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Polish nationalism

 

Polish nationalism

Castle Square in Warsaw with the Royal Castle and the Sigismund's Column commemorating (Swedish-origin) King Sigismund III Vasa of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Polish nationalism is the nationalism that asserts that Poles are a Polish nation, and promotes the cultural unity of Poles. Norman Davies, in the context of Polish nationalism, defined nationalism in general as "a doctrine ... to create a nation by arousing people's awareness of their nationality, and to mobilize their feelings into a vehicle for political action".[1]

The old Polish protonationalism of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth based on the Polish-Lithuanian identity was multi-ethnic and multi-religious. The nationalist ideology developed soon after the Partitions was initially free of "ethnic nationalism" of any kind.[2] It was a Romantic movement for the restoration of the Polish sovereign state.[1] Polish Romantic nationalism was described by Maurycy Mochnacki as "the essence of the nation" no longer defined by borders but by ideas, feelings, and thoughts resulting from the past.[2] The birth of modern nationalism under foreign rule coincided with the November Uprising of 1830 and the subsequent Spring of Nations. However, the defeat suffered by the Poles also broke the Polish revolutionary spirit.[2] Many intellectuals turned to social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer, blaming the Romantic philosophy for the loss of their property, mass destruction, and ultimately the loss of the nation.[2] With the advent of Positivism between 1860 and 1890 Polish nationalism became an elitist cause.[2] Because the partitioning powers could not have identified themselves with the Polish nation,[1] therefore the ideology became more restrictive in terms of ethnicity and religion.[3]

Contents

  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

History

The earliest manifestations of Polish nationalism, and conscious discussions of what it means to be a citizen of the Polish nation, can be traced to the 17th or 18th centuries,[4] with some scholars going as far back as the 13th century.[5] Early Polish nationalism, or protonationalism, was related to the Polish-Lithuanian identity, represented primarily by the Polish nobility (szlachta), and their cultural values (such as the Golden Freedoms).[6] It was founded on civic, republican ideas.[7] This early form of Polish nationalism begun to fray and transform with the destruction of the Polish state in the late 18th century partitions of Poland.[8]

Modern Polish nationalism arose as a movement in the late 18th and early 19th centuries amongst Polish activists who promoted a Polish national consciousness while rejecting cultural assimilation with the states they then resided in, Russia, Prussia, or Austria.[9] This was the consequence of Polish statelessness, as the Polish nationality was suppressed by the authorities of countries which acquired the territory of the former Commonwealth.[10] It was during that time that Polishness begun to be identified with ethnicity, increasingly excluding groups such as the Polish Jews, who were previously more likely to be accepted as Polish patriots.[3][11][12][13][14] This was also the period in which Polish nationalism, previously common to both left-wing and right-wing political platforms, became more redefined as limited to the right-wing,[15] with the appearance of politician Roman Dmowski who renamed Liga Polska (the Polish League) as Liga Narodowa (the National League) in 1893.[16]

Polish nationalism reached its heights in the second half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Its crucial waves followed the Polish defeat in the January Uprising in 1864, the restoration of an independent Polish state in 1918 and the establishment of a homogenous ethnic Polish state in 1945.[17]

It has often been pointed out that the period of partition has a strong significance for Poles as a chapter in Polish history where the Polish nation survived and became socially and culturally stronger despite the loss of independence.
— Dr. Magdalena Kania-Lundholm, Re-Branding a Nation Online, Uppsala University, 2012 [18]

An important element of Polish nationalism has been its identification with the Roman Catholic religion, through this is a relatively recent development, with its roots in the counter-reformation of the 17th century, and one that became established clearly in the interwar period.[6][13][14][19] Although the old Commonwealth was religiously diverse and highly tolerant,[20] the Roman Catholic religious narrative with messianic undertones (the Christ of Nations) became one of the defining characteristics of the modern Polish identity.[3][7][21] Roman Dmowski, a Polish politician of that era, was vital in defining that concept, and has been called the "father of Polish nationalism."[22][23][24]

The post-World War II human migrations, with the resultant demographic and territorial changes of Poland that drastically reduced the number of ethnic minorities in Poland, also played a major role in the creation of the modern Polish state and nationality.[17][25]

In communist Poland the regime adopted, modified and used for its official ideology and propaganda some of the nationalist concepts developed by Dmowski. As Dmowski's National Democrats strongly believed in a "national" (ethnically homogenous) state, even if this criterion necessitated a reduced territory, their territorial and ethnic ideas were accepted and practically implemented by the Polish communists, acting with Joseph Stalin's permission. Stalin himself in 1944-45 conferenced with and was influenced by a leading National Democrat Stanisław Grabski, a coauthor of the planned border and population shifts and an embodiment of the nationalist-communist collusion.[26]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Norman Davies (24 February 2005). God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume II: 1795 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 8.  
  2. ^ a b c d e Nolan Kinney (Spring 2009). "The Positive Reawakening Of Polish Nationalism" (PDF file, direct download 69.8 KB).  
  3. ^ a b c Thomas K. Nakayama; Rona Tamiko Halualani (21 March 2011). The Handbook of Critical Intercultural Communication. John Wiley & Sons. p. 296.  
  4. ^ Norman Davies (24 February 2005). God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume II: 1795 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 12.  
  5. ^ Stefan Auer (22 January 2004). Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe. Routledge. p. 57.  
  6. ^ a b Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. pp. 35–36.  
  7. ^ a b Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. p. 76.  
  8. ^ Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. p. 44.  
  9. ^ Norman Davies (24 February 2005). God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume II: 1795 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 9.  
  10. ^ Norman Davies (24 February 2005). God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume II: 1795 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 9.  
  11. ^ Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. p. 43.  
  12. ^ Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. p. 51.  
  13. ^ a b Stefan Auer (22 January 2004). Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe. Routledge. p. 58.  
  14. ^ a b Stefan Auer (22 January 2004). Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe. Routledge. p. 61.  
  15. ^ Angel Smith; Stefan Berger (1999). Nationalism, Labour and Ethnicity 1870-1939. Manchester University Press. pp. 121–123.  
  16. ^ Mieczysław B. Biskupski; James S. Pula; Piotr J. Wróbel (2010). The Origins of Modern Polish Democracy. Ohio University Press. pp. 43–44.  
  17. ^ a b Norman Davies (24 February 2005). God's Playground A History of Poland: Volume II: 1795 to the Present. Oxford University Press. p. 11.  
  18. ^ Magdalena Kania-Lundholm (2012). Re-Branding a Nation Online (PDF file, direct download 2.41 MB). Uppsala: Uppsala University. pp. 28, 83.  
  19. ^ Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. pp. 41–43.  
  20. ^ Karin Friedrich; Barbara M. Pendzich (2009). Citizenship and Identity in a Multinational Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania in Context, 1550-1772. BRILL. p. 150.  
  21. ^ Geneviève Zubrzycki (15 October 2009). The Crosses of Auschwitz: Nationalism and Religion in Post-Communist Poland. University of Chicago Press. pp. 45–46.  
  22. ^ Jóhann Páll Árnason; Natalie Doyle (2010). Domains and Divisions of European History. Liverpool University Press. p. 93.  
  23. ^ Laura Ann Crago (1993). Nationalism, religion, citizenship, and work in the development of the Polish working class and the Polish trade union movement, 1815-1929: a comparative study of Russian Poland's textile workers and upper Silesian miners and metalworkers. Yale University. p. 168. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  24. ^ Stefan Auer (22 January 2004). Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe. Routledge. pp. 62–63.  
  25. ^ Stefan Auer (22 January 2004). Liberal Nationalism in Central Europe. Routledge. p. 63.  
  26. ^ Timothy Snyder (2003). The Reconstruction of Nations. Yale University Press. pp. 179–231.  

External links

  • Right-Wing Nationalism in Poland: A threat to human rights?, Humanity In Action
  • Nationalism on the rise in Poland?, Polskie Radio, 27 Feb 2013
  • Punching for Poland: Polish nationalism, The Economist, Nov 12th 2012
  • Polish nationalism resurgent, BBC, 9 May 2006
  • Nationalism and Communism in Poland, Foreign Affairs, 1962
  • Paul Brykczynski, A Poland for the Poles? Józef Piłsudski and the Ambiguities of Polish Nationalism, PRAVO North American Journal for Central European Studies 1 (1), 2007, p.1-20
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