This decision would ultimately lead to centuries of warfare pitting Poland against the Knights, with the Knights ruthless in their war against the Baltic pagans.In 1241 Poland became subject to sustained attacks by the Mongol Tatars.The partitions of Poland lasted 123 years and were a time of turmoil; the Poles rebelled several times against the partitioners.
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The 17 In 1683, under John III Sobieski, the King of Poland, the Commonwealth's military prowess was re-established.
In 1687 Polish armies under John III Sobieski rode to the aid of Austrian and German armies in Vienna, who were fast losing their battle against the invading Ottoman army.
The arrival of the Polish King and his armies tipped the scales in favour of the European allies, leading them to victory in this battle and halting the Ottoman Empire’s advance into Europe.
Despite this, because Poland had been subjected to almost constant warfare during this century and had suffered massive damage to its economy, the Commonwealth fell once again into decline.
The First Crusade, organized by Emperor Alexus with assistance from Pope Urban II and sanctioned by the Latin Roman Catholic Church, was begun in order to restore Christian access to holy places in and around Jerusalem.
In 1226 Konrad I invited the Teutonic Knights, a crusading military order during the Middle Ages, to help him fight the Baltic pagans.
In 1573 via the Warsaw Confederation, religious tolerance was enshrined in law.
At this time, in addition to its majority Catholic population, Poland was also home to Jews, Christian Armenians, Orthodox Christians and people of other faiths.
In 966, Duke Mieszko I of the Piast dynasty, a pagan and Poland's first recorded leader, converted to Christianity and this event is considered the birth of the Polish nation.
The Slavic tribes that he united to form Poland consisted of around a million people.
He consequently converted pagan Lithuania to Christianity and established a personal union between the two lands that lasted for 400 years.