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Abstract

Attempts to get control over the Russian Central Bank are often seen as a key driver of the conflict between the Supreme Soviet and the Russian government in 1993. We argue here that the bank and its leadership were not only an instrument of other power centers but should be considered as active and fairly independent political players with their own interests, stakes, and strategies. In the struggle over monetary policy in the early years of the newly founded Russian Federation, inherited Soviet networks of power were more decisive than legal competences on paper. To the extent that ideas played a role at all in these transitional power struggles, their distinction was not between neoliberal shock therapy and social democratic gradualism, but between different notions of the future realm of Moscow’s financial power. Our paper is based on an assessment of biographical literatures and legal texts as well as a survey of the scholarly literature in economics and history. It shows how, in a phase of post-imperial institutional reconfiguration, different groups of the former Soviet elite competed to preserve their status in the emerging Russian nation state.

Open Access
In: Russian History

Abstract

The introductory chapter provides a historiographic and thematic framing for the contributions and, we hope, for future research. The first section discusses the existing historiography of the region, highlighting the long history of writing on women’s labour activism in Central and Eastern Europe and its adjacent territories within and across the borders of different types of empires and nation-states, and across vastly diverse political regimes. The second section discusses key contributions of the chapters assembled in the volume to the study of women’s (and sometimes men’s) quests for the improvement of the lives and working conditions of women, pointing to their interconnections and highlighting their contributions to the development of long-term and transregional approaches to the history of women’s labour struggles. The third section expands on the rationale for studying women’s labour struggles from a long-term, transregional, integrative, and critical perspective, further discusses insights emerging from the volume and other scholarship, and highlights challenges as well as directions for ongoing and future research in the field of women’s labour activism.

Open Access
In: Through the Prism of Gender and Work
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Abstract

Desnitskii was the leading explicator in Catherine II’s Russia of British thought, especially that of the Scottish Enlightenment, and of British institutions, an influential teacher, and a socially engaged intellectual. The author, in earlier work, showed that Chapter 22 of Catherine’s Nakaz was directly influenced by Desnitskii and, indirectly, by the Moscow University Law professor’s esteemed Glasgow teacher, Adam Smith. This new article draws on digitized archival sources to cast additional light on the Scottish education of Desnitskii and his colleague Ivan Tret’iakov – on the professors with whom they interacted, the lectures they attended, and the books they read. Desnitskii was profoundly influenced by Smith and by Law Professor John Millar, and well acquainted with the inventor James Watt whom he urged Catherine to invite to Russia. In his extensive reform proposals to the Empress, Desnitskii especially championed the raznochintsy, seeking a role for them in the governing of Russia.

Open Access
In: Canadian-American Slavic Studies
This book is available in open access thanks to the generous support of the Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań

Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe gathers studies that shed new light on the rich tapestry of early modern “Younger Europe” — Byzantine-Slavic and Scandinavian territories. It unearths the multi-dimensional aspects of the period, revealing the formation and transformation of nations that shared common threads, the establishment of political systems, and the enduring legacies of religious movements. Immersive, enlightening, and thought-provoking, the book promises to be an indispensable resource for anyone interested in the complexities of early modern Europe. This collection does not just retell history; it provokes readers to rethink it.

Contributors: Giovanna Brogi, Piotr Chmiel,Karin Friedrich, Anna Grześkowiak-Krwawicz, Mirosława Hanusiewicz-Lavallee, Robert Aleksander Maryks, Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, Maciej Ptaszyński, Paul Shore, and Frank E. Sysyn.
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Abstract

This essay scrutinizes the symbols and language employed to articulate the emerging identity of a pan-Christian Hungary, a nation often contrasted with liberal Enlightenment values and non-European cultures attempting to settle or transit through the central European state. Hungary’s liberation from Soviet rule in 1989 left it with a population largely disconnected from institutional Christianity’s rituals and ideologies. Hungary’s cultural memory has been profoundly influenced by its catastrophic defeat in the 1526 Battle of Mohács against the Ottomans and its subsequent subjugation by foreign powers, notably the Ottoman and Austrian rulers. The author conducts a detailed analysis of the predominant symbols and rhetoric employed by contemporary Hungarian nationalist movements. He illustrates how these elements have been repurposed and transformed into integral components of a distinctive neo-Christian identity. The author argues that this evolving “Christian democracy” encompasses “pan-Christian” symbols and messages, drawing parallels with the pan-Indian trends observed in North America.

Open Access
In: Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe
Author:

Abstract

This essay scrutinizes how the notion of the common good was interpreted within two distinct urban communities of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, in Royal Prussia and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Karin Friedrich underscores that while the discourse surrounding the common good held significant weight in Polish–Lithuanian political and moral deliberations, urban culture was largely overlooked. This was primarily due to the prevalent belief in the moral inferiority associated with urban and commercial activities. Despite this, the essay presents two case studies demonstrating how the principle of the common good, or “bonum commune,” was actualized in the Commonwealth’s cities. The examples provided are Danzig (Royal Prussia) during the city’s dispute with King Stephen Báthory and Slutsk (Grand Duchy of Lithuania) during the period of Prince Bogusław Radziwiłł’s ownership. Friedrich demonstrates that the common good was tightly interwoven with self-interest in urban socio-political and economic life. These two values bolstered each other, creating a potential symbiosis between the common good and individual benefit. Attempts to secure the common good were not perceived as sacrifices but as pursuits of prosperity and overall well-being.

Open Access
In: Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe
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Abstract

This essay spotlights the vibrant evolution of Ukrainian literary culture during the latter half of the seventeenth century. It delves into the sermons of Stefan Iavorskii, examined through a wealth of previously unexplored manuscript sources, and considers them within the broader historical, social, and political backdrop of the 1680s and 1690s. The essay highlights the intriguing relationship between Iavorskii and Lazar Baranovych, a leading Ukrainian poet from the same era. The author illustrates the fusion of Western Renaissance motifs with the Church Slavonic Orthodox heritage, emphasizing its importance as a foundational element of modern Ukrainian culture. This integrative aspect significantly sets it apart from the Muscovite tradition. Iavorskii, renowned as a panegyrist, diplomat, Mohylian professor, and court preacher, emerges as a key figure in Ivan Mazepa’s circle. His prominence marks the first real princely court manifestation in Ukraine before the culture was heavily stifled by Imperial Russian oppression. A comparative study of Iavorskii’s sermons and Baranovych’s poetry offers fresh insights into the intergenerational relationship between two cohorts of the Hetmanate’s intellectual elite, profoundly influenced by Western culture and literature.

Open Access
In: Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe
In: Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe
Author:

Abstract

This essay delves into the significance of the Khmelnytsky uprising, spotlighting it as a vivid illustration of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth’s political project failure. It examines the lessons the study of the Cossack Hetmanate offers concerning the history of Poland–Lithuania. The author contends that the decline of the Commonwealth’s encompassing power, often pinpointed to 1648, likely began earlier, thus making the Union of Lublin provisions instrumental in modern Ukraine’s formation. Although the Ukrainian revolt has usually been classified as a revolution due to the sweeping economic, social, and political transformations it triggered, it could also be seen as a frontier response to integration into the more advanced economic and social structures of the Commonwealth. The author suggests that current trends in historiography invite an exploration of the uprising through the lenses of slavery, violence, and colonialism. Despite this, the national and proto-national relations between Poles and Ruthenians remain critical in the discourse. Yet, advancements in research on hybrid identities advocate moving away from binary national perspectives. It is evident that the concept of Rus’-Ukraine as a patria was established before the revolt, providing a foundation for the evolution of Cossack Ukraine into an Otchyzna. Although the Cossack Hetmanate adopted many political concepts from the Commonwealth without developing into an equally stable republic, the author asserts that Ukraine’s history must also be examined within this context.

Open Access
In: Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe

Abstract

This essay elucidates some unique characteristics of the early Reformation in the Younger Europe and emphasizes the need for further comparative studies. It concentrates on the period 1523–25 in Stralsund (Duchy of Pomerania) and the initial clashes between the reformative preachers and the Catholic clergy. The author thoroughly analyzes and compares Catholic and Protestant sources, exploring the teachings disseminated during these conflicts, the progression of events, and the attempts from both factions to justify their respective causes. The early Reformation is primarily portrayed as a clerical endeavor in this essay. However, it also highlights the period’s potential for instigating violent breaches of morals and social and political structures.

Open Access
In: Defining the Identity of the Younger Europe