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Polish National Committee in West Prussia

Polish National Committee in West Prussia [Polski Komitet Narodowy], a body of ten representing Polish society in Poznania, constituted on March 20, 1848, expecting to obtain concessions from the Prussian king through negotiations, rather than a military action: a national reorganization of the Great Duchy of Poznania, handing the administration over to the Poles and creating a military corps out of the local Polish population. Frederick William IV, forced by the political circumstances, supported the demands; on Marh 28 Ludwik Mieroslawski took up command of the Polish corps. Under the pressure of the German population of Poznania, the Prussian government limited the reorganization of the administration to the part of the province in which the Poles formed a majority; with the success of the counterrevolution in Prussia, at the beginning of April general Friedrich Colomb sent about three thousand troops to suppress the Polish activity. Before they were used, on April 11 a royal commissioner, General Wilhelm von Willisen, an advocate of settling the controversy by compromise, signed the understanding with the national committee in Jaroslawiec: the Poles agreed to reduce their troops to three thousand in order to obtain the reorganization of the Duchy. On April 29 the compromise was broken by the Prussians and the Polish camps attacked; although Mieroslawski won two battles: at Miloslaw and Soklów, the landowners refused further support; on April 30 the national committee was dissolved; the Prussian government withdrew its promises of autonomy for the province, and its division into a Polish- and a German-speaking part.

Jolanta T. Pekacz


B. Polak Wiosna Ludów w Wielkopolsce 1848. Poznan, 1981.

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