In the second half of the 19th century in Poland strengthened the civic, educated class. There is a growing national feeling and desire for independence from the Russian Empire. Warsaw has become the center of young intellectuals. Dissatisfied with the Russian administration, they split into two groups: the Reds (revolutionaries) and the Whites (liberal-moderate). Alongside there was a peasant organization led by conservative Andrzej Arthur Zamoyski.
Mass demonstrations in Poland erupted on 27.2.1861. with the aim of eliminating agriculture. The Cossacks killed 5 people, which only fueled discontent. However, Russian Tsar Alexander II. tried to avoid conflict in Poland. It abolished agriculture, reopened Warsaw University and established Polish authorities.
For the Poles, changes did not take place quickly enough, and in two months another demonstration was organized in which hundreds of people were killed. When the Poles began shouting political goals during the consecration of the new Archbishop, thousands of people were arrested by the army and eventually arrested. The anti-mood sentiment continues to rise. Moderate and radical organizations are committing illegal activities.
An illegal government was formed, planning a major uprising, but without weapons and trained soldiers. When it was announced that 10,000 suspected members of the opposition would have to join the Russian army, which lasted 15 years, the radicals announced a major protest despite poor preparedness.
On January 22, 1863, the illegal government distributed a manifesto calling on the peoples of the former Polish-Lithuanian Union (Poles, Lithuanians, Ukrainians) to fight the Russians. The peasants would get the land they live on, the Jews were promised equality, etc. The real national uprising did not actually happen in the end. Only parts of Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania were affected, with a total of perhaps 200,000 people in Poland. The rebels could not occupy Warsaw, so the insurgent leadership moved around the country.
300,000 Russian soldiers were sent to the uprisings. There was no battle but several skirmishes broke out. The new Russian general, Friedrich Wilhelm Rembert von Berg, went on to stifle the anti-Russian movement – passing death sentences, confiscating property and persecuting Siberia.
In the winter of 1863/1864. former officer Roulad Traugutt once again tried to rally the Polish uprisings. When he was arrested in April 1864, he also completed the January Uprising. About 400 Poles were sentenced to death, 2,500 to forced labor, 20,000 were exiled to Siberia and other distant areas, thousands of noble families were confiscated property and high charges were imposed.
Thus, due to a disorganized or poorly planned uprising, the Poles lost the rights they had. The name Kingdom of Poland was banned, Russian was introduced into schools. The percentage of the illiterate and refugees in emigration increased.