Bibliographic data

Nanke, Czesław: Od pierwszego rozbioru Polski i wybuchu rewolucji francuskiej do czasów najnowszych. Historja nowo zytna, Vol. 2. Lviv: Książnica-Atlas, 2. Aufl., 1926, 178.

Pan-Slavism – The First Slavic Congress

[p. 178]

107. Pan-Slavism. – The First Slavic Congress. By the first leg of the revolution it became clear that the full constitutional freedoms themselves offered no adequate protection to the weaker nations against the superiority of the culturally tightened and well-organized Great Powers. The Slavic people in Austria, who individually were not strong enough to hold their ground against the Germans or the Hungarians, found themselves as such in a disadvantageous position. From this developed the need for an accord of all Slavs with the goal of establishing a common movement in order to implement a national idea. This idea, identified as Pan-Slavism, flourished most strongly among the Czechs. Czech scholars, who examined the Slavic languages (Pawl Šafařik: Slavic Antiquities) , arrived at first at the following conclusion: should all Slavs, who constituted a numerically important power and moreover possessed inherent talents, align themselves to an association or a corporate body, then they would constitute the greatest power in Europe. As such they would have not only resisted the pressure of the Germans (who were considered by the Czechs as the primary opponent of Slavism, due to the relationship in their country), but could have also earned a commanding position in the entire world. In the desired Slavic association they assigned themselves, as a matter of course, the leading position and designated themselves as the most cultivated nation among the Slavs.

Pan-Slavism was not an entirely new idea. Particularly in Russia authors prophesized the close demise of corrupt western culture and committed themselves to the protection of their Slavic “brothers”, who suffered under Austrian and Turkish captivity, during which they showed them possible salvation through the liberator Russia. This notion, which played to Russia’s plans for conquest, could also be found to some extent in Poland. Staszic, an earlier enemy of Russia, came to the conclusion at the end of his life (in his “Thoughts on the Political Equilibrium of Europe”, 1815), that “the alliance of Slavs within the Russian Empire will create a federation of nations in Europe, in which wars will be eliminated and which will give this part of the world a long-lasting peace.” From this, the Polish, would have had the direct advantage of being protected against the Teutons (the Germans).


Recommended citation: