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Poland-Lithuania in the Age of the Atlantic Revolution

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski (SSEES UCL, London)

Thursday, 07 July 2022 14:15

Am 7. Juli 2022 heißen wir gemeinsam mit dem Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus (LWC) Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski in unserem Regensburger Forschungskolloquium willkommen. Er wird einen Vortrag zum Thema "Poland-Lithuania in the Age of the Atlantic Revolution" halten. Der Vortrag findet in englischer Sprache statt.


From the 1760s to the 1790s, the upheavals of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were connected to revolutionary changes in ideas and power on both sides of the Atlantic. The Enlightenment revealed much in the Polish-Lithuanian world in need of renewal, but it also lit up potential for growth. Ideas generated abroad interacted fruitfully with home-grown intellectual traditions. The dilemma posed by the ancient Roman historian Sallust – ‘perilous liberty’ or ‘tranquil servitude’? – briefly seemed capable of resolution as ‘orderly freedom’, after the Four Years’ Sejm (parliament) of 1788-1792 had acclaimed the Constitution of May 3, 1791. However, the country’s neighbours – Russia, Prussia and Austria – destroyed this felicitous future by the second and third partitions in 1793 and 1795. The paper is framed by the figure of Tadeusz Kościuszko (1746-1817), hero of the War of American Independence and leader of the 1794 insurrection in Poland-Lithuania against Russian dominance, ‘the purest son of liberty’ (according to Thomas Jefferson), who personified the ‘Atlantic Revolution’ on both sides of the ocean. 

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski:

Richard Butterwick-Pawlikowski ist seit 2013 Professor für Polnisch-Lithauische Geschichte an der School of Slavonic and East European Studies am University College London. Zu seinen Forschungsschwerpunkten gehören die Aufklärung und ihre Kritiker sowie das polnisch-litauische Commonwealth (1569-1795).




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