(Polish People), the name of several political organizations belonging to the left wing of the Polish emigres in Great Britain.
The Lud Polski organization that existed from 1835 to 1846 was the first Polish revolutionary democratic organization. It was founded by revolutionary democratic groups that had left the Polish Democratic Society in 1835 after conflict over the society’s program and comprised three gromadas (communes): Grudziądz in Portsmouth, Human on Jersey (the main group), and Praga in London. The organization’s ideologists were S. Worcell and T. Kr’powiecki. Lud Polski advocated the destruction of feudalism through a peasant revolution and the abolition of social inequality and private ownership of land. After the Krakow Uprising of 1846, Lud Polski recognized that the primary task was the unification of all democratic forces and disbanded, its members joining the Polish Democratic Society.
In 1853-56, Lud Polski was revived on the basis of its original ideological program by J. Kryński and Z. Swi’tostawski, leaders of the first Lud Polski. The main Lud Polski group, the London Revolutionary Gromada, established close relations with A. I. Herzen and N. P. Ogarev. Although the organization’s activity flagged in the early 1860’s, some of its members helped prepare the Polish Uprising of 1863-64.
Lud Polski was again revived in 1872 by J. Kryński and L. Oborski, both veterans of the organization, and by W. Wroblewski, T. Dabrowski, and other members of the “young emigration” who had taken part in the Polish Uprising of 1863-64 and in the Paris Commune of 1871. Lud Polski maintained contact with K. Marx and F. Engels and with Russian Narodniki (populists) abroad. Its activity ceased after 1876.
REFERENCESEngels, F. “Emigrantskaia literatura.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 18.
Engels, F. “Za Pol’shu.” Ibid.
Temkinowa, H. Gromady Ludu polskiego. Warsaw, 1962.
Borejsza, J. W. W kregu wielkich wygnańcow (1848-1895). Warsaw, 1963.
I. S. MILLER
(Polish People), the name adopted by a small group of emigres (members of the intelligentsia) in Switzerland in 1881. Led by B. Limanowski, the group foreshadowed the social-patriotic current in the Polish socialist movement and was the ideological and organizational precursor of the Polish Socialist Party.