1st Edition

The Noble, the Serf and the Revizor The Polish Nobility Between Tsarist Imperialism and the Ukrainian Masses (1831-1836)

By Daniel Beauvois Copyright 1991

    First published in 1991, The Noble, the Serf and the Revizor is a historical and sociological study of the Polish nobility of the Western Ukraine between the two great uprisings that shook Poland in the 19th century is based almost entirely on original, unpublished documents. Daniel Beauvois throws an entirely new light on the Polish nobility of the Ukraine, on its development and particular mentality. Furthermore, his research reveals mechanisms of domination and assimilation, which the Czarist bureaucracy can be said to have pioneered long before the Soviet empire. During this period, the Russian revizor, a key figure in the social drama described in these pages, ruthlessly lowered the status of the majority of the Polish nobles in the Ukraine. Thereafter, their fate was defined by two basic realities: poverty and the decline of their national identity and social status. Only a small minority of rich landowners survived. The price they paid was total political subservience, a subservience which gave rise to an increasingly conservative mentality and the loss of all real contact with the Polish national movement. This book will be of interest to students of history, political science, sociology and international relations.

    Introduction Explanatory Notes 1. The Serf and his Masters (The Ukrainian peasantry) 2. A Trap for the Nobles (The downgrading of Polish nobility) 3. To Compromise or be Compromised (The autonomy of the nobility) 4. A Threat to Arcady (The landowning nobility) Conclusion Index


    Daniel Beauvois