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2010 | 54 | 1-2 | 171-192

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FROM THE STUDIES ON RUSSIAN COLONIZATION IN MAZOVIA IN XIX AND THE BEGINING OF THE XX CENTURY (Z badan nad kolonizacja rosyjska we wsi mazowieckiej XIX i poczatku XX wieku)


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Ethnic and religious structure in Polish Kingdom was largely shaped by the situation before Poland was partitioned. In the first decades of XIX century Orthodox population was not numerous. It consisted of Greek and Moldavian traders as well as Russian Old Believers, who settled in northeastern Poland in the XVIII century. After Polish November Insurrection collapsed the autonomy of Polish Kingdom was liquidated and essential changes were introduced, for example Orthodox Church became a predominant religion. Russian garrisons were placed in newly built citadels, e.g. in Modlin. Around Modlin (which was renamed as Novogeorgievsk) several villages where settled with Russian immigrants. Some of the settlers were brought directly from Russia, while others recruited from retired Russian soldiers and Old Believers. The immigrants received the farming lands, houses built in 'genuine, Russian style' and farming equipment and tools. After January Insurrection, forced Russification was introduced and new Russian colonies around Modlin appeared. Russian colonization has been introduced to other parts of Mazovia as well, but the principles were different - the settlers were mainly Old Believers, who were Orthodox Church subordinates. Even though, there were Russian settlements in many parts of Mazovia by the end of XIX century, Russian colonization was a small-scale activity. Even Russian authors agreed that Russian colonization in Poland was a failure. In 1832-1914 there were only a dozen or so thousand immigrants, and in Mazovia this number was much smaller. Russian settlers quickly assimilated to Polish language, culture and the ways of farming; the only distinguishing elements were their native tongue and Orthodox religion. Russian colonization in Mazovia absorbed a lot of financial resources and didn't give back any significant results - nowadays there is only one small Orthodox Parish in Slanislavov (around Modlin).








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  • Andrzej Wozniak, Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN, Al. Solidarnosci 105, 00-140 Warszawa, Poland


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