The humanities and social science

2021 Issue №2

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Ignacy Paderewski on the borders and foreign policy of inde­pendent Poland (1914—1921)



Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born in the Russian Empire, for many years he was working for the glory of the world-famous composer and pianist, and during the World War I he suddenly plunged headlong into politics, becoming one of the “founding fathers” of the Polish state, which revived in 1918. The article attempts to  identify Paderewski's views on the borders and foreign policy of Poland, to assess his contribution to the process of restoring its independence. The views and activities of Paderewski are studied in published political manifestos, diplomatic correspondence, publicist articles written by Paderewski, as well as his public speeches and interviews and memoirs. The study identified and analyzed Paderewski's concept of the principles and form of independent Poland state structure, which, in his opinion, should be recreated within the borders before the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772. This concept was used as the basis for an unprecedented campaign that he launched in the war years in North America and Europe. After his homeland gained independence with the support of the United States, Paderewski became Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and devoted all his efforts to promoting his idea of creating a "Greater Poland" at the Paris Peace Conference and the League of Nations. After his plan had failed, like all other projects of the Polish great power, he resigned, gave up big politics and left Poland. However, his name will forever remain in the memory of the Polish state rebirth.