Masovia ( Polish: Mazowsze [ mazɔfʃɛ ] ) is a region in Poland, which extends around Warsaw, historically predominantly east of the Vistula. Mazovia was part of the early Piast state, then temporarily connected as a duchy under the Piast dynasty only as a fief of the Kingdom of Poland, then one of the ( historical ) voivodships of Poland and today again Voivodeship. Since the 15th century Warsaw is the political center of Mazovia. Before Czersk was the seat of government, and before the episcopal city of Płock.

Political history

First Piast

The name of Mazovia to " Maso " or " Maslao " recycled, ie Cupbearer of Mieszko II Lambert ( † 1034), of these lands after the death of the king during the minority of Casimir appropriated I.. When exactly did Mazovia (wholesale ) of Poland under the rule, is not known. A time 960-990, ie, during the reign of Mieszko I. It is assumed since it belonged to the State of the Piast dynasty and was one of the provinces with the center in Płock (since 1075 bishopric ).

Duchy of Mazovia

As a result of the testament of Bolesław III. Wrymouth Poland was divided after his death in duchies, which were secular connected only by the primacy of Duke Senior. It began 150 years of Polish particularism. Because of this Testament Mazovia was incorporated to 1138 with Kuyavian, and the state of Sieradz - Łęczyca to a Duchy. Duke Konrad I of Masovia held during his reign from 1199 to 1247 in the years 1229-1232 and 1241-1243 and the Duchy of Lesser Poland and thus the position of senior Polish duke. His attempts to subdue the north adjacent Prussians and Jadwinger, this led to fierce counter-attacks. The to help him set up by German Order was active only after he had left to him by the Treaty of Kruschwitz the Kulmerland, which then served the Order as a starting point for its own statehood. As in 1295, the coronation Przemysławs II ended the Polish particularism, Mazovia was not in it. It was not until 1351 it was a Polish fief. In 1313 it was divided into three duchies with the centers Plock, Warsaw and Rawa Mazowiecka. The ( north- ) east of neighboring Lithuania, become in the resistance against the Teutonic Order to the powerful state undertook in its expansion in the 14th century, military campaigns by Mazovia. With the Polish-Lithuanian personal union of 1386 Masovia was directly between the two areas under the Jagiellonian of Poland and Lithuania. After the extinction of Mazovia line of the Piast dynasty in the male line by the death of Duke Janusz of Masovia Masovia in 1526 fell to the Polish crown and was not awarded again as fiefs.

Masovian Voivodeship

The territory was incorporated into the Kingdom of direct administrative and converted into three provinces on December 27, 1529. Since the north-west location Prussia Royal proportion since the Second Peace of Thorn 60 years ago directly of the crown of Poland was under and the north adjacent remaining monastic state and its successor, the Duchy of Prussia, were loans depends on Poland, Mazovia was now in the center of the Polish power. Accordingly, the capital city of Warsaw, Masovian quickly became the capital of Poland.

The memory of the Duchy remained in the centuries that followed, both on behalf of the province and in the titulary of the Polish rulers, under King Sigismund August II was: Zikmund Augustus Dei gratia rex Poloniae, magnus dux Lithuaniae, nec non terrarum Cracoviae, Sandomiriae, Siradiae, Lanciciae, Cuiaviae, Kijoviae, Russiae, Woliniae, Prussiae, Masoviae, Podlachiae, Culmensis, Elbingensis, Pomeraniae, Samogitiae, Livoniae etc. dominus et haeres.

Polish divisions

With the Third Partition of Poland in 1795 almost fell as Masovia Province of East Prussia until 1807 to the Kingdom of Prussia. During the Napoleonic Wars Mazovia was from 1807 to 1815 part of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw and formed in 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, one of the main provinces of Congress Poland within the boundaries of the Russian Empire.

20th and 21st centuries

1918 Mazovia part of the re-established Polish Republic.

Since 1999 the number of Polish regions was reduced, is one of the new big in the Mazovia Voivodeship.

Social History

For a long time Mazovia was very thinly populated. 1333 lived only about 55,000 people or 2.2 inhabitants per square kilometer in the area. The floors were mostly low yields. Therefore, extensive areas of the country were covered with forest, while residents migrated to neighboring regions. Noble landowners formed under these conditions only slowly and to a lesser extent out. Was particularly large proportion of the population of the lower nobility ( former border guards ) with about 25 % of the population, with even the Polish average of 10 % higher than the European. Accordingly, a large part of the Masovian nobility were impoverished in the 14th to 16th century. The legal situation of the farmers, however, was better than in the rest of the country. The local form of interest-based economy based on the so-called ordo terrae, an individual agreement with the settlers ( kmetho ), making this an unlimited time tenant of the soil was due to him far-reaching personal freedoms and he was the regional courts, but not placed under the Dominialgerichtsbarkeit. Colonization to German law ( ius Theutonicum ) played a minor role here. An important feature of Mazovia territorial rule was that the tradition of patrimonial monarchy continued to live, while the feudal constitution slower pace than in the right of the Polish Crown dependencies.

The first founding cities under German law were held ( in Płock, etc.) in Mazovia in the 13th century. For the economic development of Mazovia, the leading north and south trade routes played a certain role, which largely led north to the towns of Thorn, Danzig and Elbing, temporarily or first to the religious state, then were all three to Polish Prussia Royal content.