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"Us" And "Them"? Polish Self-Descriptions And Perceptions Of The Russian Empire Between Homogeneity And Diversity (1815–1863)

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, Czartoryski appeared to be deeply disappointed about the status quo of Europe after 1815. The fundamentalist nature of Mochnacki's statement lent vehement expression to the fury of wide circles of the population about the policy of the new emperor Nicholas I - it should not obstruct the fact that other positions toward the empire still existed. It also gives an explanation for the inflexibility of some attributions, recalling, the categorical rejection of Alexander II's reforms by Demokrata polski: Only a demonized Russia served the purpose, which it should have for the mobilization of the West. It deals with the different definitions of "Self" and "Other". "Us" and "Them" did not concern clearly separable collective group contrasts but ascriptions that resulted from the strategies of individuals or groups, and therefore were subject to constant processes of change and struggle for the leading opinion.

Keywords: Alexander II; Czartoryski; Demokrata polski; Europe; Mochnacki; Nicholas I; Polish; Russian Empire



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