Revolution in Poland

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  • Protests in Poland started with the working class. They wanted to end communist rule in Poland. In 1980, a worker named Lech Walesa created a national trade union. Walesa called the union "Solidarity", and it gained support of the people and even the Roman Catholic Church.
  • As the movement continued to get stronger, Walesa was arrested during a period of military rule in the 1980's. After new types of demonstrations were introduced in 1988 the Polish regime finally agreed to having a free parliamentary elections. This means that Poland would have their first free election in 40 years. 
  • A new form of government was elected in Poland, and Walesa became president. Poland was struggling to adapt to the new government system. Five years later, Aleksander Kwasniewski defeated Walesa and became president. He has been successful in moving Poland toward their goal of a free market economy. 
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