Re: Why is the country "Poland" used after the three partitions of Poland and its disappearance from the map #poland


Jill Whitehead
 

My ancestors mostly came to the UK in around 1865-1870, and some had been involved in the (2nd) 1863 Polish Uprising  (on different sides!), which came 30 years after the first 1831 uprising. The Tsar clamped down immediately after this latter uprising and introduced military conscription of young Jewish men for a period of 25 years.  At least one of my ancestors emigrated to escape this enforced conscription, being closer to the Baltic, and being right on the border with East Prussia. 

Initially, the reduced Poland had some kind of reduced sovereignty but it was subject to the Tsar's overlordship and whims, which increased with time. For example, in my ancestral area of the Suwalki Lomza gubernias in NE Poland, the Polish language was used for all BMD records up to about 1867/8, but after that they were written in Russian. As my family mostly left before that time, the records have been easier to get translated. 

This period of European History used to be taught in British schools, and I studied this for my GCE O levels in the 1960's. It is important to reflect that borders were fluid due to war and the ebb and flow of different empires. The concept of the Nation State with fixed boundaries was a 20th century idea.

Jill Whitehead, Surrey, UK

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