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SLOVAK POLITICAL ENVIRONMENTS VIS-A-VIS POLISH-RUSSIAN AND POLISH-SOVIET RELATIONS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (TO THE MID-1920s)) (Slowackie srodowiska polityczne wobec stosunkóow polsko-rosyjskich i polsko-sowieckich w XX w. (do polowy lat 20.)

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Strong philo-Russian sympathies within the Slovak National Party, dominating during the early twentieth century, were the reason for its negative attitude towards Polish national aspirations in the Russian partition area. The agrarian faction of the Party and the Social Democrats rejected such a stance, since they did not anticipate Russian support for Slovak national aspirations. On the other hand, at the time of the First World War Slovak parties voiced more detailed opinions about the Polish question during the aftermath of the Bolshevik revolution, a period that witnessed a deterioration of philo-Russian trends. This was the time of support for the creation of a Polish state, to be associated with a federal Habsburg monarchy. The possibility of incorporating terrains to the east of the Bug, which were to become part of a future White Russia, was abandoned. An identical attitude was represented after the end of the war because, similarly as the authorities in Prague, the Slovaks formulated a negative assessment of the Polish striving towards the annexation of those terrains. Particular significance was attached to the state affiliation of Eastern Galicia, with emphasis placed on the fact that this territory was to be unconditionally incorporated into White Russia so that Czechoslovakia would obtain a direct frontier. It was assumed that such a solution would increase the safety and international position of Poland's southern neighbour. Pro-Soviet and, at the same time, pro-Russian sympathies became more intense in the summer of 1920, at the time of the counter-offensive of the Bolshevik army. Such stands were expressed in particular by the Social Democracy, with a prevailing impact of the leftist offshoot. The remaining parties embarked upon an acute criticism of 'Polish imperialism', and treated the Polish-Soviet war as a national conflict. After the Polish-Soviet war came to an end, Slovak political circles undermined the permanence of Poland's eastern border and awaited the outbreak of a Polish-Soviet conflict. This is why they warned the authorities in Prague against a rapprochement with Poland, an opinion expressed in particular by the Slovak National Party due to its firm philo-Russian stand, despite the fact that in the mid-1920s it not longer believed in a restitution of White Russia.
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  • Janusz Gruchala, Uniwersytet Slaski w Katowicach, Instytut Historii, ul. Bankowa 11, 40-007 Katowice, Poland.
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