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In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Polish focus on cultural advancement often took precedence over political and economic activity.
These factors have contributed to the versatile nature of Polish art, with all its complex nuances.
The West Slavic Languages are a subfamily of the Slavic Languages, a descendant of the Indo-European Languages.
In the early Middle Ages, before their speakers had become Germanized, Pomeranian languages and dialects were spoken along the Baltic in an area extending from the lower Vistula River to the lower Oder River." used throughout Poland (being that country's official language) and by Polish minorities in other countries.
With origins in the culture of the West Slavs, over time Polish culture has been profoundly influenced by its interweaving ties with the Germanic, Hungarian, Latinate and to a lesser extent; Byzantine and Ottoman worlds as well as in continual dialog with the many other ethnic groups and minorities living in Poland.
The collapse of the January 1863 Uprising prompted an agonizing reappraisal of Poland's situation.
Subsequently, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth partook in the intellectual ferment of the Enlightenment, which for the multi-ethnic Commonwealth ended not long after the partitions and political annihilation that would last for the next 123 years, until the collapse of the three partitioning empires in World War I.