Kings and Princes of Poland
Before 1320 the Polish rulers were with a few exceptions not kings.
They had instead the title "ksiaze", which can be
translated to either prince or duke. In 1138 was Poland divided
between different branches of the ruling dynasty into several
autonomous principalities. But the principality of Krakow would always belong to
the senior member of each generation, who had supremacy over all other
principalities. This arrangement disintegrated in the period of 1180-1227
and the principality of Krakow became thereafter hereditary, although its prince still
retained nominal supremacy over the other princes.
Poland and Lithuania were 1569 united in a union with weak central power,
its name (Rzeczpospolita) can be translated to either "the republic" or
"the commonwealth". This state could not defend itself when it was
partitioned between Russia, Austria and Prussia 1772-1795. A Polish state
was restored during the Napoleonic wars but it was transformed to Congress
Poland 1815, which was in reality an autonomous part of the Russian empire.
It was only after the First World War a really independent Polish state was
Principality of Poland
House of Piast
Boleslaw I Chobry (the Brave)
Mieszko II Lambert