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The establishment of the first Polish state can be traced to AD 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of the realm coextensive with the territory of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity.
However, it was the Western Polans who dominated the region and gave Poland its name.
Poland began to form into a recognizable unitary and territorial entity around the middle of the 10th century under the Piast dynasty.
However, the transition from paganism was not a smooth and instantaneous process for the rest of the population as evident from the pagan reaction of the 1030s.
Around six million Polish citizens, including 90% of the country's Jews, perished in the war.
In the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1989, most notably through the emergence of the Solidarity movement, Poland reestablished itself as a presidential democratic republic.
Poland is bordered by the Baltic Sea, Lithuania, and Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast to the north, Belarus and Ukraine to the east, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the south, and Germany to the west.
With the passing of prominence and prosperity, the country was partitioned by neighbouring states at the end of the 18th century, and regained its independence in 1918 with the Treaty of Versailles.