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Connecting true geography and detailed unfolding of wide variety of crimes perpetrated by German/Ukrainian Nazis and communist Soviet Union on the Polish nation.

Polish National Growth/Resistance in Partitioned Poland (1795-1918)


 

jan-peczkis-book-review

 

The list author says: “Poland was erased off Europe’s map, by 1795, by three imperialistic powers: Germany (Prussia), Russia, and Austria. For 123 years, Poles had to develop their national existence under foreign rule. Owing to the fact that the 19th century was a time of great change and growth in Europe, this took on further urgency and significance.

Polish national resistance took on both violent and nonviolent forms. Examples of the former are the failed Insurrections of 1794, 1830, and 1863–in tsarist Russia. An outstanding example of the latter is the systematic nation-building by the Poles of West Prussia, in which they beat the Germans in such “German strengths” as organization and discipline.

Many of the successes of the Second Republic (1918-1939) were inherited from the 123 years of strenuous efforts by Poles living under foreign rule.”

_________________________

The Lands of Partitioned Poland, 1795-1918 (A History of East Central Europe (HECE))
The Lands of Partitioned Poland, 1795-1918 (A History of East Central Europe (HECE))
“A fine introduction to the lands of Partitioned Poland under foreign rule.”
The Polish captivity: an account of the present position of the Poles in the kingdom of Poland, and in the Polish provinces of Austria, Prussia, and Russia (v.1 )  (1863)
The Polish captivity: an account of the present position of the Poles in the kingdom of Poland, and in the Polish provinces of Austria, Prussia, and Russia (v.1 ) (1863)
“Volume 1 of a fascinating visiting Briton’s account of Partitioned Poland in the mid 19th century. Has exceptional insights into class differences in Poland and the delayed legacy of the May 3, 1791 Constitution.”
The Polish captivity: an account of the present position of the Poles in the kingdom of Poland, and in the Polish provinces of Austria, Prussia, and Russia (v.2 )  (1863)
The Polish captivity: an account of the present position of the Poles in the kingdom of Poland, and in the Polish provinces of Austria, Prussia, and Russia (v.2 ) (1863)
“Volume 2 of a fascinating visiting Briton’s account of Partitioned Poland in the mid 19th century. Has exceptional insights into how the ruling powers were framing their arguments against Poland, and how the Ukrainians were starting to think of themselves as a different nationality from Poles.”
Economic Origins of Antisemitism: Poland and Its Jews in the Early Modern Period
Economic Origins of Antisemitism: Poland and Its Jews in the Early Modern Period
“One view of Poles, Jews, and the liquor trade right up to the time of the Partitions.”
Poland; an historical sketch
Poland; an historical sketch
“2012 reprint: The Prussian, Helmuth von Moltke, wrote this book in 1832. It describes Poland’s strengths, and causes of her eventual weaknesses just before the Partitions.”
The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1848-1914
The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1848-1914
“Polish peasant national consciousness, and the self-development of Polish peasant institutions, in Austrian-ruled Galicia.”
Walka o Wolnosc w Roku 1863  (Polish Edition)
Walka o Wolnosc w Roku 1863 (Polish Edition)
“A recently-reprinted book, written in 1913 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the January 1863 Insurrection. The book also gives considerable detail on the oppressiveness, from the very beginning, of tsarist Russian rule, over her share of Partitioned Poland. My review is intentionally timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary (January 2013) of the 1863 Insurrection.”
Partisan Warfare in 19th Century Poland: The Development of a Concept (Odense University Studies in History and Social Sciences)
Partisan Warfare in 19th Century Poland: The Development of a Concept (Odense University Studies in History and Social Sciences)
“The failed Polish insurrections of 1794, 1830, and 1863, direced against Russian rule in central and eastern Poland, served as a model of guerrilla warfare subsequently adopted by other nations.”
The Kulturkampf in Prussian Poland
The Kulturkampf in Prussian Poland
“The attempt by the Second Reich to stifle the Polish subject people, in the 1870’s and 1880’s, and how the Poles thwarted it.”
Germanizing Prussian Poland: The H-K-T Society And The Struggle For The Eastern Marches In The German Empire, 1894-1919
Germanizing Prussian Poland: The H-K-T Society And The Struggle For The Eastern Marches In The German Empire, 1894-1919
“A non-Polish perspective on the spectacular Polish successes in Prussian-ruled northwest Poland, and the militant German HAKATA and its attempts to squelch it (1890’s and early 1900’s).”
Germany's Wild East: Constructing Poland as Colonial Space (Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany)
Germany’s Wild East: Constructing Poland as Colonial Space (Social History, Popular Culture, and Politics in Germany)
“How Germans saw their conquered Polish subjects.”
Germans, Poles, and Jews: The Nationality Conflict in the Prussian East, 1772-1914
Germans, Poles, and Jews: The Nationality Conflict in the Prussian East, 1772-1914
“An account of German actions against Poles in conquered northwest Poland, and how this was thwarted by the Polish national movement.”
The New Eastern Europe
The New Eastern Europe
“A non-Polish author discusses the Polish successes in their co-operative movement in Prussian-ruled Poland.”
School Strikes in Prussian Poland 1901-1907: The Struggle over Bilingual Education
School Strikes in Prussian Poland 1901-1907: The Struggle over Bilingual Education
“Polish civil disobedience and national consciousness-raising through the strikes against compulsory Germanization in Prussian-ruled Poland.”
Warsaw Before the First World War: Poles and Jews in the Third City of the Russian Empire 1880-1914
Warsaw Before the First World War: Poles and Jews in the Third City of the Russian Empire 1880-1914
“The title of this work says it, but does not say it all. It also tells much about the 1906 and 1912 Duma elections in Russian-ruled Poland.”
The Jews and minority rights (1898-1919) (Studies in history, economics, and public law, no. 384)
The Jews and minority rights (1898-1919) (Studies in history, economics, and public law, no. 384)
“In this 1933 work, the Jewish author discusses how the “Jews as nationality” concept inflamed Polish-Jewish relations in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.”
My diary at the Conference of Paris,: With documents,
My diary at the Conference of Paris,: With documents,
“As Poland was being resurrected in 1918, she was saddled with the Minorities Treaty. This American author provides insights as to why Polish leaders resisted the Treaty and later why Poland chafed under it. (See the Peczkis review).”

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https://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/listmania/fullview/RTPAXXK81OYR5/cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

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2 comments on “Polish National Growth/Resistance in Partitioned Poland (1795-1918)

  1. arcu ballist
    November 12, 2016

    The book reviewed – “The Polish Captivity”, by Henry Sutherland Edwards
    Is a free download / pdf / 8.53MB = at _ archive.org
    Easy read. Interestingly, all invaders accepted their illegal acts, as per GREED.

    Goes well with the book – ‘Iron Kingdom, the rise & downfall of Prussia’
    by Christopher Clark. Wide ranging & 700+ pp.

    • HKW
      November 12, 2016

      Write a customer review –

      5.0 out of 5 stars

      A Fascinating Briton’s Observations and Insights in Mid-19th Century Partitioned Poland.
      Class Differences

      By Jan Peczkis on January 23, 2013

      The author travelled extensively across foreign-ruled Poland, and provided this 1863 fact-filled account along with a foreigner’s mid-19th century perspective unclouded by later developments. Owing to the breadth of information presented, I can only focus on a few matters.

      Consider some interesting bits of information. The LIBERUM VETO was neither specifically Polish, nor itself bad. It became harmful to Poland only because corrupt nobility misused it. (pp. 252-253). The wounded Kosciuszko never said FINIS POLONAIE, and expressed strong disgust that anyone would even imagine him making such a foolish and treasonous statement. (pp. 2-3). For all the German attempts to “steal” Copernicus, Alexander von Humboldt acknowledged that Copernicus was a Pole. (p. 85). Substantial areas around Breslau (Wroclaw) continued to resist the centuries-long Germanization pressures as of this late date (1863), as verified by Edwards’ personal experience. (pp. 8-9).

      Although Edwards does not use the term Turanian civilization (as done by Feliks Koneczny) to describe Russia, he notes the knout, an instrument of government, originating from the Tatars. Even the then-reigning “liberal” Tsar Alexander II was very autocratic. He arrested Russian nobles without accusation, and temporarily exiled them without trial. (p. 21). Edwards believes that the massacre of Polish civilians by Russian troops (at Warsaw in 1861), owed to the “despotic habits” of Russian soldiers not knowing how else to disperse a crowd. (pp. 59-60).

      Even in a partitioned state, Poland had already achieved a good deal, and this had long preceded the “organic work” stressed by Endeks many decades later. Edwards comments, (quote) In Poland, since the moral revival caused by the destruction of the country in a political sense, we find poets, historians, politicians, men of distinction of all kinds, serving in the army, not because they had been bred soldiers, but because they were born patriots. In another sphere, modern Poland has produced a fair number of legists, economists, and other men of science and learning; indeed an immense number, when we take into consideration the fact that the universities of Warsaw and Wilna [Wilno] were suppressed, and their libraries carried off to St. Petersburg…the university of Cracow…France owes her system of credit-institutions to a Pole, M. Wolowski, of the French Institute; and the best work on the resources of Russia is by a Pole, M. Tengoborski. (unquote)(p. 5).

      All three partitioning powers were suppressing Polish-ness to a considerable extent. (p. 198). The Germans had already been systematically trying to denationalize the Poles of Posen (Poznan) [note: well before the Second Reich and the KULTURKAMPF], and the Russians were doing much the same in their conquered territories. (p. 198). Edwards (pp. 6-7) found the Poles beaten down in all three occupation zones. Even though the “Age of Imperialism” was not yet in full bloom, the Russians were already pontificating about Wilno being Russian, and the Germans about Posen being German. (pp. 27-28). On the other hand, the Austrians made no pretensions of Krakow or Leopol (Lwow) being Austrian. (pp. 28-29).

      Interestingly, Edwards found that, in all three occupation zones, the majority of Poles considered Germans to be the most contemptuous of Poles, and the Germans as the worst enemy of Poland. (pp. 227-229). [Several decades later, Roman Dmowski concurred, and added that this was not just his opinion, but also that of most Poles.]

      The author does not, as many writers nowadays assume, that the Polish peasantry lacked national consciousness at the time. He leaves it an open question, pointing to the fact that the thinking of the peasant was primarily animated by a fear of the Russian official. (pp. 110-111).

      Already by the mid-19th-century, Russians (in this case) were trying to discredit Polish patriotism by painting it as nothing more than a ploy by privileged Poles to restore their privileges. (p. 111) [Later, this became a mainstay of Communist propaganda, as, for example, directed at the Polish Government in Exile during WWII.] Kosciuszko and Kilinski never had notable privileges. (pp. 268-269). The author personally met Polish townspeople–obviously in no position to get privileges of any kind–who were ardent patriots, even though a resurrected Poland would have been of no personal benefit to them. (pp. 111-112).

      The reader will quickly learn that Polish society was much less hierarchical (my term) than most other societies of the time. Sutherland Edwards has an exceptionally detailed and informative account of the social structure of Poland, to which I devote the remainder of this review.

      Feudalism was never introduced in Poland, and the subjugation of the peasants came later–from an abuse of power. (p. 144). Earlier, in the 13th and 14th centuries, as verified by written contracts, the peasant owed part of the fruits of his labor to the noble, but did not owe his land to the same. What’s more, the peasant was free to move from estate to estate. (p. 145). At no time in Polish history was the peasant sold as a slave, as happened for a time in Russia. (pp. 145-146). Even after the eventual loss of land ownership, the Polish peasant still had other rights, and the lord provided for him. (for details, see pp. 148-149). The peasant was entitled to a significant part of his time and labor for himself. Sometimes, he got rich. (p. 149). Finally, an Agricultural Association existed to help peasants and to form a bridge between proprietors and peasants. In addition, according to Edwards, this “gave the lie to those who maintain that the Poles are a frivolous and thoughtless race”. (p. 20).

      Misunderstandings about the nature of Polish society arise from semantics. Edwards comments, (quote) A “noble” in ancient Poland, as in Hungary, was simply a freeman. “Nobility” does not necessarily mean aristocracy any more than it does peerage. (unquote)(p. 112). He adds, (quote) In most countries nobility is an affair of good birth, while peerage is an affair of political rights, aristocracy an affair of social position…(In Poland)…every freeholder and descendant of a freeholder was born a noble and an elector. In Poland, the court was nothing, and, consequently, there was no court aristocracy; and though there were great patrician families, they were not distinguished by titles, and possessed no privileges. (unquote). (p. 119). In fact, in Poland, the degree of one’s political privilege was at no time based on how much land one owned. (p. 126). [Other than the dishonorable titles bestowed by the partitioning powers, only seven princes–Lithuanian ones–were bestowed with titles, long ago, and, of these, only three were still alive–the Czartoryskis, the Sanguszkos, and the Radziwills. (p. 119).]

      Edwards did see a “loose” aristocratic class in Poland, gaining more and more privileges from the king just before the Partitions, but it was so broad-based that he called it an “aristocratic democracy”. Thus, Kosciuszko was a noble, but not an aristocrat. (pp. 112-113).

      The freeing of the serfs by the partitioning powers was a tool to divide Poles, and the powers ruling over Poland had never shown such an impulse before. (p. 153). In contrast, Polish democratic principles predate modern democracy and the French Revolution. (p. 115). Already in 1574, every Pole from the freeholder class had a direct vote in choosing the king (p. 126), a fact which may have meant that participation in the affairs of state had been entrusted not to too few, but too many. (p. 126).

      The May 3, 1791 Constitution provided for the gradual emancipation of the peasantry (p. 153), and–ironically–the Partitions only delayed it. (pp. 111). Edwards describes it very succinctly, (quote) The Poles did not say, “We shall have no more nobles” but, “We will enable members of all classes to acquire nobiliary privileges or franchises, either by the purchase of land (which everyone was allowed to buy), or by distinction in commerce or the arts, or by gallantry in the field of battle, or by so many years’ State service of any kind.” (unquote)(p. 127).

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