Inspired by the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution of 1787, the people of Poland formed and adopted the first democratic constitution in Europe on May 3, 1791. This became the second democratic constitution in the world.
At that time, Poland was a powerful force in Europe. However, by the latter part of the 18th century, discord within the country made it a target for surrounding aggressors. In an attempt to unite the people of Poland against its enemies, the Constitution of the 3rd of May was adopted. Despite a tradition of monarchies and empire-building shared by the nations surrounding Poland, the authors of the May 3, 1791 Constitution proposed a democratic form of government. Their inspiration came from the American Revolution in which Polish patriots such as Thaddeus Kosciuszko and Casimir Pulaski had participated. The participants and observers of the American efforts to establish freedom and civil rights influenced the course of the new Polish government.
Now after many years of oppression, Poland has a free and independent government, a government dedicated to the same democratic ideals of the Polish Constitution of 1791. Over the years, the endless Polish quest for freedom, peace and justice, and the ideals of the May 3rd Constitution united the Polish nation and the world’s Polonia. This same indomitable Polish spirit continues to unite Polonia worldwide.