History of the Silesian Beskids – XIX – XX century

History of the Silesian Beskids – XIX – XX century

In the second half of the 19th century, a number of other Polish educational, cultural and social associations were established., like for example. Agricultural Society (founded in 1868 r., led by Jerzy Cienciała, and later Józef Zaleski), Scientific Aid Society (1872, helping poor pupils and students), Heritage Bless. Jana Sarkandra (1873, Catholic), Society of People's Education (1881, Evangelical), Society of the National House (1887), Sports Association "Sokół" (1891) or the Polish Pedagogical Society (1896). This visible outbreak of social activity testified to the understanding of the need for national awareness, as well as the inexhaustible energy and resilience of that time, after all, not many, Polish intelligentsia. In the nineties of the nineteenth century. in industrial centers, what Bielsko was like, Jump, Ustroń * and Trzyniec *, the first Polish labor organizations in the form of trade unions began to emerge. This was associated with a significant increase in class struggles, which appeared, among others. a wave of strikes. Demands - in addition to improving working and living conditions - also a universal suffrage to the Vienna parliament, what has been achieved in 1906 r.

The years of the second half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. it is a period of rapid industrialization of Cieszyn Silesia. For the developing Ostrava-Karviná coal basin, the route to Bohumín was of great importance, w 1847 r., railway line - the so-called. Northern Railway, leading from Vienna through Moravia and Ostrava, with branches to Prague and Berlin. In less than 10 years later, the Northern Railway was extended through Zebrzydowice and Dziedzice to Kraków (with the Dziedzice branch – Bielsko), and then to Lviv. For running in 1839 r. of the steelworks in Trzyniec * the same importance was assigned to the 1869 r. the Bogumin-Košice line, running from Bogumin through Cieszyn, through the Olza valley * to the Jabłonkowska Pass *
and further to Slovakia. For Cieszyn Silesia, the opening in 1888 r. the so-called. Railway of Silesian Cities: from Frydek through Cieszyn and Skoczów to Bielsko, with a branch in Goleszów * to Ustroń *. The development of railway lines deprived the population of Beskid villages of an important source of income: earnings from distant trips by carts for iron ore to Slovakia or for salt to Wieliczka were eliminated. In turn, the factory textile industry caused the decline of cottage weaving and cloth making. Poverty drove the highlanders into seasonal emigration to Hungary and Prussian Silesia or permanently, mainly to America.

During the years 1857-1910 the population of Cieszyn Silesia increased from 190 do 435 thousand. Average population density in 1910 r. was 190 people / km2, however, in mountainous areas it was much smaller (60-80 people / km2). Most of the population was Polish, but due to constant germanization pressure, combined with the czechization action carried out by the state government in ()peacocks, the percentage of people using the Polish language decreased: w 1800 r. — 73%, w 1869 r. — 58%, w 1900 r. — 61%, but already in 1910 r. only less than that 55% (although the most Polish poviat of Jabłonki had as many as 96,4% Polish population!). In the same 1910 r. the Czech language was used 27% inhabitants of Cieszyn Silesia, but only in the judicial district of Cieszyn 15%, and in the counties of Skoczów and Jabłonkowski - below 0,6%. The German language was used 18% population of Cieszyn Silesia, with the Germans concentrated mainly in cities (Bielsko - 84%, Cieszyn — 61%) and in industrial centers (Trinec * - 35%).

The outbreak of World War I gave birth to hope among Cieszyn residents, that, with weapons in hand, they will pave the way for Poland's return to the map of Europe and for the connection of Cieszyn Silesia with the Motherland. Already in the first days of August 1914 r. appeared in Krakow under the command of Józef Piłsudski and became part of the 1 Brigades over 300 volunteers from Cieszyn Silesia, mainly from the Strzelecki Association and the "Falcon". 23 of August, a week after the creation of the Supreme National Committee, the Silesian Section of the NKN was established, headed by Ignacy Domagalski. It included, among others. Hilary Filasiewicz, Józef Londzin, Jan Michejda, Tadeusz Reger, Józef Zalewski. The section started in Cieszyn to form another legionnaire unit, consisting of members of the "Falcon". The project was led by the president of "Sokoł" Hieronim Przepiliński - director of the Polish Faculty School in Cieszyn. 21 IX 1914 r. branch, with approx. 350 volunteers, solemnly farewell in Cieszyn, he left for Mszana Dolna. There it was created 2 the "Silesian" company of the 3rd Regiment of the 2nd Legions Brigade, then commanded by Maj (later general) Józef Haller. Your company, from 13 X 1914 r. until November 1915 r., gloriously passed the entire combat route of the 2nd Brigade from Nadworna through the Mołotków, Rafajłowa's defense, Sołotwina and Rarańcza to Kostiuchnówka in Volhynia. In the bloody battle of Kostiuchnówka, 5 XI 1915 r., Lt.. Jan Łysek from Jaworzynka *, since December 1914 r. commander of the "Silesian" company.