Was it really „Great”? Some remarks on the intellectual history of the Great Polish Emigration Cover Image
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Was it really „Great”? Some remarks on the intellectual history of the Great Polish Emigration
Was it really „Great”? Some remarks on the intellectual history of the Great Polish Emigration

Author(s): Piotr Kuligowski
Subject(s): History, Cultural history, History of ideas, Political history, Social history, Recent History (1900 till today), 19th Century
Published by: Masarykův ústav a Archiv Akademie věd ČR
Keywords: conceptual change; intellectual history; the 19th century history; the Great Polish Emigration; the Polish history

Summary/Abstract: In this article I sketch out the general outlines of the so-called ‘Great Polish Emigration’ after the November Uprising (i.e. after 1831) from the (broadly understood) intellectual history perspective. Subsequently I present the wider intellectual background, attempting to place the output of the émigrés in the longer-term intellectual perspective of Polish history. I focus on the main dimensions and reasons underlying the ideological and conceptual evolution of the Polish community that emerged in exile. By evoking the most striking examples of their conceptual and organizational innovations and examining the scale of their publishing activity, I conclude that they brought about substantial changes in many spheres of action and reasoning. In the last part of the article I compare the Great Polish Emigration with similar phenomena in Europe, as well as with precedents and succeeding emigrations in Polish history. In conclusion I try to answer the question posed in the title, i.e. whether the emigration after the November uprising was really ‘great’.

  • Issue Year: 11/2019
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 9-34
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: English