Kingdom of Poland, since the Unification Wars, remains a centre of the Central European Commonwealth, a strong military alliance that defends border of humanity space against a multitude of aliens, while simultaneously creating vast ammounts of fundamentalist dukes to participate in various neocrusades.
Political system of Kingdom of Poland is officially called 'neofeudal constitutional monarchy', and was established by November Constitution. With it, the parliament (nothing more but an expansion of admiral Dunecki dictatorship) created a caste of aristocracy, which was a kind of permanent, hereditary reward for high ranking officers of Dunecki's military junta. Over time, a lower strata of the nobles were also born, but it took at least a century for it to fully form.
Polish nobility (and aristocracy) is open for a fresh blood, since one of the kings' prerogative is granting this status to various distinctive individuals - for example war heroes, succesful scientists, influential businessmen, great artists and so on. Every such title is accompanied by a certain income source granted from kings' personal domain or, if king decides that he has nothing interesting to gave, from private. In that case king announces that he is interested with buying something... and in most cases people quickly show their interests in the deal, since he pays well.
The noble title is a sort of a carrier for certain goods and assets, from silver cutlery, through transmission bandwith, scientific patents and factories (or even entire corporations) to few hundred hectars of land together with a family estate. They can be connected to the title. After doing that, he can lost it only in case of confirmed betrayal, and after dying without a heir they are taken back by the king. On the other hand, they can't be sold to anyone but the king, and after announcing the will to sell it can't be cancelled.
They were accidents of entire thriving corporations sold for a single zloty, simply because its owner somehow made king angry. This system is a Damocles sword over the heads of aristocrats and upper nobilities, with commoners and lower nobles always willing to band together to cause financial troubles... only to be later rewarded with practically confiscated goods. Disloyalty or intriguing against kings are... unsafe, to say at least, and all of that without any sorts of secret police.
Aristocracy and nobility also forms a basis of local governments. Cities/towns/districts all belong to various noble families. Which can be described by comparison to being a hereditary mayor. Whole budgets of such place belongs to the 'owner' who can easily 'steal' it without it being considered a crime. On the other hand, dissatisfied commoners can simply move to fief of a more honest noble, which together with relative high mobility of society leads to badly governed fiefs simply emptying themselves, with workers and citizens simply 'bought' by other, more industrious bluebloods.
Nepotism not only isn't penalized, but is also heavily suggested and regulated by one of amendments to the constitution. However it has to be done officially, with protector helping his/her protegees that they deem talented (or are somehow connected to them), while taking responsibility for all of their mistakes.
Directly beneath the King is a parliament, that exists as more of a group of advisors. It's separated into three groups: Council of Dukes (composed of dukes that own whole planets), Senat (that is made of nobles and lower aristocracy) and Sejm (populated by representatives of commoners).
States economy is heavily liberal, with far degree of economical freedom and extremely low taxes achieved by a tax hierarchy and dual tax system.
Commoners pay to the king only a low capitation tax, with every fiefdom paying concurrent tax to their 'owner'. How high? That depends solely of his agreement with his subjects. The nobles and aristocracy, on the other hand, pay a flat tax (depending on the times, 15 to 25% of income), while also being expected to willingly participy in various military spendings in the name of common defense.
Public agenda of Kingdom of Poland can be summed up to defending outer border of human space against waves of potentially genocidal aliens (including automatons and Plants
, but also various minor threats like synths and devourers). All of that while avoiding the fate of many similar border states that due to hardships failed into various totalitarian or authoritarian regimes.
Kings believe their country to be an apex of statehood, build on ancient West ideas of catholic morality, liberal economy, and civil rights, with all citizens treated rightly and justly, while State avoids terrible threates of social liberalism, socialism... and even worse, radical ideologies. Not to mention unrestricted democracy.
They are among the most staunch oponnents of Pact of Steel [PoS]
, New Comintern, Fifth International and Islam League among Outer Colonies, with their dukes being a regular participants of various neocrusades.
Officially Kingdom does not possess its own Navy. It renounced right to possess it during process of creating Eastern European Commonwealth, an union of Sector 44 states under partially nominal partially factual power of polish kings. Since then the Królewska Marynarka Wojenna (Royal Navy) was disbanded and replaced with Marynarka Wojenna Rzeczpospolitej (Commonwealth Navy), sometimes abbreviated to Common Fleet.
In truth, however, it is much more complicated. Common Fleet oficially also does not possess its own fleet, which is exactly as true as saying that Kingdom does not possesses its own Navy. All ships of Common Fleet are delegated from their country of origin, which is theoretically a voluntary process. All fleets have mixed crew, which isn't a problem with automatical translation made by implants, maybe with some exceptions of international dislikes.
Ships that Kingdom delegates to Common Fleet are a loose mix of ship built at the order of the King through the Royal Ministry of War, and those built privately by aristocracy (and groups of nobles and commoners). Patriotism is a key part of polish nobility's ethos, which is why it is expected to participate in common defense. With even commoner-owned corporation sometimes offering the Crown a fully equipped destroyer, especially when their owners dreams of nobility. Even if they won't achieve it, they will still gain significant tax cuts, so its relatively profitable business.
Ships built that way are then gifted to the King, at least ceremonially, in fact they remain in the hands of their builders. Crew and maintenance is done by Royal Ministry of War (although certain regular 'donations' from their owner is an important part of financing system of the Common Navy).
Victories achieved by ships they gifted add prestige, so - especially nobles and aristocracy - donators are always trying to outdo each other in terms of quality of their gifts. While hulls are standard (choosen from among many projects by Royal Ministry of War every few decades), the rest is an object of a permanent armaments race. Heated to the point when Ministry sometimes has to calm situation a bit, since donators tend to overdo with their generosity from time to time.
An effect is a fleet that while relatively low in numbers is also completely unpredictable, heavily imbued with archeotechs and other supertechnologies, with exact specification of ships unknown to the moment of opening fire.
Just as in case of the fleet, the army too officially belongs to the Commonwealth rather than to the fleet. With details varying strongly and depending on which formation are taken into account, since they are a number of them, with names of all of them derived from ancient formations of Polish Army.
First is the so called Wojsko Kwarciane (Quarter Army), which is a regular army of the Crown financed by State's money. Despite belonging to the Crown it is still a part of Commonwealth's Army hierarchy of command. Another part of historical cosplay so typical for Outer Colonies is calling armored units 'Husaria' (Hussars), while mechanized formations are called 'Jazda Pancerna' (Mailed Companions). Only garrison infantry is truly called infantry... albeit with added word "Łanowa'...
Second formation is so called Piechota Wybraniecka (Chosen Infantry), being in fact a ducal forces granted to the Crown during the wartimes. With similar system in place as in the Navy, so nobles are permanently trying to outdo each other with technological novelties and in rigorous training that changes this soldiers into one of the best in Outer Colonies. It is also considered a small remainder to the nobles of their station, as original Chosen Infantry was created by administrators of royal lands.
Their biggest disadvantage is that from time to time some more adventurous duke (or one of his younger sons) takes few of them, buys a few ships and joins a neocrusade to create his own domain far, far away from home while also fighting in a noble cause and doing good deeds for God. Since that, there tends to be less of them that it should be during crises.
Third formation is Armia Krajowa (Country Army), that is a local equivalent of american National Guard. Local self defense forces (with overwhelming majority of citizens of the Kingdom undergoing some military training), and also a source of reinforcements for regular formations during the war.
Command structure is similar to the classic one, with only difference being replacement of two uppermost general position replaced with hetman polowy (Field Hetman) and hetman koronny (Crown Hetman). They are also very limited in number and is connected to automatic grant of nobility in case a commoner achieves them. Typical generals remain in rear service, which is much less prestigious.
Republic of Poland had a terrible lack through majority of its history. Heavily decimated during the Third World War (mainly due to being a battleground between Russian Federation and French-Germany Alliance). Due to that, it managed to gain colonies of its own very lately, only a dozen of years before Third World War that changed the whole of Middle-Eastern Europe into radioactive wasteland. Despite this fortune - or God - gave Poles a greatest chance in their history.
One of polish space missions found a previously undiscovered hyperlane leading... somewhere, on the far borders of human colonized space. Republic government decided to wage everything it had in a desperate bet. Silently a series of bilateral agreements were signed between Republic and various other countries of the region, that were equally unsuccesful in their participation of the space race.
Soon all of this countries funded as many colonization mission they could and launched them simutaneously. Through completely different routes they reached an uncharted hyperlane, and jumped to the star sector that was later (after the whole scheme was uncovered) classified as Sector 44.
Soon 49 colonies were set up, which changed Sector 44 into one of the most densely populated sectors on the outer borders of human space.
Unofficial plan was evacuating as much of the Central-Eastern Europe's population as possible (up to every single one willing human) while completely abandoning Earth. However, Fourth World War happened too early, with only up to 50% of population transfered (with reckless abandon, as all the participants' states survived economy collapse in the middle).
During the Fourth World War the whole Central-Eastern Europe was flattened with nuclear weaponry, as the remaining citizen were firmly proNationalist and despite being outnumbered became one of their chief redoubts. Then, the Republic of Poland was limited to its newly claimed group of stars, several thousand of light years away.
The biggest problem was the fact, that Republic of Poland's colonies were heavily split politically. Autonomous provinces controlled by hardline nationalists, and radical socialists/communists were created, with even mainstream Republic divided between liberals and conservatives. The future conflict was brewing slowly from the very start of the colonization, with the idea of giving liberty to all political variants to rule themselves being good in peace and prosperity, but very bad in the chaos to come.
Following the Third Colonial War Terran Federation officially took control of the now 'discovered' star sector, creating a command station on the orbit of New Warsaw, the capital world of the Republic, together with various orbital fortifications and shipyards. Soon a moderate task force of Federation Navy was relocated to the Sector 44 under Rear Admiral Zhu.
After Fourth Colonial War struck human space, the Sector 44 managed to hold as an island of peace on the sea of war until 1st. December 2152r., when a Democrat cell that survived the ending of Third Colonial War detonated a nuclear bomb on Terran command station on the orbit of New Warsaw. With Rear Admiral Zhu and majority of local command and administrative personnel killed, all remnants of political cohesivness crumbled nearly instantly.
Federation Task Force 44 collapsed. Several ships were hijacked by crews that decided to return home, and most other went pirate or joined various local new states, for money or from lack of anything better to do.
Entirety of Sector 44 collapsed politically, albeit in various speed. Republic of Poland was one of the fastest in that matter, with nationalist colony of Magna Polonia declaring independence 17th. January 2153. Their forces bolstered by buying two former Reliant class Federation battlecruisers renamed 'Jan Morsdorf' and 'Roman Dmowski'. Due to completely sluggish reaction of government, only two months later liberals and social democrats declared independence themselves, with communist/militant socialists soon doing the same. Polish Civil War started.
Before the beginning of 2157 it was clear, that coalition of Union of Polish Left and Liberal Party of Poland is winning the war. Magna Polonia was occupied in april, with New National Democracy kicked out of the war and its forces (with two battlecruisers as their core) continuing to wage guerilla warfare.
With Conservative Movement and Christian democrat Democratic League government forced into corner, a new hero showed up. Admiral Aleksander Dunecki, a fleet commander that achieved several brilliant victories against UPL and LPP forces. Who possessed a magnetic personality and 'devilish' charisma, that was more than enough to keep and hold public attention.
Admiral Dunecki and his calls to strenghten internal power to stop both socialliberal and communists from Communist Party of Poland were gaining increasing support among the population - with his every victory and every defeat of other commanders. In early May 2157 he issued ultimatum to the CM/DL government to make him into temporary dictator. When they refused, he launched a succesful military coup. Doing this in May had a certain reason, since he was styling himself after marshal Piłsudski, who also overthrown 'weak' democracy in May.
First decision of admiral Dunecki as a dictator was merging positions of president, prime minister, minister of defense and supreme commander of fleet. Second was signing alliance with remnants of New National Democracy forces. Third, was announcing that he would retake New Warsaw within a month... and launching a counteroffensive known later on as a July Offensive.
Dunecki, reinforced by nationalist forces (including two mightiest ships in Sector 44, the Reliant class battlecruisers) attacked enemy that outnumbered him... but not without several hidden trump cards. First were cargo vessels secretly refitted into missile ships. Second was the fact, that his enemies didn't know about his alliance with New National Democracy... but did about his announcement. Third was the fact that he was the best fleet commander in this war... and he was commanding his forces personally. He avoided front system and launch deep raid at New Warsaw with two task forces. His only hope being retaking the shipyards - crucial to winning the war - and cruisers that were constructed in it, not to mention the system itself, which was important from propaganda view.
First task force - under command of admirał Ostrowski (eldest surviving nationalist commanders) emerged from hyperpsace at 4.33 p.m. Standard Terran Time, 14. June 2157r, thus beginning the Second Battle for New Warsaw. This task force possessed both battlecruisers supported by several Duniecki's destroyers and light cruisers... and dozen refitted transport vessels. Enemy fleet - under viceadmiral Korniewski - move to intercept him, with admirał Ostrowski allowing it, as that was all according to Adm. Dunecki plan.
After becoming a target of salvoes from refitted cargo vessels, Admiral Kornewski made a fateful decisions of coming into artillery range, while sending salvoes that decimated cargo vessels. This meant that nationalist ships were practically untouched when they began artillery duel with soclibs.
Viceadmiral Ostrowski managed to destroy majority of escorts while heavily damaging ORP 'Roman Dmowski'. He, in return, also sustain significant loses, with several light cruisers lost and his flag cruiser ORP Wincenty Witos suffering nearly crippling damage from artillery salvoes of battlecruisers.
Just as admiral Ostrowski's ship retreated to the edge of system, soclibs moved toward New Warsaw to retreat and resupply after repelling a surprising nationalist raid (as they thought). In that very moment second task force, under personal command of admiral Dunecki, entered the system, accelerating as fast as they could towards viceadmiral Ostrowski's battered ships.
Due to major damages to engines sustained by soclibs forces (as admirał Ostrowski targeted them specifically) they had no way of accelerating fast enough to flee the system, incapable even to return into fire range of New Warsaw orbital defense before being intercepted by admiral Duniecki. Only two destroyers and seven frigates survived the ensuing battle, fleeing from the system while bringing news of defeat to other soclib systems.
If Duniecki attacked in a more classical way, with all of his ships combined, he would have also managed to decimate his enemies and win the battle. But they would manage to retreat in order, and launch raids against besieging forces' suply lines. That's why different plan was used, with nationalist forces used a bait to completely defeat enemy (that lost 1/5 of his fleet in that one battle).
Shipyards and orbital infrastructure - and even fortifications manned mainly by remaining Federation personnel - surrendered the moment the combined forces of admirals Dunecki and Ostrowski moved closer. Land battle turned out to be much harder, but in the end Dunecki's forces entered former government buildings at 28. June, after three day long artillery preparation. The rest of the planet were conquered few days later, with only some guerillas fighting until the end of the year.
The battle became the turning point in war. Dunecki defeated communists in several more battles, then turning to still weakened soclibs. With shipyards of New Warsaw playing crucial roles with resupplying their fleet (with several new cruisers soon finished and entered into Dunecki's fleet). Capturing New Warsaw also changed popular love to admiral into something close to personality cult. Until 2162 the Polish Civil War ended, with all systems returning into Republic of Poland, that was a military dictatorship (on a border of becoming a military junta), ruled by combined forces of New National Democrats, Conservative Moment and Democratic League.
Admiral Dunecki was facing a very important problem, that was haunting him even on the last stages of war. From the historical point of view, dictatorships sooner or later lead to internal problems. Becoming a head of neosanation wasn't a pleasing idea to him, since he remembered what happened to the first one.
What's more, a significant part of three parties that supposedly supported him, expected him to act like Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, giving back the power he gained after the war. Which wasn't a pleasing idea either.
11.November 2163 (which was a polish Independence Day) the last remnants of democracy in Republic ceased to exist. Parliament (with all non-Christian democrat/conservative/nationalist parties delegalized) accepted a so called November Constitution, that created political basis of a Kingdom of Poland of today. With the newly crowned king Alexander Dunecki beginning the series of military conquests of different states in Sector 44.
Demography and Population
Kingdom - just as whole Sector 44 - is a domain of Neocatholicism in its most tolerant version, which causes a permanent influx of immigrants (human, Variants and aliens alike) seeking a place when they can lead a peaceful (if you count out regular alien incursions) lifes without persecusions.
Due to that only 52% population are homo sapiens sapiens, with approximately 27% being Variants, and rest being various aliens.
In religious terms the country is much more unitary, with 94% being Roman Catholic variant of Neocatholic Church. The rest 6% is different types of Neocatholic (mainly Eastern Orthodoxy) and marginal 'others'. Part of the mental sculpt of the locals is... rather... fervent faith, which causes a significant participancy rate in Neocrusades, and nearly 'holy' character of defensive wars.
As such it is no surprise that Kingdom remains a part of Res Publica Christiana.