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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1Poles and Jews: Renewing the Dialogue$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113171

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.001.0001

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Edward C. Thaden, with the collaboration of Marianna Forster Thaden, Russia's Western Borderlands, 1710-1870. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1984. Pp. 278.

Edward C. Thaden, with the collaboration of Marianna Forster Thaden, Russia's Western Borderlands, 1710-1870. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1984. Pp. 278.

Chapter:
(p.339) Edward C. Thaden, with the collaboration of Marianna Forster Thaden, Russia's Western Borderlands, 1710-1870. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1984. Pp. 278.
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Author(s):

L. R. Lewitter

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.003.0027

This chapter evaluates Edward C. Thaden's Russia's Western Borderlands, 1710–1870 (1984). The territories in question are Finland, Estonia, Livonia, Courland, Lithuania, White Russia, the right bank Ukraine and the Kingdom of Poland. The fate of the areas whose eastern portion had been the ‘borderlands of Western civilization’ is all too familiar: annexation, attempts at integration with the Empire, Russification fiercely resisted by the Poles, repeated insurrections, a recurrent state of crisis marked by the frequent imposition of martial law, economic stagnation (except for the Kingdom) or plain backwardness, and undue delay in the emancipation of the peasantry. All this was due to the state of affairs which Polish lethargy, Russian expansionism, and international power politics had engendered in the latter part of the 18th century to the subsequent detriment in varying degrees of Russians, White Russians, Lithuanians, Poles and Jews. Such advantages as may have accrued to sectional interests, the bureaucracy and the official Church for example, are not clearly shown. The ease and empathy with which the authors of this piece of administrative history adopt a Russocentric, indeed Petropolitan point of view and enter into the rigid and narrow frame of mind of tsarist officialdom is both astonishing and disturbing.

Keywords:   Edward C. Thaden, Russia, Kingdom of Poland, Russian Empire, Russification, Russian expansionism, Poles, Jews

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