Russia and Poland: A Study in Historical Divergence
Zachęcamy do zapoznania się z zapisem audio wykładu prof. Georgi'ego Derluguian'a (New York University Abu Dhabi), gościa seminarium naukowego IEiAK.
At the dawn of the modern era, imagine what the January 1500 issue of the Economist magazine might have looked like. Published in Latin or, more plausibly, in classical Arabic, the global experts of their age would project two trends for the coming 16th century. The firearms have just ended two greatest challenges of the Middle Ages: feudal separatism and nomadic assaults. Following from this, a new generation of great empires was ascendant: Ming China and, at the opposite end of Eurasia, he Hapsburg Spain. Between them, three great empires of Islam: Mughal India, Safavi Iran, the Ottoman Turks claiming the legacy of Byzantium. Two prospective outliers could be mentioned: the rapidly expanding Poland and distant Muscovy. Would anyone even mention England let alone Holland? Fast forward to 1900 to see how greatly the world geopolitics have changed. All the frontrunners of 1500 went under, Britain reigned supreme with the upstart Japan, Germany, and America catching up since only the 1870s. The tsarist empire is still in the running although ever on the cusp of revolutionary turmoil. We shall briefly discuss the turning points of 1918, 1945, 1989 in order to see where we are in 2022 and what can (and cannot) elucidate this kind of macrohistorical analysis.