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Eastern Europe And The Countries Of The Iberian Peninsula. Parallels And Contrasts

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Chapter Summary

Joachim Lelewel, the great pioneer of Polish historiography in the first half of the 19th century, was struck even in his time by certain analogies in the evolution of Poland on the one hand and Spain on the other. Spain and Portugal had founded vast colonial empires, the former even establishing preponderance in the Old and New Worlds. This chapter deals with certain observations concerning the social significance of the expansionist movements and the influence they exerted on the economic life of the peoples of the Iberian Peninsula on the one hand and those of Poland on the other. The policy of expansion, conducted by the nobles primarily in their own interests, exhausted the demographic potential of the home countries and, in the case of the Iberian peninsula, diverted the people, directly or indirectly, from productive labour.

Keywords: European economy; Iberian Peninsula; Joachim Lelewel



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