||Pilsudski was a reavolutionary who had helped establish independent Poland in November 1918. He was the first chief of state of independent Poland from 1918 to 1922, and he was also commander in chief of the Polish army. In 1920 he defeated the Russian Red Army, and in late 1922 he became chief of the general staff. He resigned from office in May 1923 and went into retirement. In 1926, after an economic depression, Pilsudski marched on Warsaw, and the government resigned. Pilsudski was elected president on May 31, 1926, but he refused to take the honor, and instead he assumed the Ministry of Defense. He was the major influence in Poland for the rest of his life, and he was especially influencial in Polish foreign policy.