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The origin of the name Polanie itself derives from the early Slavic word pole (field).In some languages, such as Hungarian, Lithuanian, Persian and Turkish, the exonym for Poland is Lechites (Lechici), which derives from the name of a semi-legendary ruler of Polans, Lech I. Other major cities include Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin.The establishment of a Polish state can be traced back to 966, when Mieszko I, ruler of a territory roughly coextensive with that of present-day Poland, converted to Christianity.The Kingdom of Poland was founded in 1025, and in 1569 it cemented a longstanding political association with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by signing the Union of Lublin.This union formed the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the largest (about 1 million km²) and most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe, with a uniquely liberal political system which adopted Europe's first written national constitution, the Constitution of .

He built extensively during his reign, and reformed the Polish army along with the country's civil and criminal laws, 1333–70.During the 13th and 14th centuries, Poland became a destination for German, Flemish and to a lesser extent Walloon, Danish and Scottish migrants.Also, Jews and Armenians began to settle and flourish in Poland during this era (see History of the Jews in Poland and Armenians in Poland).Up until the creation of Mieszko's state and his subsequent conversion to Christianity in 966 AD, the main religion of Slavic tribes that inhabited the geographical area of present-day Poland was Slavic paganism.With the Baptism of Poland the Polish rulers accepted Christianity and the religious authority of the Roman Church.

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