congress Poland was ruled by the Russian Empire for a century, until briefly captured by Germany in World War I; and later given independence by the Soviet government.