Elizabeta Kaczynska
Maciej Janowski
Department of History

Course Description

An introduction into the treatment of the subject in historiography. The problems of modernization in a partitioned country; harmony and tension inherent in the requirements of socio-economic modernization and political independence. Progress and underdevelopment in 19th century Polish society. Fights for Polish independence and their success in 1918. Independent Poland and the burden of the past in the interwar period. Poland during World War II and under Socialism.


1. Great Schools in Historiography: the origins of Polish historiography; historiography against the background of the socio-political situation and its impact on the formation of historical consciousness; the schools in historiography: the Lvov, Cracow, and Warsaw schools, Jan Rutkowski and his followers, Polish social studies of 1955-1980; the impact of Marxism; the pro-and antiromantic trends. The controversy about the causes of the fall of Poland.

2. Modernization Processes in Poland: the directions and nature of Polish economic development; the role of economic policy of state: the eastern markets discussed; the role of foreign capital; Poland between the two wars: degree of civilization development.

3. To Fight or not to Fight: the insurrections of 1794; the Poles in Napoleonic wars,1816-1848, 1863, 1905; romantics and positivists, the indomitable and the advocates of conciliation (in the past and present).

4. Society: Poland: ruled by the nobility in the l9th century, ruled by peasants in the 20th century?

Underdevelopment of the middle classes; controversy about the intelligentsia: conception of the "leading social class" and the actual position is society of the industrial proletariat.

5. The Jews in Poland: the Jewish community of the Republic; the partitioners' policy with respect to Jews; the situation of Jews and anti-Semitism.

6. The Roads to Independence: the "internationalists" and "social patriots"; the followers of Pilsudski and National Democrats: the present repercussions of ancient divisions; political orientations before World War I. The formation of independent Poland.

7. The System of Poland Between The Two Wars: political system, parties, and groups; the May coup d' etat; was there fascism in Poland? The postwar historiography on the origins of the defeat of September 1939.

8. Two Disasters: War and Peace: the 1st and 17th September, 1939; the situation of Poles during the war; population losses; the (sham) controversy now resolved: the Katyn Forest massacre; the birth of Polish People's Republic: a conquest or social revolution?

9. Polish Culture: variability of frontiers - unity of culture; the main trends in culture, their changes and traditions: culture for the privileged and the national consciousness; was there a cultural development in Polish People's Republic? Poland in Europe, or the center and the outskirts.

10. Escape from Socialism: the origins of resistance (situation of the Church, individual farms, emigration). Social movements: 1956, 1970/71, 1976, 1980/81. Opinions on the events of December 13, 1981. The extreme appraisals of the role of the "working classes".

11. The Old and New Myths: the negative and positive stereotypes; the teaching of history and the propaganda.

Bartoszewski Wladyslaw, Warsaw Death Ring 1939-44, Warsaw 1968 Benes V., N.Pounds, Poland, London 1970
Blejwas Stanislaus A., Realism in Polish Politics: Warsaw positivism and National Survival in Nineteenth Century Poland, New Haven: Yale Con cilium on International and Area Studies, 1984
Brock Petr, Polish Nationalism, N.Y., 1968.
------- , Nationalism and Populism in Partitioned Poland: Selected Essays, London 1973
Bromke Adam, Poland's Politics: Idealism versus Realism, Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1967
Davies Norman, God's Playground: A History of Poland, vol. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986 (first pbl . 1981)
Dziewanowski Marian Kamil, The Communist Party of Poland. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959, pp.365, (1976 - last edition)
Brumberg Abraham (ed.), Poland: Genesis of a Revolution. N.Y.: Vintage Books, 1983
Gomulka Stanislaw, Antony Polonsky (eds.), Polish Paradoxes, London, N. Y .: Routledge, 1990 (esp. "The Three Traditions in Polish Patriotism" by Andrzej Walicki)
Leslie R.F., (ed.) The History of Poland since 1863, Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1980
Halecki Oscar (ed.), A History of Poland, revised ed., London, N.Y.: F.A. Praeger, 1977
Reddaway W.J. (ed.), The Cambridge History of Poland, vol. I-II Cambridge: 1941, 1950
Wandycz Piotr, The Lands of Partitioned Poland, 1795-1918, Seattle, London: University of Washington Press, 1974
Weinryb Bernard, The Jews of Poland, Philadelphia 1973

CRC-Curriculum Resource Center
CEU Budapest, Hungary
Modified: May, 1996


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