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Maryna Sakalova. Political situation in Belarus in 1815-1830 in the Context of New Political History

The political situation 1815-1830’s was determined by development of Russian imperial political system on Belaru-sian lands, by evolution of the principles of imperial governance and by reaction to revolutionary processes in Europe and in Russian Empire itself. These processes, initiated a range of controversies but did not lead to consolidation of political opposition. Most of the issues, except for the aspirations of a certain part of Belarusian society to join the Kingdom of Poland, were articulated as administrative rather than political ones. The question of the emancipation of peasants, which would become clearly political in nature in a relatively broad public debate in the end of the 1850s, appeared partly as an economic problem, and partly as a “human rights”for serfs issue in 1815-1830s. Accession of Poland, press freedom and censorship, reform of civil law were considered political by educated society. The latter issue could be discussed with relative ease during the whole period. The activities of secret organizations, as such, had no significant effect on political situation. However, the investigation against them initiated by N. Novosiltsev, together with imperial authorities’ reaction to European revolutionary processes had aggravated repressive tendencies. In 1815-1830 two types of political culture got prevalence — that of patriarchal homager and of political maximalist (“patriarchal participation”). It is in the context of these processes that formation of institutions, relationships and interactions among actors and institutions took place on the lands, which about a century later would became the territory of a sovereign Belarusian state.