During the latter part of the 18th century, it kept being partitioned by Russia, Prussia, and Habsburg Austria – until, finally, there wasn’t any more Poland to be swallowed up.
[Click here to see the three maps].
Many nations would have simply kept “a-mouldering in the grave,” but there was something singular about the Polish spirit that resulted in its resurrection after the First World War.
One of the heroes who built up the Polish nation again was Jozef Pilsudski (1867-1935).
UPDATE: The suppression of the Jesuit religious order for nearly half a century (until 1814) is tied in with the story of Poland’s partitioning.
The monarch of Russia, Catherine the Great (d. 1796), resisted the papal decree to close down the Society of Jesus:
"Because millions of Catholics (including many Jesuits) lived in the Polish provinces recently annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia and the Russian Empire, the Society was able to maintain its existence and carry on its work all through the period of suppression."Several of the leaders of the Jesuits during those storm-tossed years were Poles.