Cracow Revolution 1846 (Krakau Krakow)
guage of instruction at Jagiellonian University; incorporation into the Austrian custom zone and numerous plagues caused a sudden economic crisis, an increase in the cost of living and poverty. After the collapse of the Cracow Republic the Austrian authorities began to suppress mercilessly any attempt of the peasants to get rid of feudal duties. The conspiracy, seriously weakened by the events of 1846, continued to exist in Cracow, supported by the proletariat; in the province, the conspirators feared another jacquerie and gave up agitation among the peasants. The collapse of the 1846 revolution and the peasants' jacquerie challenged the role of the Polish politicians outside the country as a leading political force; they were more and more detached from the situation in partitioned Poland. Diplomatic efforts undertaken by the Hotel Lambert did not bring success; in November 1846 Palmerston, and in December that year Guizot, sent through their diplomatic representatives in East European capitals weak protests against the incorporation of the Cracow Republic into Austria, which, however, did not change the status quo. Soon after the events of the Cracow revolution Russia and Austria came out with a demand to the French government of strengthening supervision over the Polish emigration in France; thanks to the pro-Polish attitude of a large part of French public o pinion, the postulates were not realized. The Cracow revolution, merging the struggle for national independence with the struggle for social reforms was highly honored by the European Left. Marx and Engels referred to the Cracow revolution in the Communist Manifesto; "Among the Poles Communists support a party which considers an agrarian revolution a condition of a national salvation, the same party which evoked the Cracow Revolution." The collapse of the Cracow revolution hampered t he conspiracies in partitioned Poland; most leaders ended up in prisons, others emigrated. In 1847 in Berlin 254 members of the Polish conspiracy were tried; eight of them were sentenced to death and ninety-seven to prison; thanks to the outbreak of the March revolution in Berlin, the sentences were not executed.
Jolanta T. Pekacz
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S. Kieniewicz, Ruch chlopski w Galicji w 1846 roku. Wroclaw, 1951.
B. Limanowski, Historia ruchu rewolucyjnego w Polsce w 1846 r. Cracow, 1913.
M. Szarota, Die letzten Tage der Republik Krakau. Breslau, 1911.
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The Kraków (Cracow) Uprising of February 1846 was an attempt led by Edward Dembowski to incite a Polish fight for national independence. Even though most of Poland was as Congress Poland part of the Russian Empire, the uprisings were mainly conducted by Poles in parts of Prussia (Greater Poland Uprising 1846) and the Austrian Empire.
Most of the uprising was limited to the Free City of Kraków where Jagiellonian University professor of philosophy, Michal Wiszniewski, acted as a one-day chief, and was followed by Rector Jan Tyssowski.
Teofil Wi.niowski, the President of the Uprising Tribunal in the Austrian province of Galizien, led the short lived uprising in Eastern Galicia, where a battle involving Austrian Hussars in Narajów occurred.
The revolts were quickly suppressed by the Austrian army , the Kraków and its surrounding area was subsequently annexed to the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, a province of the Austrian Empire, with its capital at Lemberg (Lwów, Lviv).
1. ^ "Austriacy wraz z polskimi ch.opami zadali powsta.com kl.sk. pod Gdowem 26 lutego 1846, za. ch.opi wymordowali wielu powsta.ców. Historia Polski. by Micha. Tymowski, Jan Kieniewicz, Jerzy Holzer. Warszawa. 1990. str. 234
court at the Hotel Lambert, in Paris, which played an important part in keeping the Polish question alive in European politics.
"For Your Freedom and Ours"
The insurrection in the semi-independent City of Krakow in 1846 was doomed from the start. The insurrectionists had hoped to gain the support of the local peasantry (recalling the victory at Raclawice) but the peasants, having never benefited from the liberal ideals proposed by the intelligensia, used the insurrection as an excuse to rid themselves of their landlords; it was the last "jacquerie" (or peasants' uprising) in European history. The insurrectionist forces were defeated by a combination of Austrian and peasant forces at the battle of Gdow and the insurrection was put down with great brutality by the Austrians, resulting in the abolition of the Commonwealth of Krakow.
In 1848 "the Springtime of Nations" (a revolutionary movement towards greater democracy in much of Europe) saw large-scale contributions by the Poles. In Italy, Mickiewicz organised a small legion to fight for Italian independence from Austria, whilst in Hungary, Generals Dembinski and Bem led 3,000 Poles in the Hungarian Revolution against Austria. There were also unsuccessful uprisings in Poznan (Posen), against the Prussians, and in Eastern Galicia, against the Austrians.
Starting in 1863, the "January Uprising" against the Russians lasted for more than a year and a half. A Provisional government was established and more than 1,200 skirmishes were fought, mostly in the deep forests under the command of Romuald Traugutt. Italian help came from the "Garibaldi Legion" led by Colonel Francesco Nullo. In 1864 Traugutt and four other members of the Provisional government were captured in Warsaw and publicly executed.
The Uprising was finally put down in 1865, and the Kingdom of Poland was abolished and a severe policy of persecution and "Russification" established. The University of Warsaw and all schools were closed down, use of the Polish language was forbidden in most public places and the Catholic Church was persecuted. The Kingdom of Poland became known as the "Vistula Province".
In the Prussian occupied zone the aim was to totally destroy the Polish language and culture. From 1872 German became compulsory in all schools and it was a crime to be caught speaking in Polish. There was a systematic attempt to uproot Polish Peasants from their land. A special permit was needed to rebuild any farm buildings damaged or destroyed by fire or flood, but none were ever granted to Poles. One peasant, Wojciech Drzumala, challenged this law by living in a converted wagon.
In Austrian Poland, Galicia, conditions were different. After 1868 the Poles had a degree of self-government, the Polish language was kept as the official language and the Universities of Krakow and Lwow were allowed to function. As a result this area witnessed a splendid revival of Polish culture, including the works of the painter Jan Matejko, and the writers Kraszewski, Prus and Sienkiewicz.
All three powers kept Poland economically weak in this period of technological progress. Despite this the Poles managed to make some progress: the textile industry began to flourish in Lodz (the "Polish Manchester") and coal-mining developed rapidly. In Prussian Poland, despite ruthless oppression, the Poles concentrated on light industry and agriculture (and before long Poznan became the chief source of food for the whole of Germany). In Silesia, under German rule since 1742, the development of mining and heavy industry made her a chief industrial centre and thus the Prussian attempt to exterminate all traces of Polish language and culture was at its most ruthless, yet they survived.
Despite its abolition by Kosciuszko in 1794 the partitioning powers restored serfdom. It was not abolished in Prussia until 1823, in Austria until 1848 and in Russia until 1861 (but not in her "Polish" territories).
In 1905 the Russo-Japanese War saw a series of humiliating defeats for the Russians and civil unrest in Russia. In Poland there was a wave of strikes and demonstrations demanding civil rights. Polish pupils went on strike, walking out of Russian schools and a private organisation, the "Polska Macierz Szkolna" ("Polish Education Society"), was set up under the patronage of the great novelist, Henryk Sienkiewicz.
Then, in 1906, Jozef Pilsudski, a founder-member of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS), began to set up a number of paramilitary organisations which attacked Tzarist officials and carried out raids on post offices, tax-offices and mail-trains. In Galicia the Austrian authorities turned a blind eye to the setting up of a number of "sporting" clubs, followed by a Riflemen's Union. In 1912, Pilsudski reorganised these on military lines and by 1914 had nearly 12,000 men under arms. .