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Through wars and the partitions of Poland, Prussia acquired an increasing amount of northern, western, and central Polish territory.

The Vistula Germans' migrations from Congress Poland increased.German colonies in the lower Volga river area were founded almost immediately afterward.These early colonies were attacked during the Pugachev uprising, which was centred on the Volga area, but they survived the rebellion.The earliest German settlement in Russia dates back to the reign of Vasili III, Grand Prince of Moscow from 1505 to 1533.Gradually, this policy extended to a few other major cities.Germans and Dutch settled its valley starting from the Baltic Sea and moving further south with time.

Eventually, Prussia acquired most of the Vistula's watershed, and the central portion of then-Poland became South Prussia.

Its existence was brief - 1793 to 1806, but by its end many German settlers had established Protestant agricultural settlements within its earlier borders.

From already-Prussian Silesia to the southwest some German Roman Catholics also entered the region.

Religious minorities found these terms very agreeable, particularly Mennonites from the Vistula River valley.

Their unwillingness to participate in military service, and their long tradition of dissent from mainstream Lutheranism and Calvinism, made life under the Prussians very difficult for them.

The 1935 "Breyer Map" shows the distribution of German settlements in what became central Poland.