A. C. Hepburn (auth.)'s Contested Cities in the Modern West PDF

By A. C. Hepburn (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230536743

ISBN-13: 9780230536746

ISBN-10: 1349403873

ISBN-13: 9781349403875

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But perhaps Russia’s greatest impact on Finland’s internal ethnic rivalries was in the manner of her departure from the scene. The Bolshevik rise to power caused the Finnish Reds to take a more conciliatory approach towards their eastern neighbour, while non-socialists increased their demand for full and unilateral Finnish independence. The Finnish civil war of 1918 was a brutal and bloody business, followed by 8,000 executions and 80,000 internments (Schoolfield:263). But it was not an ethnic war.

Throughout the nineteenth century regional dialects of both German and Polish continued to thrive, at a literary as well as a popular level. But there can be no doubt that linguistic nationalism began to grow after 1815. There is less agreement among observers about the linguistic face of Breslau. One German writer noted in 1840 that, although Polish was heard on the streets, ‘Breslau is thoroughly German city, the Poles are guests here’. But in 1857 a German novelist complained that Breslau was ‘very much polonised’ and lacked ‘the desired purity’, while a Polish counterpart three years’ later rejoiced that ‘one can hear our speech at the very gates of the Silesian capital’.

From the 1730s to the 1760s elected Polish monarchs attempted financial and political reform by introducing centralising measures which the urban elites of Danzig and the other cities saw only as undermining their ancient privileges (Friedrich:18). As Enlightenment ideas spread, a narrower definition of Polishness and, paradoxically, a more insistent style of state Catholicism accompanied the material threat to rights and privileges. The annexation by Brandenburg-Prussia in 1772 of all Royal Prussia except the cities of Danzig and Thorn further aggravated this relationship.

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Contested Cities in the Modern West by A. C. Hepburn (auth.)


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