Modernizacja gospodarcza i społeczna II Rzeczypospolitej

Economic ans social modernization of the Second Polish Republic

Paweł Grata

ORCID: Paweł Grata: 0000-0003-2358-3475

Pages: 189-208

Edition: Lublin 2023


Citation method: P. Grata, Modernizacja gospodarcza i społeczna II Rzeczypospolitej, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” Rok 21(2023), z. 4, s. 189-208, DOI:

Keywords: , , , ,

Abstract: The aim of the article is to present, based on the results of the latest research, the basic phenomena in the field of economic and social modernization taking place in Poland in the interwar period. An introduction to the analysis is the opening balance, which discusses the conditions present in Poland in 1918. The following sections present the processes of economic and social modernization taking place in it. Within the framework of economic modernization, the basic limitations were the negative impact of the legacy of the partitions, war damage and the Great Depression. The currency reform of Władysław Grabski, the period of prosperity in the second half of the 1920s, and the modernization policy of Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski in the second half of the 1930s were favorable phenomena. In the case of social modernization, the state played an important role, introducing important institutional solutions from the very beginning, including equality of citizens before the law, compulsory schooling, women's suffrage. A special role was played by the social policy of the state, thanks to which hundreds of thousands of citizens entered modernity, who could take advantage of social security, modern labor legislation, employment policy, and health care. At the same time, there were visible processes of disseminating the achievements of modernity, including mass and popular culture. The conclusions of the analysis indicate that, despite many examples, modernization in interwar Poland had an island character. The processes related to it have only just begun, and the implementation of many projects undertaken in the second half of the 1930s, such as the construction of the Central Industrial District or the public health service, was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.