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Historians have postulated that throughout Late Antiquity, many distinct ethnic groups populated the regions of what is now Poland.
The ethnicity and linguistic affiliation of these groups have been hotly debated; the time and route of the original settlement of Slavic peoples in these regions lacks written records and can only be defined as fragmented.
In 1226, Konrad I of Masovia, one of the regional Piast dukes, invited the Teutonic Knights to help him fight the Baltic Prussian pagans; a decision that led to centuries of warfare with the Knights.
The Golden Liberty of the nobles began to develop under Casimir's rule, when in return for their military support, the king made a series of concessions to the nobility, and establishing their legal status as superior to that of the townsmen.
When Casimir the Great died in 1370, leaving no legitimate male heir, the Piast dynasty came to an end.
Following the partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century, Poland regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles.
In September 1939, World War II started with the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, followed by the Soviet Union invading Poland in accordance with the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland established itself as a democratic republic.
In 1264, the Statute of Kalisz or the General Charter of Jewish Liberties introduced numerous right for the Jews in Poland, leading to a nearly autonomous "nation within a nation".