Poland, partitions of

Poland, partitions of

(1772, 1793, 1795) Territorial divisions of Poland by Russia, Prussia, and Austria that progressively reduced its territory until it ceased to exist as a state. In the First Partition (1772), a Poland weakened by civil war and Russian intervention agreed to a treaty signed by Russia, Prussia, and Austria that deprived it of half its population and almost one-third of its land area. In the Second Partition (1793), Poland was forced to cede additional lands to Prussia and Russia. To quell a nationalist uprising led by Tadeusz Kosciuszko, Russia and Prussia invaded Poland and divided the remnants of the state among themselves and Austria in the Third Partition (1795). Only with the establishment of the Polish Republic in 1918 were the results of the partitions reversed.

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