November Uprising in Poland

Congress Europe

Europe 1831.0226

November Uprising in Poland

Congress Europe (26 February 1831)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

When revolutions broke out in France and Belgium in 1830, the conservative Russian government decided to send its Polish Army to help suppress them. Rather than accept this decision, the Poles revolted themselves, tying the Russians down well into 1831. When Russia finally prevailed, it completely annexed Poland, ending its existence as an autonomous kingdom.

Main Events

November Uprising

When Russian Tsar Nicholas I announced he would use the Polish Army to suppress revolutions in Paris and Belgium, Polish infantry cadets staged an uprising in Warsaw, seizing control of the city's arsenal. In the face of the revolution, Polish Grand Duke Constantine retreated with his army to Russia and the Polish government declared Poland's independence. Russia responded by invading in February 1831, reconquering the country by spring of that year.

London Conference of 1830

At the London Conference of 1830, the European Great Powers of Austria, Britain, France, Prussia, and Russia agreed that Belgium should be a unified Francophone state independent of the Netherlands. The conference thus recognized the success of the Belgian Revolution while rejecting the French proposal that Belgium be partitioned between France, the Netherlands, Britain, and Prussia. The Kingdom of Belgium was proclaimed the following year, although the Dutch would refuse to accept Belgian independence until 1839.

Russian invasion of Poland

On 25 January 1831, the Sejm (Polish parliament) passed the Act of Dethronization of Nicholas I, ending the Polish-Russian personal union and thus effectively declaring war on Russia. Russia responded by sending 115,000 troops under Field Marshal Hans Karl von Diebitsch into Poland on 4 February, but their advance on Warsaw was slowed by a stubborn Polish defense.

United Italian Provinces

In February 1831, the duchies of Parma and Modena expelled their Austrian-backed rulers and established provisional governments. At the same time, rebellion broke out in Bologna in the Papal States. In late February, the three revolutionary governments joined to form the United Italian Provinces - a republic with its capital at Bologna and Giovanni Vicini as president. The new state lasted barely two months before being crushed by Austria.

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