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Civic resilience and cohesion in the face of muscovite occupation

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Chapter Summary

In the mid-seventeenth century, on the eve of a succession of invasions by Cossacks, Muscovites and Swedes, the majority of the inhabitants of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania lived in larger and smaller towns. In its formal declaration of war on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1653, the Muscovite ruling assembly proclaimed the beginning of the ?holy deed'. The Muscovite zemsky sobor of October 1653 - the last civic assembly to be convened under Aleksei Mikhailovich - declared war on the Commonwealth and proclaimed the tsar protector of all Orthodoxy. From the Muscovite perspective, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth loomed as a new Babylon, a haven for the vagabond nations of the world. Moshe Rosman argued that the multi-variety and multi-vocality of Jewish culture endured in the Commonwealth because both Polish and Jewish cultures were "polysystems, i.e., open, dynamic, heterogeneous cultural systems.".

Keywords: Aleksei Mikhailovich; civic resilience; heterogeneous cultural systems; Jewish culture; Muscovite occupation; Muscovite ruling assembly; Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth



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