Vilniaus pirklių krikščionių dinastijos: socialinės tapatybės stiprinimo veiksnys (XIX a. antroji pusė)

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Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Vilniaus pirklių krikščionių dinastijos: socialinės tapatybės stiprinimo veiksnys (XIX a. antroji pusė)
Alternative Title:
Vilnius Christian merchants dynasties: factor of strengthening social identity in the 2nd half of the 19th century
In the Journal:
Istorija [History]. 2012, Nr. 88, p. 17-31
19 amžius; Vilnius. Vilniaus kraštas (Vilnius region); Lietuva (Lithuania).
Summary / Abstract:

LTReikšminiai žodžiai: Dinastijos; Pirkliai; Socialiniai pokyčiai; Socialinė tapatybė; Vilnius; Dynastics; Dynasties; Merchants; Social changes; Social identity; Vilnius.

ENDue to the domination of the Jewish ethnic-confessional group distinct from to the Christian community by its customs and traditions in economic spheres, the Western governorates distinguished by the distribution of activities on ethnic-confessional grounds. The peasant majority used to divide professional activities into the activities appropriate and not appropriate for a Christian. Apparently, as opposed to other regions of the Russian Empire, where peasants actively build up their business and used to become wholesale merchants, this factor determined the formation of the Christian merchant class out of foreigners, merchants arriving from other Russian regions, local nobles and townspeople in Vilnius. In the 2nd half of the 19th century the merchant majority comprised of the Jewish ethnic-confessional group; only some 20 % of all merchants from Vilnius Governorate were Christians. About ten Christian merchant dynasties which preserved their positions in merchant guilds and developed their business throughout the second half of the 19th century under the circumstances of the changing economic, social, cultural and political conditions can be distinguished in Vilnius in the 2nd half of the 19th century. As a social group of higher rank having established its positions in the social environment at the end of the 19th century, merchants descending from merchant dynasties strengthened their position in the society by demonstrating their economic power and highlighting their social exceptionality in respect of lower social classes.Nevertheless, the aristocracy related to business and other businessmen that belonged to the nobility, who had all privileges anyway, did not try to establish their position in the merchant group but purchased their business certificates because it was required under laws. Nevertheless, the merchants having paved their way to noblemen as well as highborn noblemen, who had long been engaged in business, could also be characterised by a two-fold social identification. The capital was also used to strengthen the social identity of the new economic class by usually taking over the living and behaviour standards distinguishing the nobility class; what is more, a higher social status could also be attained by means of public activities and charity. For representatives of merchant dynasties charity became a definition of good reputation and self-advertising testifying long-term merchant traditions, economic and social identity. Merchants belonging to dynasties strengthened their social identity by highlighting their long-term family business traditions. Based on universal principles of business ethics, such as morality and honesty, they also had to distinguish between the "old" and the "new" business practices. [From the publication]

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