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Bolesław Limanowski (18 October 1835 - 1 February 1935) was one of the first and one of the most outstanding Polish socialist politician, as well as historian and journalist.

Political activism

He began to be politically active during his studies in Vilniusmarker and was arrested by Russian police in 1861 for expressing patriotic views. He was still in prison, when the January Uprising began in 1863, so he couldn’t take part in the fighting. Released from prison in 1867, he moved to Lvivmarker, where he was working as a journalist, expressing socialist views and became the secretary to Rudolf Günsberg, Professor of Applied Chemistry for one year. In 1878 he emigrated to Switzerlandmarker, where he was publishing, together with S. Mendelson, K. Dłuski and K. Hildt, one of the first Polish socialist newspaper, “Równość” (Equality). He was a founder of Stowarzyszenie Socjalistyczne Lud Polski (Socialist Association “Polish People”), which goal was fighting for independence of Poland and socialism. His views were suportet by Friedrich Engels himself, who opted for Polish independence (but changed his mind afterwards), and with whome Limanowski had close and often contacts.In November 1892 he took part in a meeting of Polish socialist from the Russian partition, that was held in Parismarker. As the oldest participant, he became a chairman of the talks. He became one of the founding members of the Polish Socialist Party (PPS) established there. After the division of the Party, he supported Polish Socialist Party – Revolutionary Faction, led by Józef Piłsudski. Being a patriot, Limanowski never accepted internationalism of the radical leftwing organizations and communists.

Senator of independent Poland

He was present in Poland during the difficult first years of independence. In 1922 he was elected a senator for the first time. After Piłsudski's coup in 1926, Limanowski strongly advocated democracy and opposed the Sanacja authoritarian government. Despite his age, he remain active and was serving as a senator until his death at the age of one hundred.

Political thought

Bolesław Limanowski was the first Polish socialist writer and political thinker. In his works, he always expressed that the main goal of every Polish political party is to regain independence. He saw a strong connection between a struggle for nation sovereignty and social reforms. As a historian, he focused his attention especially on Poland during and after the times of partitions – national uprisings, revolutions and development of modern political thought and political parties. For his achievements on that field, he was awarded the title of doctor honoris causa of the University of Warsawmarker in 1934.His main works are:
  • O kwestii robotniczej (On workers’ issue)
  • Studwudziestoletnia walka narodu polskiego o niepodległość (The 120 years fight of the Polish Nation for independence)
  • Historia demokracji polskiej w epoce porozbiorowej (The history of Polish democracy in the after-partitions period)


References

  • Jan Tomicki, Polska Partia Socjalistyczna, Książka i Wiedza, Warszawa 1983
  • Adam Próchnik, Pierwsze piętnastolecie Polski niepodległej, PWN, Warszawa 1983



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