Belarus vis a vis nation-building processes in Central and East European communities Cover Image

Białorusini na tle procesów narodotwórczych społeczeństw Europy środkowo-wschodniej
Belarus vis a vis nation-building processes in Central and East European communities

Author(s): Ryszard Radzik
Subject(s): Cultural Essay, Political Essay, Societal Essay
Published by: Instytut Slawistyki Polskiej Akademii Nauk
Keywords: Belarus; nation-building processes; Central and East Europe

Summary/Abstract: The text explores the nation-building factors that determined the intensity with which certain nations in Central and East Europe were formed in the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century – with some reference to their contemporary situation, especially of today’s Belarus. In addition to Belarus, the analyses also briefly cover nation-building processes in Ukraine (Galicia and Dnieper Ukraine), Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Three categories of factors that are crucial for the processes under discussion have already been distinguished – namely civilization, culture and politics. All three types decisively benefited the Czechs, who succeeded in developing nation-building processes the soonest; the Czechs, among all the other nations in the region, thus first acquired a national awareness at the popular level. On the contrary, the above-mentioned factors did not work to the benefit of the Belarussians and Dnieper Ukrainians. The territories they inhabited were very weakly industrialized and urbanized, while their languages differed from Russian and Polish much less than was the case, on the one hand, of the Slovaks and Czechs, and on the other, of the Hungarians and Austrians (Germans). At the same time, Russian policies obviously hampered the formation of the Belarussian and Ukrainian nations. This article shows the strength with which objective conditions exerted an influence on nation-building processes in our part of the continent.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 41
  • Page Range: 53-65
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Polish