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Casimir III the Great is the only Polish king to receive the title of Great.He built extensively during his reign, and reformed the Polish army along with the country's civil and criminal laws, 1333–70.The origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the early Slavic word pole (field).In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian, Persian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites (Lechici), which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I.The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest (about 1 million km²) and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of .During the 13th and 14th centuries, Poland became a destination for German, Flemish and to a lesser extent Walloon, Danish and Scottish migrants.Also, Jews and Armenians began to settle and flourish in Poland during this era (see History of the Jews in Poland and Armenians in Poland).
The origin of the name Poland derives from the West Slavic tribe of Polans (Polanie) that inhabited the Warta River basin of the historic Greater Poland region starting in the 6th century.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.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.
Poland's first historically documented ruler, Mieszko I, accepted Christianity with the Baptism of Poland in 966, as the new official religion of his subjects.