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Citizenship and Identity in a Multinational Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania in Context, 1550-1772
     

Citizenship and Identity in a Multinational Commonwealth: Poland-Lithuania in Context, 1550-1772

by Brill, Karin Friedrich (Editor), Barbara Pendzich (Editor)
 

This volume seeks to address the doubts harboured by the West about the ability of East Central European states to build modern democracies and tolerant societies after the expansion of the European Union eastwards. The tradition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is thereby often overlooked in favour of the nationalist romanticism and xenophobia of the

Overview

This volume seeks to address the doubts harboured by the West about the ability of East Central European states to build modern democracies and tolerant societies after the expansion of the European Union eastwards. The tradition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is thereby often overlooked in favour of the nationalist romanticism and xenophobia of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, which arose from the specific context of the partitions of 1772-95. Yet citizenship in a multinational context was a central theme of the political debate in early modern Poland-Lithuania. For many contemporary religious and national conflicts, this Commonwealth cannot be a direct model for imitation, but may serve as a source of inspiration due to the creative solutions and compromises it negotiated while integrating many faiths and ethnicities.

Contributors are James B. Collins, Karin Friedrich, Gershon David Hundert, Joanna Kostyło, Krzysztof Łazarski, Allan I. Macinnes, Barbara M. Pendzich, Felicia Roşu, Barbara Skinner, and Artūras Vasiliauskas.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The value and importance of this volume are evident. The authors convincingly challenge pessimistic views about Polish-Lithuanian history. Indeed, ideas and practices prevalent in the sixteenth century were in many instances more advanced than those in other European countries. But then came the devastating wars, which filled most of the seventeenth century, brought periods of foreign occupation, and resulted in a general decline in all spheres of life. Polish parliamentarism and republicanism became perverted; invasions by Orthodox and Protestant powers bred intolerance. The Golden Age of the Res Publica was over. Does that mean that the germs of decay were inherent in it? Most countries experience greatness and decline, so why single out the Commonwealth and dwell mainly on the latter? Many such questions come to one’s mind when reading this thought-provoking book."
Piotr S. Wandycz in Slavic Review, vol. 69, no. 3 (Fall 2010)

"The volume lives up to its self-declared historiographical aims. Its purpose was not to offer a new interpretation of the Polish monarchy, but rather to investigate the relationship between power and the practical role of citizens. Here it discloses interesting and valuable information. Additionally, an index, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography, listing printed sources and secondary works, make this volume useful and accessible."
Christian Preusse (Oriel College, University of Oxford), H-Net Reviews (January 2010).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9789004169838
Publisher:
Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
11/27/2008
Series:
Studies in Central European Histories Series , #46
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Karin Friedrich, Ph.D. (Georgetown University, 1995), Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Aberdeen. Author of The Other Prussia. Poland, Prussia and Liberty 1569-1772 (CUP 2000).

Barbara Pendzich, Ph.D. (Georgetown University,1998), doctorate on the reaction of various social groups in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the Polish-Muscovite war of 1654.

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