Provisional People's Government of the Republic of Poland

Not to be confused with Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland created in 1944 by Joseph Stalin.

The Provisional People's Government of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Tymczasowy Rząd Ludowy Republiki Polskiej), also known as the Government of Ignacy Daszyński, was established on 7 November 1918 in Lublin, Austrian Galicia, as one of the precursors of Poland's sovereignty following World War I. It proclaimed the creation of a constitutional republic with the right to parliamentary elections, nationalization of key industries, as well as social, labour, and land reforms. Prominent personalities of the provisional government included Stanisław Thugutt as Minister of Internal Affairs, Tomasz Arciszewski as Minister of Labour, as well as Col. Edward Rydz-Śmigły as the Minister of War and Supreme Commander of the Polish Armed Forces.[1] Ignacy Daszyński became Prime Minister. The Provisional Government dissolved itself after several days when Józef Piłsudski became Head of State (Naczelnik Państwa) on 14 November 1918 in Warsaw.[2][3]


Ignacy Daszyński as interim Head of State

On 2 October 1918 Polish members of the Austro-Hungarian parliament, led by Daszyński, forwarded a historic motion demanding restoration of an independent Polish state. They also recognized that the "Polish question" was an international matter and requested Polish participation in the Paris Peace Conference, in order to negotiate the re-emergence of sovereign Poland. Daszyński gave his speech to the Austrian parliament on 3 October 1918, stating:

All Poles declare that they want sovereignty over all three partitions brought about by the rape of Poland: all three partitions should be joined and announced as an independent country, but this unification and this independence needs to be achieved in accordance with international law in an international peace convention.[4]

On 15 October 1918 Daszyński and other Polish deputies to the Austrian parliament adopted a document in which they declared themselves to be Polish citizens, not Austrian. On 28 October the Polish Liquidation Committee was formed, led by Wincenty Witos first in Kraków, then in Lwów. On 6 November, Daszyński and his deputies proclaimed the formation of the Polish People's Republic led by interim government based in Lublin, with Daszyński as Prime Minister. On Sunday, 10 November at 7 a.m., Józef Piłsudski, newly freed from 16 months in a German prison in Magdeburg, returned by train to Warsaw. Piłsudski, together with Colonel Kazimierz Sosnkowski, was greeted at Warsaw's railway station by Regent Zdzisław Lubomirski and by Colonel Adam Koc. Next day, due to his popularity and support from most political parties, the Regency Council appointed Piłsudski as Commander in Chief of the Polish Armed Forces. On 14 November, the Council dissolved itself and transferred all its authority to Piłsudski as Chief of State (Naczelnik Państwa). After consultation with Piłsudski, Daszyński's government dissolved itself and a new government formed under Jędrzej Moraczewski. Italy became the first country in Europe to recognise Poland's renewed sovereignty.[5]


  1. Ryszard Mirowicz. "EDWARD RYDZ-ŚMIGŁY. A Political and Military Biography" (PDF). Translated by Gregory P. Dziekonski. University of Washington Libraries. page 55 (59/388 in PDF) via direct download.
  2. Paul Latawski (2016). The Reconstruction of Poland, 1914-23. Springer. pp. 137, 162. ISBN 1349221856 via Google Books.
  3. M.B.B. Biskupski (2012). Independence Day: Myth, Symbol, and the Creation of Modern Poland. OUP Oxford. p. 23. ISBN 0199658811 via Google Books preview.
  4. Najdus, Walentyna (1988). Ignacy Daszyński 1866–1936 (in Polish). Warsaw. ISBN 83-07-01571-5.
  5. Andrzej Garlicki (1995) [1990]. Józef Piłsudski 1867-1935. Czytelnik. pp. 202–203 via Google Books.
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