Greatest Polish contribution(s) to the world ?

It's all a matter of point of view. Polish cases make it complicated, but the lack of articles makes it easy to form basic phrases. Spelling seems complicated but the rules are straight, and therefore reading Polish is easier than reading English. Pronunciation is a bummer though...
As for English being simple, it is probably because you are fluent. English is very flexible, which is both a blessing and a curse (who hasn't read a phrase, knowing all the single words, and unable to make sense of it?), and the learning process can be challenging (opposition short/long vowels, sounds with several spellings, irregular verbs...).
As for the greatest Polish contribution to the world, I'd vote for Polish women, who are mind-blowingly beautiful.


Hehe, by the way, I start a one-year Polish course tomorrow evening. Wish me luck...
 
For info, Mzungu, the languages that are famous among linguists for being difficult (in Europe) are Basque and Hungarian. I remember reading a story about God banning Lucifer to the Basques to learn their language...
 
No,no, Cimmerianbloke, the best polish contribution to the world is ME. Should I said "I"?

PS. I'm polish.
 
For info, Mzungu, the languages that are famous among linguists for being difficult (in Europe) are Basque and Hungarian. I remember reading a story about God banning Lucifer to the Basques to learn their language...

Could be. But I wasn't this serious anyway, it was more meant as a joke ;)

Have fun at the course! :)
 
Polish king Jan III Sobieski rescued Viena during the 1683 siege of the Ottomans and therefore, if you believe most historians, saved Christian Europe from an Ottoman conquest. This is surely something that might be on the list.
 
Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth was the first parliamentary monarchy in Europe, most likely in the world too, from 1569. Kings were elected, acting more like presidents than sovereign rulers.

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, formed after the Union of Lublin in 1569 and lasting until the final partition of the state in 1795, operated much like many modern European constitutional monarchies (into which it was officially changed by the establishment of the Constitution of May 3, 1791, which historian Norman Davies calls "the first constitution of its kind in Europe"[10]). The legislators of the unified state truly did not see it as a monarchy at all, but as a republic under the presidency of the King. Poland-Lithuania also followed the principle of "Rex regnat et non gubernat", had a bicameral parliament, and a collection of entrenched legal documents amounting to a constitution along the lines of the modern United Kingdom. The King was elected, and had the duty of maintaining the people's rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_monarchy


The foundation of the Commonwealth's political system, the "Golden Liberty" (Polish: Złota Wolność, a term used from 1573 on), included:
  • election of the king by all nobles wishing to participate, known as wolna elekcja (free election);;
  • Sejm, the Commonwealth parliament which the king was required to hold every two years;
  • Pacta conventa (Latin), "agreed-to agreements" negotiated with the king-elect, including a bill of rights, binding on the king, derived from the earlier Henrician Articles.
  • religious freedom guaranted by Warsaw Confederation Act 1573,[14]
  • rokosz (insurrection), the right of szlachta to form a legal rebellion against a king who violated their guaranteed freedoms;
  • liberum veto (Latin), the right of an individual Sejm deputy to oppose a decision by the majority in a Sejm session; the voicing of such a "free veto" nullified all the legislation that had been passed at that session; during the crisis of the second half of the 17th century, Polish nobles could also use the liberum veto in provincial sejmiks;
  • konfederacja (from the Latin confederatio), the right to form an organization to force through a common political aim.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish–Lithuanian_Commonwealth
 
(1) Kopernik (Copernicus) without any doubt.
(2) Poland had a sort of nobility-limited democracy in 15 th - 18 th centuries, and they experimented much on social and political issues in the country. These experiments mostly failed in result, but eventually they deeply influenced political thoughts and doctrines of Europe, contributing much indirectly to modern European and American democracy.
(3) Chopin as an artist and composer. Really his achievments were based among others on the cultural achievments of Polish nobility of his time.
(4) Also Polish scientist Jan Lukasiewicz, who is known as the inventor of the reverse Polish notation, in early 20th century contributed to contemporary logics and, indirectly, computer science.
(5) Ludwik Zamenhof, who was a Polish Jew, was the author of the most known constructed language Esperanto.

(2a) Yet Poles often claim the idea of religios tolerance as their achievment, but in fact the tolerance had been born in multi-reliogious society of then Lithuania (approx. modern Lithuania and Belarus), while original Poland was predominantly Catholic and not more tolerant than Germany at that time.
 
(1) Kopernik (Copernicus) without any doubt.
(2) Poland had a sort of nobility-limited democracy in 15 th - 18 th centuries, and they experimented much on social and political issues in the country. These experiments mostly failed in result, but eventually they deeply influenced political thoughts and doctrines of Europe, contributing much indirectly to modern European and American democracy.
(3) Chopin as an artist and composer. Really his achievments were based among others on the cultural achievments of Polish nobility of his time.
(4) Also Polish scientist Jan Lukasiewicz, who is known as the inventor of the reverse Polish notation, in early 20th century contributed to contemporary logics and, indirectly, computer science.
(5) Ludwik Zamenhof, who was a Polish Jew, was the author of the most known constructed language Esperanto.

(2a) Yet Poles often claim the idea of religios tolerance as their achievment, but in fact the tolerance had been born in multi-reliogious society of then Lithuania (approx. modern Lithuania and Belarus), while original Poland was predominantly Catholic and not more tolerant than Germany at that time.

Apart from number 2, these are all great individuals, not contributions to the world. You should mention them in the appropriate thread Who were the greatest Poles in history ?

Number 2 (nobility-limited democracy) is a kind of oligarchy and I don't see how it is a contribution to the outside world anyway.
 
Apart from number 2, these are all great individuals, not contributions to the world. You should mention them in the appropriate thread

You're probably right separating the greatest persons from the national contribution to the world history, but a great person maybe great not only for his or her worldwide contribution, but also for his national contribution or even because of his extraordinar personal features without any contribution to the history. I was aware of every person you have included among the graetest (see the new thread), but i don't think, that king Sobieski, for instance, and some others contributed much to the worldwide development. The people, whom i have listed, except, perhaps, Chopin, had some connection with the history of Poland, and they can be mentioned in this discussion, i think.

Well, i agree, we may need something less personal and more nationalwide to refer in this discussion, but if we haven't, it's not so bad to write what we have. Now it's up yo us, how we'll conclude about this and how these personal contributions must be evaluated in the context of national contribution.

Number 2 (nobility-limited democracy) is a kind of oligarchy and I don't see how it is a contribution to the outside world anyway.

The modern democracy wasn't invented in a day, and any historical attempts to create something alike, especially if they were documented, contributed to its invention. The Polish experience, not so their political system itsef, but rather their attempts to better it and their experimentation on that, is one of the best known examples of such an attempt. The fact, that the Polish experience was more negative and that their attempts eventually failed, doesn't diminish the imput. Many european political scientists of the 18 century had written about this Polish imput, and it's not something absolutely new or unknown. The Polish system wasn't typical oligarchy. They considered it to be a sort of democracy the way, like nationals of Western countries look at their political system nowadays.
 
I would mention the Battle of Vienna. It was a battle of the Holy Roman Empire in league with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth versus the Ottoman Empire and chiefdoms of the Ottoman Empire, and took place at the Kahlenberg mountain near Vienna. The armies led by Jan III Sobieski made this victory possible. Some say it was truly a victory of Europe over foreign invaders. And after that the Ottoman Empire never again was that much of a threat to Europe.
A little less spectacular, but nonetheless important contribution, was the invention of periscope. We owe this one to Jan Haweliusz.
 
I would mention the Battle of Vienna. It was a battle of the Holy Roman Empire in league with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth versus the Ottoman Empire and chiefdoms of the Ottoman Empire, and took place at the Kahlenberg mountain near Vienna. The armies led by Jan III Sobieski made this victory possible. Some say it was truly a victory of Europe over foreign invaders. And after that the Ottoman Empire never again was that much of a threat to Europe.
A little less spectacular, but nonetheless important contribution, was the invention of periscope. We owe this one to Jan Haweliusz.
Besides myself, I think one thing the Poles did right is we defeated the Ottomans in Vienna, yes. We saved Europe from Islamization, in my book, that is the biggest contribution we have made, besides my existence.
 
I have heard that Poles have invented the land mine detector. Before that they were using their left foot to search for them.
 
Breaking the code of enigma by Marian Rajewski, Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki.
 
The modern democracy wasn't invented in a day, and any historical attempts to create something alike, especially if they were documented, contributed to its invention. The Polish experience, not so their political system itsef, but rather their attempts to better it and their experimentation on that, is one of the best known examples of such an attempt. The fact, that the Polish experience was more negative and that their attempts eventually failed, doesn't diminish the imput. Many european political scientists of the 18 century had written about this Polish imput, and it's not something absolutely new or unknown. The Polish system wasn't typical oligarchy. They considered it to be a sort of democracy the way, like nationals of Western countries look at their political system nowadays.

Besides expressing admiration for the parliamentary developments of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, I agree with Linas72 saying that modern democracy wasn't invented in one day. In fact much older examples are known, the first of all being probably the "Parlamento della Patria del Friuli", which was so officially called since 1231 (English parliament: 1236), but its assemblies were held even before, since the end of the XII century (English parliament: 1212). The Parlamento lost almost all of its power in 1420, and ceased to exist in 1805.
 
religious freedom guaranteed by Warsaw Confederation Act 1573,[

Is this the first, guaranteed by law, freedom of religion act in the world?

No. Although the Indian emperor Ashoka made Buddhism the state religion of India, he also passed a law that prohibited anyone from any act or word against any religion. That happened over 2000 years ago. And, if you want to stay with European examples, pre-christian rulers seem to have been fairly tolerant of all religions as long as they didn't cause political problems or social disorders. For example, the Romans outlawed Druidry in Britain, where it was involved in political agitation, but not in other parts of their empire. But the Poles were very liberal for christians at the time they passed that law.
 
There were many other uprisings in other countries of the Communist Bloc. Basically every country that is not Russia today revolted against Soviet rule, even members of the USSR. I think that the Czech and Hungarians played the foremost role in the demise of the Warsaw Pact.

The strongest revolt against Soviet rule right before 1990 and before Gorbachev came from Poles and Hungarians, and to a lesser extent also from Czechoslovakia. The Czechs revolted more during the 1960s. At second place there were those countries who adopted Gorbachev's 'Perestroika', which was primarily soviet Russia itself. Bulgaria also adopted 'Perestroika'. The last hardline-communist countries in europe were Romania and actually GDR. If Hungarians would not have opened the borders to the west, GDR would have collapsed much later. Honecker and Ceaucescu lost power because soviet Russia did not back them anymore.
 
The strongest revolt against Soviet rule right before 1990 and before Gorbachev came from Poles and Hungarians, and to a lesser extent also from Czechoslovakia. The Czechs revolted more during the 1960s. At second place there were those countries who adopted Gorbachev's 'Perestroika', which was primarily soviet Russia itself. Bulgaria also adopted 'Perestroika'. The last hardline-communist countries in europe were Romania and actually GDR. If Hungarians would not have opened the borders to the west, GDR would have collapsed much later. Honecker and Ceaucescu lost power because soviet Russia did not back them anymore.
Thanks, and as a Pole I would love to take a credit for destruction of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, giving people freedoms and rendering Cold War obsolete. :grin:

Giving some of the credit to "Polish contribution to the world" for the fall of communism have some merits to it. The credit is even more worthy as the big change happened in a fairly peaceful way without a civil war in central europe. To be honest part of the credit should be giving to polish communist/ruling party of 80s and 90s. They were least conservative among all Soviet Block nations, and smart enough to admit failure of socialist economy, introducing privatisation and unilaterally giving up power and chance to democracy.

Of course, without soviet leader with a very human face like Gorbachev it would have been impossible, as every attempt of system change would ended up with Soviet military intervention.
And the last but not least thanks to the president of US Ronald Reagan who embraced Gorbachev with respect and even as personal friend. If Gorbachev felt threatened in any way or that Russian sovereignty was in doubt, there wouldn't have been any changes to the Soviet Block.
 

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