AP Euro Wiki

Poland Period 8

Olivia Blazek and Stephanie Jeong



Political Map of Poland
Political Map of Poland


1950 - The Six-Year Plan, fashioned after the Soviets', is instituted (Economic)

August 6 1950 - Poland and the German Democratic Republic agrees on the Oder-Neisse Line as the border between their countries (Political) (Pacts)

1952 - The Constitution guarantees universal free health care (Social)

1953 - Stalin dies, causing a liberal “thaw” in Eastern Europe, which caused a more liberal faction of the Polish Communists to gain power (Social / Political)
Wladyslaw Gomulka (1956-70)
Wladyslaw Gomulka (1956-70)

1955 - Poland joins the Warsaw Pact to counteract the Western NATO (Political) (Pacts)

1955 - The Six-Year Plan fails (Economic)

1956 - Wladyslaw Gomulka becomes the First Secretary of the PUWP (Polish United Workers’ Party) (Political) (Leadership Change)

June 1956 - Rioting in Poznan (demands for greater freedom) leads to over 50 people being killed (Social)

1956 - Protests and the Hungarian uprising allows Polish communists to liberate the political and social situation in their country (Political / Social)

1968 - Communists blame student protests on "Zionism" (Social)

1968 - Remaining Jews emigrate (Social)
Lech Wałęsa (1990-95)
Lech Wałęsa (1990-95)

1970s - Foreign loans lead to economic prosperity in Poland (Economic)

1970s - US presidents (Nixon, Ford, Carter) visit Poland (Political)

1970 - Riots in Gdansk start over food prices; it is suppressed but hundreds are killed (Social)

1970 - Workers' protests in Gdansk shipyards lead to the emergence of the Solidarity trade union under Lech Walesa (Economic / Political) (Leadership Change)

1970 - Edward Gierek becomes party leader (Political) (Leadership Change)

1978 - Karol Wojtyla, Cardinal of Krakow, is elected Pope and takes the name “John Paul II” (Political)

1980 - General Jaruzelski becomes First Secretary of the Communist Party (Political) (Leadership Change)

December 13, 1981 - The Jaruzelski regime declares martial law; Solidarity is outlawed and Walesa is imprisoned (Political) (Leadership Change)
Edward Gierek (1970-80)
Edward Gierek (1970-80)

1983 - Martial law is lifted (Political)

1983 - Lech Walesa received the Nobel Peace Prize (Social)

1989 - Meetings between the Solidarity, the communists, and the church lead to partially free elections, and the Solidarity agrees to help form a coalition government (Political) (Pacts)

June 1989 - Tadeusz Mazwiecki becomes the first non-communist prime minister (Political) (Leadership Change)





January 1990 - A “shock therapy” economic reform tactic is used and introduces a market economy (Economic)

January 1990 - The Polish Communist Party completely comes to an end (Political) (Leadership Change)

1990 - Walesa is elected president of Poland and introduces market reforms (privatization) (Political / Economic)

1990 - First free and democratic elections in postwar Poland take place (Political)

1992 - Soviet troops begin to withdraw from Poland (Social)

1993 - Reformed Communists enter the coalition government and promise to continue market reforms (Political / Economic) (Pacts)

1994 - Poland joins NATO's “Partnership for Peace” program (Political) (Pacts)

1995 - Aleksander Kwasniewski succeeds Walesa as Polish president (Political) (Leadership Change)

1997 - Polish parliament (the Sejm) adopts a new constitution, and Solidarity gains a majority in the parliament ((Political)

1997- Jerzy Buzek (prime minister) forms a coalition government (Political) (Leadership Change)

1998 - The European Union (EU) discusses Polish membership (Social)

1999 - Poland joins the Western NATO (Political) (Pacts)

2000 - Aleksander Kwasniewski is re-elected as president (Political)

October 2001 - The Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and the Peasants' Party forms a coalition government- SLD leader Leszek Miller is prime minister (Political) (Pacts) (Leadership Change)

December 2002 - EU summit in Copenhagen formally invites Poland to join them in 2004 (Political) (Pacts)

March 2003 - Polish Peasant's Party is forced out from the coalition over failure to vote with government on tax issues. Miller carries on as prime minister in the minority government (Political) (Leadership Change)

June 2003 - Poles vote in favor of joining the EU (Political)

May 2004 - Poland is one of 10 new states to join the EU (Political) (Pacts)

May 2004 - Prime Minister Miller resigns, and finance minister Marek Belka succeeds (Political) (Leadership Change)

September 2005 - Conservative Law and Justice (CLJ) party wins the majority in general elections (Political) (Leadership Change)

October 2005 - CLJ candidate, Lech Kaczynski, wins presidential election (Political) (Leadership Change)

January 2006 - The roof of the Katowice trade center collapses, and more than 60 people are killed (Social)

May 2006 - CLJ reaches majority coalition agreement with Self-Defense Party and League of Polish Families (Political) (Pacts)

July 2006 - Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz resigns as prime minister. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, President Lech Kaczynski's twin brother, becomes prime minister (Political) (Leadership Change)

January 2007 - Archbishop of Warsaw, Stanislaw Wielgus, resigns after his cooperation with the secret police under communist rule is discovered (Political)

April 2007 - Prosecutors bring charges against former communist leader General Jaruzelski over his role in introducing martial law in 1981 (Political)

August 2007 - The majority coalition collapses (Political)

October 2007 - The liberal and pro-EU Civic Platform party wins general election (Political) (Leadership Change)

February 2008 - The government makes an agreement with the US to host a controversial American missile defense system (Political)