Józef Piłsudski, the personality most intimately associated with the cause of Polish independence in the public mind, arrived in Warsaw on 10 November 1918, following his release from Madgeburg Castle, where he had been interned since July 1917 for having refused to co-operate fully with the German occupation authorities over the creation of a sponsored Polish army, the Polnische Wehrmacht. Piłsudski found a chaotic political situation, whose principal ingredients were: the German-installed Regency Council led by Prince Zdzisław Lubomirski (1865-1943) was still in office; a revolutionary provisional government of the 'Polish People's Republic' had been set up on 7 November in Lublin under the veteran socialist Ignacy Daszyński (1866-1936); and the Polish National Committee led by Roman Dmowski in Paris continued to be recognised as the official Polish Government by the Western Allies. As a first step towards establishing at least a semblance of order, the Regency Council appointed Piłsudski commander-in-chief of the Polish armed forces on 11 November and asked him to form a national government. On the same day, and amidst widespread patriotic euphoria, Poland's independence was proclaimed, thus symbolically if not yet formally terminating the partitionist era. Foreign governments were notified of Poland's new status on 16 November, though reaction was not entirely favourable. On 14 November, Piłsudski's hand had been further strengthened with his appointment as provisional head of state, a position he retained until surrendering his extensive power to the Constituent Sejm early the following year. When his first choice as Prime Minister, Daszyński, was unable to form a coalition cabinet because of the opposition of the National Democrats, he was more successful with the moderate socialist, Jędrzej Moraczewski (1870-1944), and then sought to co-opt to it the Polish National Committee.
While problems of political, governmental and social stability were obviously of the highest priority for Poland in these turbulent early days,