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Galicia: A Multicultured land

Chris Hann
Paul Robert Magocsi
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 260
  • Book Info
    Book Description:

    Habsburg Galicia was an area in central Europe covering territory presently occupied by Poland and Ukraine that was distinctive for its multi-ethnic character. With the unraveling of the Austro-Hungarian Empire following the First World War, a new political map of Europe emerged, one based on the principle of the nation-state. The very concept of the nation-state, however, was problematic in culturally pluralistic regions like Galicia.

    The essays in this volume examine Galicia beyond the traditional paradigm of national history, in an effort to better understand the region as a place where different ethnic communities - Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, Austro-Germans - lived in peaceful co-existence. As expansion of the European Union proceeds, as migration becomes increasingly prevalent, and as the very concept of the nation-state is called into question, a look back to see how cultural diversity was managed in a pre-nationalist age is of more than antiquarian interest. The contributors to this multidisciplinary volume pursue a wide range of approaches to shed fresh light on this unique region.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7514-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-ix)
    Chris Hann and Paul Robert Magocsi
  4. [Map]
    (pp. x-2)
  5. 1 Galicia: A European Land
    (pp. 3-21)

    Most informed sources suggest that there are anywhere from 3,500 to 4,000 distinct languages spoken throughout the world.¹ It follows that there are at least as many distinct cultures and peoples. Yet, there are only about 200 states. Simple mathematics would force us to conclude that most, if not all, countries have within their borders more than one, if not several, different languages and peoples. Put another way, in their composition, most countries worldwide are multinational.

    Multinational states are the norm for Europe. The exceptions can be counted on the fingers of one hand, with countries like Iceland and Portugal...

  6. 2 Confessional Relations in Galicia
    (pp. 22-35)

    The long-term history of relations among religious groups in the region of Galicia, especially the evolution of tolerance and intolerance, and the most appropriate periodization of this history, are examined in this essay. A survey, albeit brief, of about eight and a half centuries makes possible discernment of larger patterns, with all the imperfections that generalization entails. As is typical for a historical narrative, this survey emphasizes conflictual and transformative moments. It should be kept in mind, however, that until the middle of the twentieth century the developments outlined below took place within a longstanding and fairly stable structure of...

  7. 3 Ethnic Communities in the Towns of the Polish-Ukrainian Borderland in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, and Eighteenth Centuries
    (pp. 36-51)

    For the purpose of this chapter, the Polish-Ukrainian borderland is defined as a region which covers an area extending approximately a hundred kilometers on either side of the present Polish-Ukrainian border. The political history of this territory was very complicated during the “tribal” period of the seventh to ninth centuries, and the difficulties continued throughout the Middle Ages. Events during these early periods had important consequences for the national composition of the population in the region. Settlement patterns were influenced in different ways by each of the various states that exercised power in various parts of this borderland region, whether...

  8. 4 Borderland City: Przemyśl and the Ruthenian National Awakening in Galicia
    (pp. 52-70)

    Przemyśl lies roughly mid-way between Cracow and L’viv, in the zone where western and eastern Slavic cultures meet. The city had an important position in the multinational Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania. Before that, it served from 1067 to 1147 as the administrative and political center of a separate principality within the western part of Kievan Rus’. Przemyśl developed into an important economic hub during the early Middle Ages, as it lay at the crossroads of major trade routes. It was a cultural center and its cathedral school was affiliated with the university in Cracow. An Eastern Christian eparchy was...

  9. 5 Orthodoxy and Autocephaly in Galicia
    (pp. 71-81)

    Studies of Eastern Christian religious life in Galicia tend to focus on Uniatism. This is largely because the Uniate or Greek Catholic Church and its clergy were instrumental in the formation of the modern Ukrainian nationality. A historical focus on Orthodoxy in Galicia, however, shows that nationality-building was not a straightforward evolution toward the adoption of a pan-Ukrainian identity. In the nineteenth century, there were, indeed, other options for the East Slavic elite in Galicia.¹

    Whereas various pro-Orthodox movements in the nineteenth century arose within the Galician community, Orthodoxy in the twentieth century was mainly imposed from outside. The native...

  10. 6 Galician Identity in Ukrainian Historical and Political Thought
    (pp. 82-102)

    For the purposes of this chapter the termGalicianmeans a person of Ukrainian (or Ruthenian) lineage who is from or living in Galicia.¹ The image of Galicia has an important place in the historical development of Ukrainian political thought. Contemporary Ukrainian views on Galician identity largely reflect the positions articulated in Ukrainian political writing in the four or five decades on both sides of the year 1900. An examination of the origins of these positions is therefore pertinent to the understanding of Galicia’s regional identity, as well as the continued development of Ukrainian identity more generally.

    Historical and political...

  11. 7 Peasants and Patriotic Celebrations in Habsburg Galicia
    (pp. 103-138)

    Public festivals are an important means for presenting and communicating models of national identity. As such they contribute to the development of the nation as an “imagined community,” to quote the title of the well-known book by Benedict Anderson. An analysis of such festivals demonstrates the extent to which a population can be mobilized on behalf of the nation, as well as the precise forms of communication and motivations that shape national identification.¹

    Since Galicia had a predominantly agrarian economy until well into the twentieth century and had no developed middle and working classes, the emergence of modern nations depended...

  12. 8 Neighbors as Betrayers: Nationalization, Remembrance Policy, and the Urban Public Sphere in L’viv
    (pp. 139-159)

    Historians investigating the urban public sphere have always to grapple with the problem of sources. Ordinarily, the researcher must be content with journalistic documentation — that is, products of the mass media stored in libraries for posterity – which allow the so-called wider public sphere, or at least its “highest” level, to come into view.¹ In Poland between the two world wars, the urban public sphere was already a highly developed world unto itself. Professional journalists produced local news for the municipal market, while an older variety of the mass press and the party press persisted. The party press was oriented not...

  13. 9 Back to Galicia Felix?
    (pp. 160-184)

    The revolutions of 1989 brought with them a profound re-ordering of the spatial imaginary of Europe. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet bloc have rendered necessary new geographical stories and new spatial representations to capture and codify the cartographical chaos that remained of the former “Eastern” European space. Jubilant pronouncements in the early 1990s heralded “the return to Europe” of countries and peoples who had been unnaturally wrenched away from it for years by Communist domination.¹ In fact, the 1990s were hardly a return to an idealized, unbounded Europe. The collapse of the Iron...

  14. 10 Historical Memory and Regional Identity among Galicia’s Ukrainians
    (pp. 185-209)

    In May 1772, following an agreement between Austria, Prussia, and Russia, the Habsburg army crossed the borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and occupied new territories which, two decades later, were to border the Russian Empire. Since these agreements were rather unclear as to the future border between the two empires, the Habsburgs sought to occupy the largest possible territory. The Austrian military command received orders to stop its troops at the river Podhorce. But there was no such river – most probably, the river Seret was intended. Unable to find the Podhorce, the officers stopped, exhausted, by another river called the...

  15. 11 The Limits of Galician Syncretism: Pluralism, Multiculturalism, and the Two Catholicisms
    (pp. 210-238)

    The last two chapters have addressed the continuing significance of Habsburg Galicia, both mythical and non-mythical, more than three-quarters of a century after its collapse. Since the 1940s, which saw genocide, the establishment of a new frontier between Poland and Ukraine, and massive population transfers, the ethnic composition of this region has been basically stable. To all appearances, the principle of the nation-state has triumphed. On the Polish side of the border the population declares itself overwhelmingly to be of Polish ethnicity, while on the Ukrainian side the self-identification is Ukrainian. The Jews have all but disappeared from both states....

  16. Contributors
    (pp. 239-240)
  17. Index
    (pp. 241-259)