The Oppression of Poland During Joseph Conrad’s Childhood

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The Oppression of Poland During Joseph Conrad’s Childhood Joseph Conrad was born in 1857 as Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in south-eastern Poland. He grew up during one of Poland’s most difficult times. The Polish people were oppressed by three imperial rulers. Joseph Conrad’s parents died as a result of the oppression imposed on the Polish population. Conrad ultimately left Poland mainly due to its political situation. In 1795 Austria, Prussia, and Russia partitioned Poland for the third and last time. What was once a great empire stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea ceased to exist up until the end of World War I. Though all three countries were oppressive, none was more so than Russia. It occupied the most territory and most resistance occurred against Russian rule. The Polish people never ceased to resist the three imperialist rulers. When Napoleon invaded Russia in 1806, Poles lead the charge hoping the campaign would result in a free Poland. Unfortunately Napoleon’s campaign failed and the Poles that fought alongside of him either had to flee to Western Europe or face hard labor in Russia. Poles once again tried to free themselves in 1831 when they launched the ‘November Insurrection.’ After fighting for over a year, the Polish rebel army was forced to capitulate. Russia immediately punished the Polish population. All schools were closed down and over 40,000 families were sent to Siberia. Even though the Polish people faced harsh repression, their patriotic spirit never died. In the second half of the nineteenth century, after almost 30 years of general calm, the Polish people once again began protesting Russian rule. Meetings were held and discussions raged about reforms and emancipatio... ... middle of paper ... ...live. They made every effort to continue their traditions at high risks. At the end of World War I, after 123 years of occupation, Poland finally regained its independence. Works Cited http://www.top-biography.com/9211-Joseph%20Conrad/life.asp Brief biography of Joseph Conrad http://www.citinet.net/ak/polska_16_f2.html Contains information about Poland after the third and final partition of 1795. It is mostly about the ‘November Insurrection’ of 1831 and the uprising in 1863 and their repercussions. http://freepages.history.rootsweb.com/~koby/political/chapter_19/19_1863up.html Describes the events that led up to the uprising of 1863. This website also gives specifics about the uprising itself and life during and after it. http://artyzm.com/g/gierymski/e_powstanie.htm Displays paintings of the uprising.

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