Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

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gebhk
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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 04 Aug 2020 05:04

What about Widukind of Corvey, Annales Altahenses, Dagome iudex?
Widukind writes about events which occurred before Christinisation. Dagome Iudex, OK, albeit the only information it provides is geographical - ie on it's basis a very rough guesstimate of the boundaries of Mieszko's kingdom, some 30-40 years after Christianisaton can be made. It provides zero information on historical events. I have not come across any information regarding the 50 years after Christianisation in the Annales Altahenses, so would be most interested to know what they are.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Steve » 05 Aug 2020 00:20

I don’t know if this is helpful but it may be possible to get an idea of the Polish Kingdom in the 1070’s. Adam of Bremen wrote a history of the Archbishops of Hamburg – Bremen probably completed in 1076 with some notes added before his death in the early 1080’s.

“Across the Oder, as we have learned, live the Pomeranians; beyond them stretches the very extensive country of the Poles, the boundary of which, they say, joins with that of the kingdom of Russia.” In the notes is added “The Moravians are Slavic peoples who live to the east of the Bohemians and are encircled on one side by the Pomeranians and Poles, on the other by the Hungarians and Petchenegs.”

Adam lists various tribes that lived along the shore of Baltic Sea up to its head but does not mention Poles. Poland’s western border seemingly started somewhere east of the Oder and its southern border perhaps ran roughly along where the pre war Czechoslovakian border was. Its eastern border stretched as far as somewhere that Adam thought was Russia. Sounds a lot like pre war Poland.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 05 Aug 2020 14:04

Hi Steve - the problem is that 1 year, let alone a hundred, was a long time in the territorial politics of medieval Europe. Contrary to what was said earlier, Christian kingdoms appeared and disappeared frequently and territorial gains and losses occurred more often than some folk change their underwear. Thus for example, Pomerania, firmly in the hands of Mieszko and Boleslaw, had long gone by the 1070s. Indeed from 1031 to 1076 there was formally no Kingdom of Poland as there was no king. I would suggest that rather than pre-war Poland, the territories of later 11th century Poland were more like those of modern-day Poland, less its northern 3 wojewodztwa and northern part of then 4th, but extending a little further South.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 10 Aug 2020 18:11

gebhk wrote:
04 Aug 2020 05:04
What about Widukind of Corvey, Annales Altahenses, Dagome iudex?
Widukind writes about events which occurred before Christinisation. Dagome Iudex, OK, albeit the only information it provides is geographical - ie on it's basis a very rough guesstimate of the boundaries of Mieszko's kingdom, some 30-40 years after Christianisaton can be made. It provides zero information on historical events. I have not come across any information regarding the 50 years after Christianisation in the Annales Altahenses, so would be most interested to know what they are.
[~968]
[Wichman] scored a double victory over king Mieszko, who was the ruler of the Slays called Licicaviki, and killed his brother as well as took away great booty from him.
Widukind p. 170

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 10 Aug 2020 18:13

Sid Guttridge wrote:
03 Aug 2020 23:38
This might also be the appropriate time to mention that Hitler was brought up a Catholic and showed authoritarian tendencies.
A monumental non sequitur and reductio ad Hitlerum.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 10 Aug 2020 19:52

Hi WM

The Widukind reference is to two Wichman victories which occurred before Christianisation. I am not sure, therefore, what the point is you are making.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 10 Aug 2020 20:38

Andrzej Pleszczynski in The Birth of a Stereotype: Polish Rulers and their Country writes it (probably) happened in 967 and was written in after 968.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Steve » 10 Aug 2020 21:55

Did Boleslaw the Brave employ Viking mercenaries?

https://www.archaeology.org/issues/380- ... ng-burials

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 11 Aug 2020 01:19

Hi wm,

Whether it is a ".....monumental non sequitur and reductio ad Hitlerum" or not, it remains a fact that Hitler was brought up Roman Catholic and was also an authoritarian dictator. In terms of my proposition, this conforms with my thesis. As he was never excommunicated, in the eyes of Rome he remained a member of the Church to his death.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 11 Aug 2020 10:33

Hi Sid

Re Hitler the point is - so what? As I understand it, your original thesis was that Roman Catholicism makes people more accepting of authoritarian rule. Put crudely - to do as they are told. I see little evidence that AH was particularly fond of doing as he was told - rather he clearly saw himself as predestined to tell others what to do.

As for various religions producing mass-murdering tyrants, we could go on for a very long time producing examples from history, the majority of whom were not Roman Catholics - for the simple reason that such people were around far longer than Roman Catholicism or even Christianity. Stalin was brought up Orthodox - indeed had trained as a priest. Mao Zedong was a Buddhist. Pol-Pot was a novice Buddhist monk who then had a Catholic education. Julius Caesar was AFAIK an exponent of Roman piety for want of a better word. Genghis Khan was a Tengrist.

In British history, the Puritan Oliver Cromwell was certainly more authoritarian than the Catholic-leaning Charles II. England hardly became less authoritarian when Henry VIII foisted Anglicanism on, I suspect, a less than grateful nation.

I am still looking for an example of someone brought up a non-believer of the same calibre and am coming up short. Mainly, no doubt, because of the ubiquity of organised religion in human culture. However I also have a feeling that the breath-taking arrogance that leads someone to believe that compelling others to ones will and/or killing them because they disagree or otherwise do not conform with ones personal view of the world, comes from a place of blind faith, a place where my opinion is the only truth, from which religion too must come - a notion perhaps best captured by the phrase 'the divine right of kings'.

I'm afraid, I don't think any of this proves anything other than all religions produced both monumentally nasty people, some good ones and the majority inbetween.

With regard to your original thesis - the problem is that even if you can demonstrate a relationship between Catholicism and authoritarianism (and I am sceptical that you can), this does not prove that the relationship is a causative one. One could argue with equal validity that religion, whatever it may be, is the result of the culture (and that, off course, includes attitude to personal freedom) in which it is practiced. In other words, do devout Catholics become accepting of authority or do those accepting of authority become devout Catholics?

Without denying for one moment that there is a circular process - ie religion (among other things) affects attitudes and attitudes affect religion in a never-ending cycle of evolution, I would argue that culture has a far greater impact on religious belief than vice versa. My own observations of being brought up in an émigré Catholic community in the UK, is that native British Catholics were infinitely more like their Anglican counterparts in their attitude to everything including authority and religion, than they were to their émigré counterparts.

Ironically, perhaps, one observable difference between British Catholics and Protestants, is that the former might be more internationalist in their view of the world - because of being part of the wider international Catholic 'family'. I wonder if the Brexit vote can provide some evidence of this???

My thoughts on the development of more libertarian politics in various parts of the world are that this had a lot more to do with the rise of industrialisation and the development of a large and affluent (and therefore powerful and confident) middle class demanding a say in government, than it did with religion or religious politics.

Sorry, a bit of a ramble...... Always the way when one is dealing with inponderables.

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K

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 11 Aug 2020 11:19

Sid Guttridge wrote:
11 Aug 2020 01:19
Hi wm,

Whether it is a ".....monumental non sequitur and reductio ad Hitlerum" or not, it remains a fact that Hitler was brought up Roman Catholic and was also an authoritarian dictator. In terms of my proposition, this conforms with my thesis. As he was never excommunicated, in the eyes of Rome he remained a member of the Church to his death.

Cheers,

Sid.

You have to prove that elementary education determines people's political views absolutely first.
After all Mao and Pol Pot were Buddhists in their youth.

As to morality:
When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing anything.
This is why all the worst genocidal regimes on this planet were atheistic.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by gebhk » 11 Aug 2020 11:54

This is why all the worst genocidal regimes on this planet were atheistic.
Difficult to discuss as it relies on entirely arbitrary definitions of 'genocide' and 'the worst'. However there was nothing atheistic about the German regime which perpetrated genocide in South West Africa, the regime of Leopold in the Congo, Julius Caesar in France, the Japanese in China and so on and so forth. I would suggest that the atheistic state and the shear industrial scale on which genocide can be practiced are both products of the modern aged, but not the impulse itself - that has been around since the dawn of time. In other words, there is a relationship but it is not a causative one.

Hitler was not an atheist nor was his regime atheistic but it certainly must rank as one of the worst genocidal regimes in history?

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 11 Aug 2020 12:45

The worst = the highest number of victims.

In the long run, National Socialism and religion will no longer be able to exist together.
Adolf Hitler, 12 July 1941.

What we know about German South West Africa is polluted by the British "White Book" (one of many, full of propaganda and lies about Germany and Austro-Hungary). It was a brutal war, but the brutality wasn't sanctioned by the German Government. The natives had their rights too as shown here Twelve Years for Killing a Niger.

Similarly, Leopold was a single man, and the number of victims is actually unknown.
Even more, no premeditated large-scale extermination took place, and the reasons for the demographic decline were partially endogenous (epidemics; sleeping sickness and smallpox, failed harvests, venereal diseases).

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by Sid Guttridge » 12 Aug 2020 13:23

Hi gebhk,

My thesis is essentially that Roman Catholicism's comparitively authoritarian ethos may condition its followers to be more accepting of authoritarian secular government.

Indeed, Hitler was not the conformist type. However, he was also not the norm.

I never claimed that other religions and none have not produced dictators. My point was that at the moment in Europe there seems to be an identifiable Catholic/Slavic authoritarianism growing in Eastern Europe and that a similar phenomenon was observable in all major Catholic/Latin countries in southern Europe in the 1930s/40s.

I essentially agree with what you say about religions generally. However, there are religions and religions. There is also Christianity and Christianity. The correlation between the development of liberal democracy and Protestantism is widely recognised. I see no inherent reason why there may not be a similar correlation between Catholicism and authoritarianism.

You ask, "In other words, do devout Catholics become accepting of authority or do those accepting of authority become devout Catholics?". That only really applies if one has freedom to choose one's religion. Assuming we are all born innocent, it is probably going to be the religious environment that forms most of us, rather than us forming our religious environment.

Converts tend to be a small minority in any generation and those to Catholicism often seem to be after doctrinal certainty (I.e. Anne Widdecombe?). Certainly the original Protestants were trying to escape the authoritarian and doctrinal certainties of the Catholic Church.

I would suggest that if one looks at the roots of industrialisation, one will find a Protestant correlation in the Netherlands and England in particular. It is as if Reformation did not just loosen Catholicism's religious stays.

It seems that those religions able to interpret their holy texts most freely and tolerate divergence of opinion have a material advantage. Catholicism has never been too good at this, though it has been obliged to lighten up to respond to the challenge posed by the Reformation.

(And you thought yours was rambling?!)

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Polish pre-WWII borders and elections results.

Post by wm » 12 Aug 2020 18:47

As if Protestants didn't have their doctrinal certainties. The American Evangelicals (nearly a quarter of the US population!) beg to differ. Their doctrinal certainties are of monumental proportions.

The fanatism of protestants, especially the Calvinists and their numerous offsprings, the burning of witches:
Germany, ground zero for the Reformation, laid claim to nearly 40% of all witchcraft prosecutions in Europe. Scotland, where different strains of Protestantism were in competition, saw the second-highest level of witch-hunts, with a total of 3,563 people tried.
Were the protestants better? No, they were worse.
Catholic Poland was democratic (with elected kings!) well before Britain was.

The word "growing" {authoritarianism) in this context implies the situation got worse.
But it couldn't be farthest from the truth. Pre-war, the Eastern Europeans lived in autocratic monarchies.
Post-war, the situation didn't get worse; it got much better.

I don't really know where you are going to find the better and morally superior places than interbellum Poland.
In Asia, Africa, in both Americas?
Was the British colonial empire morally superior over Poland? No.
The US, with its institutional apartheid? No.

In Poland, democracy still existed, the ruling party was merely a Polish Tammany Hall.
And as William M. "Boss" Tweed, they believed in democracy as long as it elected them.
Actually, their roots were solidly socialist; many of them knew personally leading Bolsheviks or were their brothers in arms.
The Church didn't support them or did it reluctantly.
The Church had actually nothing to do with the ruling party in Poland.

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