February 20, 2018




Krakow Uprising began, led by Polish insurgents such as Jan Tyssowski and Edward Dembowski. Their objective was to incite an Uprising against the powers that partitioned Poland, in particular the  Austrian Empire.  The fighting lasted for about nine days, and ended with an Austrian victory.  The Austrians then briefly restored the feudal order but ultimately they abolished serfdom two years later. Karl Marx saw the uprising as a "deeply democratic movement that aimed at land reform and other pressing social questions." He and Friedrich Engels praised it for being "the first in Europe to plant the banner of social revolution".


Adoption of the Small Constitution. The Small Constitution declared that Poland has a parliamentary system, although it didn't define Poland as a republic. Executive powers were held by the Chief of State. He could name the ministers (with the consent of the Sejm); he and the ministers were responsible before the Sejm. The Chief of State (previously the Provisional Chief of State) no longer had legislative initiative and could not dismiss the Sejm; all his acts required the signature of the relevant minister.


"The Four Freedoms" refer to four 1943 oil paintings by the iconic American artist Norman Rockwell. The paintings were based on the themes of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear as outlined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's in his January 1941 Four Freedoms State of the Union address.  The themes were thereafter incorporated into the Atlantic Charter, and became part of the charter of the United Nations.  In 1941, Roosevelt expounded that the four freedoms should be observed "everywhere in the world"  with the "co-operation of free countries, working together in a friendly civilized society."  When Russia first became an ally, FDR eliminated the first two freedoms from the draft of the Atlantic charter, but the final version of the Charter contained all four freedoms.

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