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Political Education and Political Identity in the Multiethnic Empire: Austria-(Hungary) and Russia, 1875- 1918 Veronika Sušová (Charles University in Prague)

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Presentation on theme: "Political Education and Political Identity in the Multiethnic Empire: Austria-(Hungary) and Russia, 1875- 1918 Veronika Sušová (Charles University in Prague)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Education and Political Identity in the Multiethnic Empire: Austria-(Hungary) and Russia, Veronika Sušová (Charles University in Prague)

2 Introduction Political socialisation strategies of imperial authorities (Austria-Hungary and Russia) in educational sphere between cca Socialisation strategies aimed to formation of attitudes towards the political: it goes about general attitudes towards politics not political attitudes. Textual analysis of texbooks and readers used within educational systems.

3 Questions of Research Particular questions to answer: What strategies were used in order to construct a vision of common state (a definition of homeland/fatherland)? How was constructed a political identity oriented to the imperial state (imperial versus national identities)? How was defined an individual citizen and how was seen his role in politics in general?

4 General Theses Transformation as decline: both empire- states were passing through important political (social) change connected for example with birth of mass politics. General situation of A.-H. and R. can be described as a deepening gap between an imperial state and national societies living within its framework.

5 General Theses Nonetheless, these imperial states played an important role in formation of modern politics and political culture. It is important to understand and try to explain their contribution in this process. Thus,modern politics and modern political culture is seen as a product of interactions, conflicts and compromises between imperial authorities and national societies.

6 General Theses Mutual interconnection between various subjects: history, geography, civic education (Bürgerkunde/zakonovedenie), homeland study (Vaterlandskunde/otechestvovedenie) and readers. Official curricula, didactical guides and some law regulations. This can offer more complex view on this problem.

7 Imperial State and Education Restrictive and supervisional attitudes towards education characterised by an increasing organisatory and control politics. Austria: after 1867 (1869) modern educational system, autonomous development of Austrian and Hungarian parts + constitution as a warranty for national development of Austrian nationalities (incl.basic instruction in native language).

8 Imperial State and Education Russia: 1832: Uvarov declaration of 3 ideological pillars of Russia = orthodoxy, autocracy and nationality. Reforms of Alexander II and counterreforms of Alexander III both influenced the situation of education in Russia. No constitution, and various efforts to reform educational system of Russia can be found.

9 General Organization of Educational System University Secondary schools Comprehensive schools

10 Austria: Narrative of common history Narrative of common history as legitimisation strategy, historical logic of existence of Habsburg monarchy. Concord discourse: the main narrative strategy of Austrian history textbooks. Common history was based on histories of three historical united creating Habsburg monarchy: Austrian+Bohemian+Hungarian.

11 Austria: Concord Discourse „…Our empire originated by means of unification of various neighboring nations in one entire unit, thus „by united forces“ and not by means of capture and destroy of ones for supremacy and domination over others.“ (Jan Lepař: Dějiny vzniku a vývoje říše rakousko-uherské věnované mládeži škol obecných a měšťanských, Praha 1890)

12 Austria Concord was connected with a specific phenomenon of „categorisation“ of homelands: 2 types of homeland: a) narrower (homeland, vlast, Heimat) and b) larger (fatherland, otčina, Fatherland) Austrian – Czech or Austrian – Polish, Austrian – German etc.: 2 identities.

13 Austria: Homeland versus Fatherland „…because our state did not origin from one point, but slowly from many sprouts…that is why history of homeland and native place must unify with history of fatherland and with general history.“ (Karl Schwalm,Methodisches Handbuch für Geschichtsunterricht an Bürgerschule and Verwandten Anstalten, Wien 1910)

14 Russia: Narrative of Common History Discourse of expansion: history of Russia as history of Great-Russian nation and its building of empire. Disappearence/erasure of local (national) histories of conquered or unified countries. Legal and just „reconquista“ of „Old-Russian“ territories (Ukraina, Belarus etc.) Imperial expansion legitimised by greatness of Russia (Baltic region, Finland). Voluntary unification with Russia (Georgia)

15 Russia: Concept of „core“ and „Okraina“: Territorial Hierarchy Expansion Discourse created an idea of Russia constructed according to territorial hierarchy: gosudarstvo-jadro and okrainy (economic, economic and colonisatory and political). Gosudarstvo-jadro or istinno russkie zemlji = old-Russian territories of Kievian Rus.

16 Austria: Formation of Attitudes Towards the Political Polical designing of the empire: strategies aimed to present the empire as a united political unit (one state). The next question: How did textbooks deal with empire´s heterogenity (ethnic, religious, political)? Austria: this strategy was anchored in context of discourse of concord. Equality of nations – no hierarchy.

17 Austria: Protector of Nationalities „Our empire is huge. It is situated in the centre of Europe, and various neighboring empires surround it. That is why nations of many of great European tribes live in our empire: Slavs, Germans and Romans, as well as confessors of all European religions: Catholics, orthodox, protestants, Jews and Muslims. These all search in our empire a protection of their language (nationality) and their religion.“ (František Šujan, Učebnice dějepisu pro měšťanské školy. Vypravování z dějin starého, středního a nového věku, Praha 1899)

18 Russia: Formation of Attitudes Towards the Political Unity of Russia was based on the artificial predominance of „Russian nation“ over non- Russian nations. Great Russian mathematics: 1 religion + 3 Russian dialects = 1 Great Russian nation. Ethnic hierarchy which corresponded with above mentioned territorial hierarchy: criteria of ethnic hierarchy: religion, civilisation, former stateness

19 Russia: Predominance of Great Russians „The composition of Russian population is heterogeneous: about one hundred nations appears in Russia, but such a diversity does not obstruct unity of Russia, because Russian nation exceeds by amount not only every nation separately, but even if there are all nations counted together.“ (A. Baranov: Geografia Rossijskoj imperii. Kurs gorodskih i uezdnyh uchilishch, S. Petersburg 1902)

20 Actors of Political Action Who they were? Which personalities and professions were connected with political action? In historical narattive and in recent times – were typical political actors different? (is there any transformation corresponding with political and social changes of that time?) This strategy was contributing in student´s perception of politics.

21 Austria: Actors of Political Action In general 3 types of personalities: 1.rulers (national rulers from the period of independence: Rudolf of Habsburg, Rudolf IV., Charles IV., Stephan etc. and Habsburgs), 2. soldiers (aristocrats: Eugen of Savoy, duke of Schwarzenberg, Marshal Radecký, and later members of dynasty: archduke Karl and Albrecht) and 3. figures from national mythology (for example Libuše).

22 Austria: Emperor and King as Central Actor Predominance of ruling Emperor and King, whose personality was carefully constructed. Emperor as a main decision maker. Emperor as a symbol of unity and equality. Emperor as a man (strokes of destiny, personal engagement, performance of duties discourse). Cult of Franz Joseph (prince of peace, father of nations)

23 Russia: Actors of Political Action Similar situation as in Austria: 3 types of personalities: 1. rulers (dukes, grand-dukes, tsars as Alexander Nevskij, Ivan III. and IV. or Peter I. ), 2. soldiers (Kutuzov, Suvorov, later Paskevich). Personalities from the national histories were missing: but sometimes it was possible to meet Russian priests or national heroes (Minin and Pozharskij).

24 Russia: Tsar as Absolute Actor Predominance of Tsar in general: only one decision-maker, defined strictly as an absolutist. Less sophisticated strategy to construct „image“ of ruling Tsar (in comparison with Austria). Decedent tsars as especially Alexander I and Alexander II were an object of huge popularisation campaign which should help to promote positive image of samoderzhavie.

25 Austria: Civic Instruction Civic instruction was focused on the discourse about civic duties and rights: textbooks focused on the passive activities stressing especially civic duties (loyalty, love to fatherland and Emperor,obedience, military service) while civic rights and active practices were based only on an enumeration. Nonetheless, basic civic education was a composite part of Austrian education.

26 Austria: Pillars of Empire „The fundamental power of empire is a soil and inhabitants, a soil is body of the state, inhabitants are the soul and thus its most important factor, upon both is built its force, wealth and glory.“ (Tille, A. – Metelka, J., Statistika mocnářství Rakousko-uherského pro vyšší třídy škol středních, Praha 1907)

27 Russia: Civic instruction Civic instruction only after 1900 within the framework of secondary education. Discourse about civic duties and rights is very rare in Russian textbooks even after In general, disciplinary activities as obedience and especially military service were emphasized.

28 Russia: Definition of „people“ „The core of every people composes of so- called native population possesing its own culture and historical past, and dedicating its forces to the building of the state. Later on other nations can voluntarily or by coercion join to these people, or, in the end, assimilate with native population. This belonging to the state is called subjection.“ (Solovyev, M. A. Uchebnik zakonovedenija. Kurs srednyh uchebnyh zavedenij, Kishinev 1911)

29 Conclusions: Historical narrative – an important instrument of legitimisation of empire-state: Discourse of concord: 3 national histories, dynastic essence of imperial history, non- expansive militarism (Ottoman enemy role) and emphasis on „k. u. k. Multikulturalismus“. Discourse of expansion: Russo-centric history, agressive militarism, reconquista and conquista (hidden territorial hierarchy) and russification =„parochial imperialism“.

30 Conclusions Empire as a political homeland/fatherland: in the Austrian case: categorization of homelands/fatherland = a homeland is seen primarily apolitically (language, place of birth, music, melody, literature and art, but not army, militarism, civic rights, parlamentarism etc. etc.) while state is separated from homeland. In Russian case no official categorization existed, dichotomy of Rus versus Rossija, rodina versus otechestvo.

31 Conclusions General emphasis on non-participatory activities within political sphere, stressing civic duties primarily. Politics presented as a field for activity of one political actor: Emperor and Tsar, despite of existence of constitutional regime in Austria: no parliamentary politics, no political parties and no elections.

32 Conclusions A loyal subject should be a desired product of political socialisation in general. Both imperial states did not passed any deep political change during the 19th century, their attitudes towards politics were conservative and based on the enlightenment absolutism discourses about absolute power of the ruler. People, subjects or „citizens“ role was thus seen very passively – as an object of politics-making.

33 Conclusions Political identity of such a citizen was founded on archaic identification symbols as dynasty, army, monarch or religion. Both imperial states did understand the necessity to control their inhabitants by other means than just violence, but refused political participation, which was one of the basic conditions for a successful nation-state building.

34 Conclusions: The main actors of political action were rulers. In Austria: Emperor and King as a „political value“ – supported by various media and channels. Ruler´s personality reflected the foundamental values of Austrian society. His role in definition of Austria as „political fatherland“ was crucial. Gosudar-Imperator was a central and only political actor too. He was considered as a personification of autocracy and of Russia. But there cannot meet any sophisticated fabrication by media.

35 Conclusions: Emphasis on discipline and subjection within citizenship discourse: performance of duties in Austria and military service propagation in Russia. In general, it is possible to argue that political sphere was not defined as a space for political participation and articulation of interests. Both states were not able to integrate political participation as a new instrument of rule.


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