Volume 21, Issue 3, 2011
Poland in the Context of Russia’s Way to Europe
Jerzy J. Kolarzowski, Lesław Kawalec
Russian Military Occupation and Polish Historical Myths
The early 18th century saw the beginnings of Russian military occupation of Poland, followed by a secret agreement by the neighboring countries, meant to maintain a political status quo in the internal affairs of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Then, the dynamics of the economic transformations of the European continent led to a permanent economic deadlock, particularly in the regions with large agricultural areas, such as Poland. Five years from the turn of the 18th century the Polish polity disappeared from the map of Europe for 123 years. Analyzing the relationships and causes of a number of phenomena related to Old Poland is made all the more difficult by some historical processes which blow some ritual events of limited importance out of proportion, such as the
adoption of the Constitution of 3 May (1791; particularly due to its content being rather reactionary); these also glorify the past of the society and the state as a “golden myth” of social harmony in relationships obtaining within the classes and between them.