'Messenger of Western Russia': Education in the Context of the West - Russism Idea (1862-1866)
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In the article were presented main conceptualistic assumptions propagated by 'West - Russism' school - an intellectual trend in historiography, publicism, and political thought - that originated on Ukrainian, Belarussian and Lithuanian territories in the half of the 19th century, and laid emphasis on the issues connected with education. A fundamental assumption for the idea's believers was not only the statement saying that the Belarussians and Ukrainians are part of the Russian nation, but also the hostile attitude, which was assumed towards the Polish movement. A periodical 'Vestnik zapadnoi Rossii' (Messenger of Western Russia), originally entitled 'Vestnik yugo- zapadnoi i zapadnoi Rossii' (Messenger of Southwestern and Western Russia), which was published in the years 1862-1871, was the main medium of propagation of ideas of the West - Russism. Education, especially on the elementary level, and women's education played a significant role in the columns of the magazine. Editorial staff called for setting up the elementary schools' net, which would be managed by the Orthodox priesthood only. Moreover, the clergy would teach in Russian, and would eliminate teaching children in Ukrainian, Polish and Belarussian. As the reading public consisted of the Orthodox priesthood, editorial staff used to support its interests (among others, editors backed up the idea of founding special schools for girls descending from the clergy). A conception of 'West - Russism' that was backed up by the priesthood, should have also become, in its believers' opinion, a predominant idea held by the peasantry. Also in this instance the idea would eliminate Polish influences and 'Ukrainian and Belarussian separatism' on the Western borderland of the Russian Empire.
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