Poland or Russia? Lithuania on the Russian mental map

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Knygos dalis / Part of the book
Anglų kalba / English
Poland or Russia? Lithuania on the Russian mental map
In the Book:
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Erdvinės koncepcijos; Nacionalinė teritorija; Etninė Lietuva; Spatial concepts; National territory; Ethnic Lithuania.
Erdvinės koncepcijos; Liaudies kultūra / Folk culture; Nacionalinė teritorija.
Ethnic Lithuania; National territory; Spatial concepts.
Summary / Abstract:

ENThis chapter deals with the question of whether and how the concept, declaring that Lithuania was not only a possession of the Russian Empire but also Russian “national territory” appeared in the Russian discourse. Specifically, the chapter starts from the way the imperial government changed the name of this region. It then determines what scientific, ideological, and political instruments were used by imperial officials and different experts to support the thesis that this land belonged to Russia. Next, it explains the impact of the Russian mental maps on the redrawing of administrative boundaries. The last part of the chapter focuses on how imperial government symbolically appropriated this space. None of these issues are entirely new in the historical literature, but here they are examined more deeply and systematically. Alexei Miller emphasized the differences between the nationalisms of imperial and non-dominant national groups. The latter, as Ernest Gellner observed, usually sought the congruence of national and political boundaries; in other words, the national “geo-body” needed to correspond to the political boundaries (in the ideal case - of an independent state). Meanwhile, in the empire, and specifically in the tsarist state, the core needed to be distinguished - the national (Russian) territory from the rest of the empire. Miller also noted that the core was not of fixed size; its boundaries could also change. Miller believed that the ethnic Lithuanian lands were not treated as Russian “national territory”. And we see changing concept of Russian “national territory” in the other western borderlands of the empire.The concept of the Russian “national territory” expanded in the late imperial period: at the end of the nineteenth century, some Russian officials started to perceive the Baltic provinces as the Russian “national territory” because apparently the first religion established there was Eastern Christianity; and from the second half of the nineteenth century, the idea that Chelmian Rus’ should be torn away from the Kingdom of Poland escalated ever more intensely in the Russian discours. [From the publication]

Related Publications:
2022-02-02 14:43:25
Views: 26