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The Impact of Pan-Slavism on Central Europe

  • Hans Kohn

Pan-slavism is one of the elusive idea-concepts which can be easily defined. But the historian can hardly say how far they correspond to a political reality which exercises a decisive impact on the course of history. A similar contemporary ideaconcept is Pan-Africanism, propagated and commended by most Africans. So far it has failed to create a political or economic union. The only example of that kind, and that on a very minor scale, the Mali Federation, dissolved after a short existence. The same holds true of another similar concept, Pan-Scandinavianism, which is approximately as old as Pan-Slavism but better based on a much closer cultural and religious affinity.

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1 See Halecki, Oscar, “The Renaissance Origin of Panslavism,” The Polish Review, III (1958), 719 and Tamborra, Angelo, “Panslavismo e solidarietà slava,” Questioni di Storia Contemporanea (Milan, 1955), II, 17771872.

2 “Panslavism as a public movement did not assert itself in Russia until the Crimean War and the beginning of Alexander II's reign in 1855.” Petrovich, Michael Boro, The Emergence of Russian Panslavism 1856–1870 (New York, 1956), p. 3. But even Prince Alexander Gorchakov (1798–1883) who during the whole period (from 1856 to 1882) was Russian Foreign Minister and later Chancellor, the first “Russian” in this post, “had always been contemptuous of the Panslavic program.” Ibid., p. 121. See also Kohn, Hans, Pan-Slavism, its History and Ideology, 2nd ed. (New York, 1960), p. 126.

3 See Petrovich, Michael B., “L'udovit Stur and Russian Panslavism,” Journal of Central European Affairs, XII (1952), 119 and Kohn, Hans, op. cit., pp. 1518.

4 Thomson, S. Harrison, Czechoslovakia in European History (Princeton, 1943), p. 230.

5 See Kohn, Hans, Prophets and Peoples. Studies in Nineteenth Century Nationalism (New York, 1946), pp. 94, 185, 188, and Tamborra, Angelo, op. cit., pp. 18221827.

6 See Kohn, Hans, Pan-Slavism, pp. 102122.

7 For the various federal ideas of that period, see Droz, Jacques, L'Europe Centrale. Evolution historique de I'idée de Mitteleuropa (Paris, 1960).

8 Quoted in May, Arthur J., The Hapsburg Monarchy 1867–1914 (Cambridge, Mass., 1951), p. 275.

9 See Kann, Robert A., The Multinational Empire (New York, 1950), I, 327.

10 See Kohn, Hans, Pan-Slavism, pp. 2326.

11 Masaryk, T. G., Světoá revoluce za války a ve válce 1914–1918 (rev. ed., Prague, 1933), p. 15.

12 Seton-Watson, R. W., Masaryk in England (New York, 1943), pp. 40, 44f, 54f.

13 Masaryk, , Světová revoluce, p. 26. On the “abysmal ignorance” of Russian statesmen regarding the southern Slavs, see Seton-Watson, , op. cit., p. 67.

14 Beneě, Edvard, Uvahy o slovanství. Hlavní probémy slovanské politiky (Prague, 1947), p. 300.

15 See Kohn, Hans, Pan-Slavism, pp. 190208.

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The Review of Politics
  • ISSN: 0034-6705
  • EISSN: 1748-6858
  • URL: /core/journals/review-of-politics
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