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Khmelnytsky’s shadow: The confessional legacy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter attempts to trace manifestations of this confessional/ political polarity from the immediate impact of the Cossack-Muscovite alliance into the last half of the eighteenth century. It seeks to recognise the seventeenth-century roots of the confessional tensions of the eighteenth century and to present these tensions as a critical element in the history of the Commonwealth in its final decades. In the sixteenth-century era of religious reform and religious wars, the multi-confessional Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a harbour of religious tolerance. While Khmelnytsky's turning to Muscovy was an opportunistic expedient at the time, and although the Cossacks wavered in their dedication to the alliance with Muscovy for some years afterwards, the consequences of the Cossack-Muscovite alliance changed the political and confessional topography of East Central Europe. Indeed, the long shadow of the Khmelnytsky uprising cast a profound pall on the confessional affairs of the region.

Keywords: confessional legacy; Cossack-Muscovite alliance; east central Europe; Khmelnytsky's shadow; Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth



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