Poles in Illinois: A Brief Historical Outline

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John Radzilowski


This article presents an outline history of the Polish community in Illinois from the 19th century to the present day. It describes and characterises the various waves of immigration of Poles to this state, during which the Polish community consolidated, Polish organisations were established (Polish Roman Catholic Union, Polish National Alliance, Polish Women’s Alliance) and their integration with the American society unfolded. The main physical and spiritual centres of support were the parishes. The article also presents the activity of the Polish community in Illinois in modern times, its reactions to events in Poland in the 20th century and its current perception of Polish culture.

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Author Biography

John Radzilowski, University of Alaska, USA

John Radzilowski, Ph.D. is director of the Polish Institute of Culture and Research at Orchard Lake, Michigan, and Professor of History at the University of Alaska


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