CLIO mr brice - page 6

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Heritage was also very important
to them - perhaps the focus
on the varied Russian roots of
their language reflected this,
with a rejection of westernised
pronunciation and words. While
originally Slavophile writers were
heavily censored in Russian society,
by the end of the 19th Century it
had developed to the extent that
it had stretched to government
orientated militant Slavophilia. This
can be seen in the Russo-Turkish
War. This time, instead of fighting
Western influence, they were
fighting for the primacy of Russia.
Seeing itself as the protector of all
Slavs, it supported states trying to
free themselves from the Ottoman
Empire. In doing so, it sought to
claim those territories as part of a
wider Russia. Yet it was annexed
lands like these that they were later
forced to suppress by forcing the
Russian ideal and language upon
them.
The process of Russification
was enacted towards the end of
Tsarism; a failed attempt to save a
crumbling empire. While a similar
policy had been enacted previously,
Russification came to the fore
following defeat in the Crimean
War and a Polish uprising in 1863.
The process of cultural assimilation
began. One of the main focuses of
this assimilation was the control of
the language. Taking the example
of Poland, Polish was banned in
public places in 1864 and in the
1880s it was no longer allowed in
schools, school grounds and offices
of Congress Poland. Teaching and
researching of the language was
also banned. An earlier attempt to
replace the Polish alphabet with
a more cyrillic form failed. The
response of students was to defy
Russification, refusing to learn
Russian. They were beaten for their
actions. The defiance spread further;
by 1901 it was estimated that
one third of Poland was involved
in clandestine Polish Education.
The use of language as a tool of
suppression can work, erasing
culture and removing grounds for
the region being a separate people
and thus having justification for
being a separate state. Tet in this
case it backfired massively. Instead
of suppressing the Polish population
by enforcing a cultural change,
Russification spurred the Polish
people to become more invested in
their own language.
Napoleon watching Moscow Burn
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