IntroductionThe Polish cause has been the object of much misrepresentation by partisans of the three great empires which were interested in suppressing inconvenient truths. In consequence, the generous sympathy which has been so long extended to the Poles is often based rather on sentiment than on a knowledge of the facts. It is not possible to form a just idea of the territorial and other rights of nationalities, without having a clear, if general, notion of their history and development. Those who have not hitherto had time or opportunity to study the story of the Polish nation will find in this little volume a succinct exposition of the principal data, from which they may draw their own conclusions.The brief sketch of Polish history which we here submit to the attention of the public forms part of a considerable work of reference, the Polish Encyclopaedia, which we publish in French, and which is being translated into English. This survey has been written specially for us by Dr. Ladislas Konopczynski, professor at the University of Cracow. We owe the translation to the kindness of Professor Francis Benett, of Fribourg, to whom we tender our grateful thanks.Fribourg, (Switzerland)The Committee for the Polish Encyclopaedic Publications.