Were november and january risings really necessary
Added: 2017-10-30
Added: 2017-10-30


Every Polish generation has pondered the necessity of the Polish national risings, their chances of accomplishing the intended effects, losses that resulted from the sustained defeats for the development of the Polish national life, benefits which were gained in spite of the failures, their impact on the growth of the Polish national awareness, preservation of identity and shaping of the national character. The question whether fighting or refraining from fighting was necessary is not a professional question for historians, as it refers to alternative choices and to the history that could have happened if different decisions were made at specific moments in time, but due to the fact that they were not made, there is no substance that could be examined, as the amount of possible scenarios of what could happen ifis so great that conclusions following from similar considerations are encumbered with too high degree of uncertainty in order to take a serious stance with respect to them. On the other hand, this question has always been a temptation that is difficult to resist; it is not only vested with the qualities of an intellectual game - searching for an answer to it also expands our awareness of the determinants in which the risings took place, the factors that influenced the contemporary decision-makers, their ideas about the situation in which they had to act and settle issues of fundamental significance for their personal fate and the fate of the entire nation.

Thus, looking for an answer to the question whether both of our greatest national risings were necessary or not, I would suggest formulating some theses for further discussion to evolve around, even if giving any final answers turns out to be impossible, which, in any case, should be taken into account in the first place in such debates.

First of all, it is necessary to take a look at the thesis about inevitability of the risings, i.e. to think about the question whether avoiding them was possible at all and if so, what could have been the expected consequences of a decision not to pursue military activities at the specific moment in history. When looking at the determinants in which the insurrections took place, it has to be acknowledged that almost all of our greatest national risings, including the Kościuszko Rising, started not at the moment when the conspirators planning them decided that they had accomplished a status of organisational readiness and had conducive political circumstances and thus is was time to start, but on the contrary: the decision about the start was each time forced by the perspective of a quick change of the situation for even less conducive to taking the risk of military activities or in general reducing all itschances of success. The Kościusko Insurrection started with the mutiny of the Wielkopolska brigade of the national cavalry of General Antoni Madaliński who, threatened by the reduction of the Polish army imposed by the Russians, decided to oppose it in a military manner, by starting the insurrection. Aborting such action would not result in maintaining the status quo; on the contrary, it would lead to passive subjection to the reduction that was ordered with a looming prospect of some soldiers being incorporated into the Russian army and, through this, depriving the Republic of Poland of the necessary material foundations for starting armed struggle in the future. Thus, it would mean an approval for complete and final surrender of this piece of the country that still existed after the second partition and loss of any possibility of resistance if the oppressors decided to make a final division of it. It would also constitute a moral capitulation and reconciliation, without manifesting any objection, with a state of captivity, which was painfully offending the nation whose political spirit was freshly lifted up by the Constitution of the Third of May[1]. The moral aspect, often overlooked in calculations and political analyses, should not be omitted whilst discussing the inevitability of the risings. They always started when the country was morally ready for them. At the same time, material and organisational readiness - or rather lack thereof - turned out to be a secondary factor in such situations. Insurrections which were planned by some conspiracy organisation that wanted to animate the compatriots who did not show any willingness to fight at a given moment always ended in defeat (Zaliwskis partisan fighting in 1833, Kraków Rising in 1846, People's Spring in the Kingdom of Poland).

The case was similar with two greatest Polish national risings in the 19th century. The November Rising started at the moment when the threat of Russian intervention against the revolution in France and in Belgium became realistic in the eyes of the conspirators and the Polish public opinion; Russians planned to use the Polish army to this aim; Polish soldiers, under Russian command, were going to be marched out of the Kingdom of Poland in order to go to the West to fight in the war started on behalf of and in the interest of the tsar. Tsar Nicholas I announced the mobilisation order on 17 October 1830, yet it was already in August that Grand Duke Konstantin - who was the actual governor of the Kingdom of Poland - received instructions to prepare the intervention. Reserve Russian corps were going to be located in the Polish lands and the Kingdom was going to bear the cost of maintaining the Russian army that moved and stationed within itsterritory. Warsaw was aware of these intentions. In the evaluation of Wacław Tokarz, an outstanding expert on the history of the November Rising: The situation was clear. Implementing this plan led to organic incorporation of our army into the Russian army, occupation of the Kingdom of Poland by the Russian army, compromising the results of Lubeckis treasury policy, reorganisation of the central authorities in a manner of making them even more dependant on Russia. It was easy to see what the Kingdom would be left with after such operation and such war[2].

The second circumstance forcing quick decisions was the threat of complete de-conspiracy and discovery of the stratagem in the Infantry Cadet School through police operations and arrests that were already taking place. Postponing the moment of outbreak of the insurrection any further would, in such circumstances, mean an actual approval for passive waiting as the conspiracy organisation was paralysed or destroyed by arrests and, as a result of it, no insurrection action could have been undertaken. Such threat could become the reality in the prospect of few daysonly. Therefore, there was not much time for thought[3]. Eliminating the possibility of a revolt in the army would, in fact, constitute reconciliation with the prospect of itsuse in line with the Russian intentions against Belgium and France.

Once again, the frequently overlooked moral factor which influenced the decisions that were made comes to play. Many former soldiers of Napoleon I still served in the army of the Kingdom of Poland; for them, marching to the war against Belgians, whose political ideals they shared, or against the French, with whom they still felt brothers in arms, as was confirmed in so many recent battles, was limpossibilité morale, especially due to the fact the feat was to be accomplished in the company of Russians who were believed the enemies of the Polish national independence. What is more, when discussing the moral grounds of the rising, it is necessary to mention the fifteen years of experience of the Russian rule in the Kingdom of Poland that preceded it and which was the share of itsresidents, with wild atrocities of Grand Duke Konstantin, violation of constitutional liberties, commonplace censorship, an intricate system of secret police, overwhelming and suffocating atmosphere of spying, whistle-blowing, hypocrisy and corruption in the public life; the enslaved society had to tolerate all of this with humbleness. Inevitably, this situation promulgated the feeling of humiliation; this, in turn, led to the deepening hostility towards the oppressor and the desire of retaliation, perceived in this dimension as an act of moral cleansing - restoration of the veneration and honour that the nation has lost. The rising, which from political reasons seems irrational and foolhardy, had strong psychological determinants and, from this point of view, seemed inevitable once again,claims Bronisław Łagowski, the researcher of political philosophy of Maurycy Mochnacki[4]. This judgement may be fully applied in reference to another Polish grand military incentive.

Similar circumstances also accompanied the outbreak of the January Rising. With respect to material assets, i.e. military resources at the insurgentsdisposal, the situation was definitely worse in comparison to the November Rising. It is described quite well in the words of a song from the period, which still enjoys popularity, penned by Wincenty Pol and known as Signal or Reveille from Jeziorańskis Camp: Our soldiers went to fight without weapons under the sign of the Eagle and the Pogoń coat of arms[5]. Assuming that they were not complete lunatics, one has to look for a rational cause for such a desperate deed. The Central National Committee originally did not plan the start of the insurrection in January 1863. Preparations were made for the spring, at the earliest. Winter, as a rule, is not the best season to start an uprising - especially in the reality of the 19th century martial art. Meanwhile, conscription (branka) to the Russian army announced by Margrave Alexander Wielopolski foiled the conspiratorsplans. Approx. 12,000 recruits were going to be chosen from the Kingdom of Poland, including approx. 2,000 from Warsaw. The recruits would not, as usual, be chosen via a drawing of lots, but in line with the previously prepared conscription lists, which featured primarily young people suspected of conspiracy. Military service in the contemporary Russian army lasted 25 years. Thus, conscription was an actual life sentence for the recruited men. Only few had the chance to return to the country after completing a quarter-of-a-century service in distant regions of the Russian empire. According to Wiesław Caban's calculations, in the period between both Polish risings, out of approx. 200,000 young people drafted to the Russian Army exclusively from the areas of the Kingdom of Poland, only 23,000 returned to the country. The majority of conscripts died in various wars or from diseases and bad conditions of the service. This also referred to 75% among approx. 119,000 of those who were drafted to the Russian army already after the January Rising, between 1865 and 1873[6]. These irreparable national losses should also include relevant numbers pertaining to the Poles conscripted from the so-called Annexed Lands. These are data worth considering in the context of the frequently formulated thesis that the abandonment of risings could have saved Polish blood.

This way or another, at the beginning of 1863 (just like in 1830), the conspiracy organisation faced the prospect of having itsstructures annihilated or had to commence immediate action in order to prevent it. According to Stefan Kieniewicz, there were theoretical possibilities of sabotaging the activities of the Russian administration, hiding the conspirators and, through this, reducing the efficiency of conscription in a short-term perspective; however, this would require steadfast trust on the part of the majority of the conspirators to the Central Committee. In practice, on account of the human factor, this turned out to be impossible[7]. The society of the Kingdom of Poland, having itspatriotic spirit stirred up by various types of national manifestations which lasted since 1860, was at that time in such a moral condition that acceptance of hateful forced recruitment to the partitioners army seemed impossible for it. The social atmosphere, as an actual element of the political situation, which cannot be changed or overlooked, always has to be taken into account when discussing what is and what is not the realistic policy. It has shaped the situation in the same degree as the presence of 100,000 Russian soldiers in the Kingdom of Poland. Those who managed to avoid conscription hid in the province and in the forests and started to form military groups waiting for orders on how to proceed. Such status could not last for long. It was either necessary to accept that they would be gradually caught or start the insurrection. The opinion of Stefan Bobrowski, soon-to-be insurgent chief of Warsaw, uttered during the meeting of the Central National Committee on 3 January 1863 became dominant; Bobrowski warned that the plans of dislocating and hiding the soldiers threatened with forced recruitment would not save the conscripts and the organisation, whereas the oppressors authorities: would not only choose the desired number of recruits, but double or even triple it by taking all those who help to oppose it and those who are accused of belonging to conspiracy as a result of investigations[8]. He expected that the decision on postponing the military action would entail disruption of the organisation or forcing it to organise a rising in circumstances that would be even less favourable than at that moment. In this situation, it was agreed that the immediate rising should be the response to the announced forced conscription. This was the genesis of the decision as a result of which, on the night of 22 January 1863, a little bit more than 7,000 badly equipped insurgents attacked the above-mentioned 100,000 strong army of the Russian partitioner[9].

Obviously, it is always possible to imagine a different decision than the one that was actually made: resigning from the insurgent attempt, giving over the conspiring cadets from 1830 or conspirators threatened with forced recruitment in 1863, approval for their arrest or sending to the army. In the first case, there would be several dozen or several hundred casualties; in the second case, there might have been slightly over 12,000. However, was it not the price which was not only worth of, but which had to be paid for saving this level of the national entity whose existence was risked by accepting the fight? Can personal fates of those who would have to be sacrificed if a different decision was made, no matter how tragic course they would have taken, offer an argument that balances the suffering and the destruction that was experienced by the whole country? Should they not be treated as a painful, but necessary price for which one had to agree in exchange for keeping up the imperfect terms of national existence, which were still incomparably better than the ones that Poles had to endure after subsequent failures of national risings? It is impossible to provide a final answer to a question posed in this manner. However, one is free to doubt the justness of an assumption that thanks to the sacrifice, we would have saved - in a longer perspective - our autonomous institutions, which was already mentioned above; this issue is going to be mentioned once again when discussing the effects of our greatest independence revolts in the 19th century.

The second problem that should be discussed is the question about the moral justifiability of the risings. The dilemma that we are dealing with at the present moment boils down to the choice between two convictions. First of them is constructed on the belief in the imperative of starting a fight for independence from which a captive nation cannot shun away under the threat of a gradual, yet inevitable loss of the feeling of own separateness, getting deprived of the desire to regain independence, and, eventually, succumbing into conformism which, in practice, entails abandonment of the thought of national independence, even if hypocrisy prevents the public acknowledgement of it. Thus, the thought of starting an armed struggle for independence cannot be condemned, as this could entail a certain legalisation for the crime of the partitions by the nation on which it was performed. Maurycy Mochnacki, an outstanding participant, but also the first historian of the November Rising, formulated this idea in the most blatant manner. Before the outbreak of the rising, when the Sejm Court was summoned to issue judgements with respect to the leaders of the Patriotic Society who, in an unclear future, planned to undertake activities aimed at regaining the lost statehood and had to be judged for it, Mochnacki appealed to the members of the Senate of the Kingdom of Poland, who performed the functions of judges, with these words: Senators! You probably know what a motherland is (...) it is the grand thought of political independence and the thought that at some point in time, with God's guidance and help, we will unite it into one indivisible whole. (...) Senators, Poland only exists in these thoughts today. What will they turn into if you condemn them with the torment of infamy? Who would dare to love the motherland after such a decision, if you believed that the mere thought of clutching it away from predatory talons was a crime, forbidden by the law? (...). Senators! Even if this Poland that you have today, had to be lost, it would be better to lose it than if you condemned the sole idea of rebuilding it whole and independent[10]. It is worth analysing the actual meaning of this appeal. Mochnacki said that the Sejm Court was debating not only on the guilt of the accused, but also on the idea of independence as such: was a strife for rebuilding an independent Polish state, resurrected anew from the unification of lands under all partitions, a crime against the state? The senators of the Kingdom of Poland were not capable of corroborating this thesis. The judgements issued with respect to the members of the Patriotic Society were quire light - in any case, far away from the expectations of Tsar Nicholas I in this respect[11]. Besides, this decision of the court was incorrectly understood by the public opinion of the Kingdom of Poland. It was interpreted as the senatorsreadiness to support the idea of an armed struggle for independence, whereas in reality it was only an expression of their inability to condemn it. Later, this misunderstanding formed the basis of the conviction of the conspiring cadets that their role was only to start the rising which would be, in their opinion, immediately joined by the senior members of the nation, i.e. senators and generals and would lead it to a happy ending. Thus, according to Mochnacki, risking the loss of an imperfect, but still actually existing political form of Poland, which had been accomplished as a result of the decision made by the political powers which took part in the Congress of Vienna between 1814 and 1815, was not a mistake, but even a necessity. It is impossible to strive for stabilisation through forcefully imposed conditions of existence. An enslaved nation cannot feel comfortable, because people could get accustomed to it and reject the thought of independence. Mochnacki believed that the existing Kingdom of Poland was a merely disguised form of captivity in which the nation, in spite of officially granted liberties and constitution, had nothing to say in practice and was forced to exist in a forced, debasing situation. Meanwhile, the political elites of the Kingdom were happy that in spite of the overwhelming odds, they managed to win at least what they had. This was a generation of people who spent their youth wandering around the world during the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, from Italy, through Egypt, San Domingo, Spain and up to Moscow, doing this in an effort to rebuild the independent Poland. For them, the congress Kingdom of Poland, having its own constitution, Sejm, army, Polish administration, Polish education, was a great accomplishment, resulting from their wounds and suffering. It was something that acquired even more significance on account of the fact that they remembered the situation in which no Polish state existed between 1795 and 1807, even as crippled as the Kingdom of Poland. Meanwhile, on the night of November 29, 1830, all of this was put at risk by a bunch of cadets in the name of rebuilding the entire and independent Republic of Poland. For the generation of generals from the school of Napoleon I, joining the insurrection was psychologically a very difficult decision. In fact, it would be hard to find any former Napoleonic officers who believed in justifiability of the rising on the November Night. Some of them paid with their lives for the lack of faith, dying from the hands of the disappointed, revolted army which they did not want to command, in spite of requests. They saw the mutiny caused by the military youth, subordinate to them, as irresponsible craziness and childishness. It was difficult for them to believe that the Polish army with 30,000 soldiers had any chances in the war with Russia; the same Russia against which they fought so willingly 18 years earlier in the ranks of 600,000-strong Great Army of Napoleon in order to see itscatastrophe with their own eyes.

However, if a nation in captivity cannot feel comfortable, then it was necessary to take the risk of losing the current conditions of national existence and the cadetsdecision was just. For the advocates of looking at our national risings from this very perspective, the subsequent insurrections - even though lost - are the continually confirmed and renewed manifestation of the right to independence, a reminder and a proof of the fact that a nation, in spite of being put in shackles, is alive and does not agree for the forms of existence that were forcefully imposed on it. They are also the seeds of the deed for the future generations and, simultaneously, their liability. The continuity of insurgent tradition has an important and positive significance in this concept. It exerts an actual impact on the nation's self-perception, itsown collective behaviour in the expected future situations; it unites it and builds itsawareness, creates its national history, which is separate from the history of the oppressors, but - most importantly - it also creates an opinion about it among the foreigners, who take it into account when deciding about the specific course of action with respect to it. The conviction about the great probability of another insurrection in Poland shaped the attitude of all the major European powers to it after 1830, until the Bismarck era[12], and then, with new force, resurfaced during WWI. Finally, going far beyond the period to which this discussion refers, it also exerted an impact on the decisions of Moscows conduct with respect to the events in Poland both in 1956 and in 1980 and 1981.

The continuity of insurgent tradition, built and preserved in the 19th century, is worth reminding as an important advantage on the side of the national assets, which was used at the moment that was decisive for regaining independence, i.e. in the period of WWI and right after it. It will never be possible to answer the question what would have happened if such habits for conspiring and insurgent tradition were not existing. Would the nation, paralysed by itslong passivity, be capable of being mobilised for the huge organisational, political and, primarily, military effort to fight for such independence efficiently in the short-term political situation that was given to it? If, instead of building the structures of an independent state and forming the army, it remained passive like the majority of contemporary Ukrainians, who were mobilised too slowly in order to win an independent Ukraine, would it have shared their fate? Would the price for the hypothetical Polish passivity be some version of holodomor, which would have devoured several million of Polish peasants, before the introduction of collectivisation in the Polish Soviet Republic? In spite of no clear answer to these questions, it is good to ask them in order to see, in a better light, the alternative versions of Polish history, without the national risings in the 19th century, which are impossible to verify, but which nevertheless should be discussed.

Finally, in the discussed concept, our struggle for national independence would be a manner of digging a precipice between Poles and the oppressors, for becoming separated from them with blood so that making settlements and agreement for the conditions created in Poland was impossible; it was not possible to overlook the actual position of the nation and pretend that captivity did not exist. Captivity should be easily noticeable and should acheeverybody in order to make reconciliation to it impossible. At the same time, it is worth noting that this thought that accompanied the nation's armed struggle in captivity was not only the Polish invention. Similar political and moral motives were guiding the activities undertaken by the French Résistance in the summer and spring of 1941, which consisted in organisation of a series of attacks on German soldiers and Vichy officials resulting in bloody reprisals on the part of the aggressor. For every killed German, several French people were shot; they were captured previously by the occupation authorities as hostages and had to answer with their lives for the deeds of their compatriots. Both Marshall Philippé Petain, head of the Vichy state, as well as Charles de Gaulle, leader of Free France, ineffectively appealed for the cessation of attacks, which seemed too costly and without any actual impact on the power of German army stationed in France. Obviously, from the military point of view, they were both right, but the series of attacks, illogical from the military point of view, had a great moral significance. The bloody reprisals showed the French people their actual situation and the actual face of the occupier. The attacks offered an answer to the question of what to do in order to stop the atmosphere of collaboration which was commonplace in the Vichy regime - German reprisals forced the people to decide on which side they were[13]. Similar motives influenced the decision of President Edvard Beneš about organising a coup to kill Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. His death in Prague at the hands of Czechoslovakian paratroopers in May 1942 was meant to revive the resistance in the passive Protectorate. It did not fulfil these expectations and caused mass persecutions as a result of which several hundred Czechs were killed[14].

Getting back to the dilemma that is analysed in this part of the article, it is also necessary to formulate a conviction that stands in contrast to the previously discussed one. It is the thesis put forward by the outstanding researcher of Polish history and one of the authors of Kraków historical thought, Józef Szujski. Szujski claims that similarly to the principle of individual liberty that was greatly important in the the former Commonwealth and gave rise to the liberum veto (i.e. the right of every member to break the session of the Sejm), thus causing anarchy in the political system, the Polish national life under the partitions was dominated by a comparable principle, which Szujski calls liberum conspiro. Szujski uses this terms to describe a situation in which every person who loves motherland honestly and devotedly, feels summoned to conspire and to start risings in itsname, putting the fate of the entire nation, the material existence and the future of entire generations at risk, solely in the name of the first patriotic instinct. Thus, a small group of conspirators takes a huge responsibility for the fate of the motherland and, disregarding other opinions, forces the nation to bear the costs of their decisions. Thereby, the principle of liberum conspiro causes anarchy in the national life like liberum veto in the past. Simultaneously, more considerate and stately groups of the society find it very hard to oppose this principle publicly, without being accused of the lack of patriotism. Similarly to the Commonwealth, when all the illusion and temptation was on the side of absolute liberty [as Szujski wrote, R.Ż.], even legality was on this side, then in the same manner in the post-partition era, all the illusion and temptation were on the side of these elements that quickly and directly promised independence; they included the voice and the instinct of nature, human impatience and heroism of not tolerating the yoke. As during the Commonwealth, when the position of those who were striving for order, reform, healthy and cautious politics, was very difficult, the role of people who are cooler and more considerate is even more difficult today: they cannot make promises that they cannot keep; these people, having the nation under their care, know that it should not be exposed to inevitable destruction[15]. Examples that could support Szujskis thesis about irresponsibility and foolhardiness accompanying the principle of liberum conspiro can be found in both of our most important national risings. These examples include the acts of cadets on 29 November 1830, undertaken without electing any insurgent government, any political programme, without any deeper thought: the important thing was to make a start, with a naive hope that things would get sorted.The decision about the outbreak of the January Rising, without arms, without support of any of the superpowers, against an opponent that was several times stronger, seen from this perspective, has to be evaluated in a similar manner. To have a fuller picture of our national behaviour in the 19th century, it is worth remembering that the stance described here as liberum conspiro was nothing exceptional in the contemporary Europe; such conduct did not characterise only Poles and was not the attribute of only our political nature. It was a period dominated by numerous secret associations deriving from freemasonry and the Carbonari. Pursuing this convention of evaluating national insurrections and revolutions which took place on the Old Continent, the first place in the category of foolhardiness, enthusiasm and frequency of commencing armed struggles to implement national and social objectives has to be given to the Italians. Estimation of the number of conspiracies and military coups (the famous pronunciamiento) in the 19th century Spain also requires an extensive research effort. The number of revolutions and insurrections in small German states was quite significant too. Finally, the revolutions in France, more powerful and more frequent than in Poland, designated a certain rhythm of political life on the entire continent. Thus, it has to be agreed that this was the manner in which life was lived in the contemporary Europe, at least until 1871.

The third issue which should be discussed here when pondering the justifiability of the risings, are the chances of their military success. Quite a lot has been written on this subject, in particular with respect to the November Rising. The causes of defeat and the causes of so many failed opportunities were discussed, analysed and evaluated since the moment of itscollapse. The first historian, but also the first critic and visionary pointing out to alternative possibilities of conduct was, as mentioned before, Maurycy Mochnacki, who at that time believed in the possibility of winning the war with Russia. This is evidenced in his grand work entitled Powstanie Narodu Polskiego[16]. The Great Emigration discussed the lost opportunities without end, trying to find those who were guilty of the failure, which did not seem inevitable at all to our exiles; on the contrary, it was interpreted as a result of an unhappy coincidence[17]. What wonders have defeated us? Pride, betrayal, hypocrisy and adverse fate[18] these were the words of a popular song from that time entitled Stańmy bracia wraz!also known as Maliniakwritten by Franciszek Kowalski; the lyrics show clearly that the former insurgents did not feel defeated by an obviously overwhelming opponent - this opponent is not even mentioned in the song - and they did not see it as the main cause of their losses; they believed they were defeated by the sins, errors and negligence of the Polish side. The course of military action in the period of the November Rising was described in detail by a number of historians. Without repeating their determinations, readers who are interested in this problem should become acquainted with the works of Wacław Tokarz, Jerzy Łojek or the most recent monographs of Tomasz Strzeżek[19]. In this place, it is only sufficient to remind the long list of Polish errors and military negligence and the continually adverse fatethat exerted decisive impact on the course of the war. In the chronological sequence of the events, one can mention the possibility of:

- destruction of the Russian army stationed in the Kingdom of Poland and murder or imprisonment of Grand Duke Konstantin;

- immediate, i.e. already in December 1830, entry of the insurgent army to Lithuania, convincing the Lithuanian corps to join the Polish side and shifting the war to the area of Lithuanian and Russian lands;

- extension of the Polish army during the first two months of the rising with much greater determination than it was done by the contemporary dictator of the rising, General Józef Chłopicki;

- lack of Chłopickis wound at Grochowo and subordination of Generals Jan Krukowiecki and Tomasz Łubieński;

- use of the opportunities offered by the spring offensive, i.e. complete destruction of the corps of General Grigory Rosen, capturing Siedlce and, by destroying the operational base of the Russian army, forcing it to leave the Kingdom of Poland or to fight the great battle in conditions conducive for Poland, the result of which - however always uncertain - in case of the Polish success, could have led to a complete change in the military situation and would definitely entail transfer of military activities behind the Bug River;

- efficient expedition against the Russian Guard units, ended with a complete extermination, due to the fact very little was missing to accomplish that aim;

- more energetic activities of General Antoni Giełgud in Lithuania;

- opposing the passage of the Russian army through the Vistula;

- the corps of General Hieronim Ramorina staying in Warsaw and defending it for longer.

Obviously, answering the question on what would have been the fate of the rising if different decisions were made in one of the above-indicated situations and if success was accomplished, is impossible. One can only assume that extending the war onto a subsequent campaign of 1832 was within the actual potential of the Polish side. However, it is hard to speculate about the form of the struggle in the subsequent months. Russia still retained sufficient power to wage the war and would probably not have renounced the rule of Poland easily, as such a decision would cross out itsstatus of a superpower and itssignificance in Europe.

         Much less can be said about the chances for victory in the rising of 1863. In the lonely struggle waged by badly equipped and badly trained January soldiers, such chances seems to be non-existent. It is hard to imagine that the insurgent divisions, resembling mass mobilisation, without any external assistance, would have been able to overcome the regular Russian army (much more numerous, disciplined and well-equipped) in a guerilla war. If one is to look for hope for the successful end of the January Rising, it would have to be a direct military intervention of one of the European superpowers for the sake of the Polish insurrection (France, Great Britain, Austria - or, in the best case, a coalition of these states); nevertheless, this hope turned out to be unrealistic.

The question about international determinants of our risings is yet another, fourth issue that is worth discussing when analysing the problem formulated in the title of the article. If their necessity is discussed, it might be interesting to look at them from the outside and to show the aspects and the parties for whom the Polish risings were necessary in a specific political situation, the impact that they exerted on the international relations, the expectations that they generated and the aspects that conditioned the interest of other participants of the game, apart from Poles.

In the autumn of 1830 Europe was at the brink of a great war. The July revolution in Paris pushed France out of the Vienna system, from the group of countries of the Holy Alliance and set it in opposition to powers which were, simultaneously, the oppressors of Poland. Following the French example, Belgians revolted in August 1830, forcing the Dutch armies to leave their country a month later and breaking the union with the Netherlands. Simultaneously, the liberal cabinet of Charles Grey gained power in Great Britain; it had a more sympathetic attitude to liberation movements in Europe than the previously ruling Tories, but it was primarily aiming to avoid a European-scale conflict, which was threatened by the Russian intervention announced by Tsar Nicholas I against the Belgian revolution and the hostile attitude manifested towards the post-July France. The tsar sent his special ambassador, Count General Alexei Orlov, to Vienna and Berlin to assemble a coalition of countries of the Holy Alliance to conduct the planned intervention. In both German capitals, the envoy met with lack of zeal for an armed crusade against the liberal revolution in Brussels. However, if the planned Russian intervention in the West took place, France could not have remained neutral with respect to the invasion of the Russian army, and possibly also Prussian and Austrian, against Belgium. Louis Philip, wishing to retain the freshly acquired throne, would probably have to protect Belgium militarily, under threat of having his rule overturned by the Parisian street. It is difficult to foresee how Great Britain would have behaved with respect to this scenario. On the one hand, itsinternal situation - social tensions related to the currently conducted great parliamentary reform, liberalising the voting system which was previously in force in the Kingdom - could induce the Whig government to empathise with France, which was moving in a similar direction; on the other hand, fear of Frances external expansion and embarking on the path leading to hegemony on the continent - similarly to the Napoleonic times - pushed the British cabinet to search for efficient and strong allies, such as Russia, which could be asked for help in counteracting the expected French expansion. Nonetheless, it cannot be ruled out that the pressure of the public opinion, demanding comparable reforms in Great Britain, could prevent Greys government from acting against France, especially in the company of despotic Russia, which had a very bad opinion in the Kingdom, even if he finally reached the conclusion that such solution was justified. The possibility of Great Britain assuming a hostile stance towards France would be very realistic if the French actually entered Belgium in reaction to the intervention of the Holy Alliance powers and treated this operation as a prelude to incorporation of a partially French-speaking country. In the international situation which emerged in the autumn of 1830, the British diplomacy, wishing to avoid a conflict on a European scale, had to be against the intervention of the powers of the Holy Alliance for the benefit of the Netherlands, and thus in favour of Belgiums independence and, at the same time, support the separateness of this newly established state from France, in order to fend off any potential expansion of the side of Paris.

In these circumstances, the outbreak of rising in Warsaw had a significant impact on the European situation. It clearly improved the political situation of Paris and Brussels and reduced the potential of Petersburgs impact on decisions made in the west of Europe. As long as the insurrection in the Kingdom of Poland lasted, the threat of Russian intervention against Belgium was unrealistic. Thus, both France and Belgium needed the rising in Poland, yet not to the degree to make Paris willing to offer it any direct military support. It was enough that it lasted sufficiently long to checkmate Russia until the moment of reaching a favourable solution of the Belgian issue[20]. To a certain degree, it also turned out to be useful for Great Britains intentions. Thanks to it, Russian intervention in the West and, consequently, a European war, was avoided. On the other hand, from the perspective of Londons needs, the rising should not be strong enough to completely eliminate the Russian factor from the international game in the west of Europe, as the power and the potential of Russia had to be serious enough to have a moderating impact on the French ambitions[21].

Another European power, Austria, being one of the oppressors, was also directly interested in the situation in the Kingdom of Poland. Chancellor Klemens von Metternich, leader of Austrian diplomacy, was in principle against any revolutions, thus also against the insurrection in Poland. On the other hand, the rising was received with satisfaction at the Habsburg court due to the fact that it weakened Russia; the mutual relations of Vienna and Russia had just suffered some serious tension, which aggravated during the time of the Russian and Turkish conflict of 1828 and 1829, up to devising war plans on both sides. Furthermore, the rising in Poland released Austria from the danger of being forced to undertake intervention against Belgium together with Russia, and, in consequence, eliminated the prospect of a European war, with respect to which neither Emperor Francis I nor Metternich showed any enthusiasm. Due to the fact that revolutionary movements engulfed northern Italy already in January 1831, the rising in Poland could mean that Vienna would be deprived of the potential Russian support in solving the Italian issue, if it turned into a backdrop for a conflict with France. This convolution of circumstances shaping the stance of Austria with respect to the November Rising has yet to be supplemented by the atmosphere within the Habsburg monarchy, especially in Galicia, where a revolt was expected and in Hungary, which was empathising with the Polish case. All of this resulted in the fact that Austrias stance towards the rising was much less hostile than Prussias attitude, which was ruthlessly against it; nevertheless, only some extraordinary circumstances would have to take place in order to force the Austrians to offer any significant assistance for the Polish case[22]. On the other hand, Berlin could not tolerate the victory of the insurrection in Poland. The independence of the Republic of Poland and potentially some part of the annexed landsresulting from it would open the prospect of Prussias losing the provinces of the former Poland, much more important for it than Galicia for Austria. This made Prussia an open enemy of the insurrection; Prussia was ready to support Russia in itsefforts of quenching it, providing it with any assistance other than direct military intervention, which was however not excluded if it turned out that Russia would not be capable of winning the war on itsown[23].

Generally, it may be claimed that even though the November Rising turned to be a quite important factor influencing the course of international game from the autumn of 1831 for the entire ensuing year, yet the Polish case has never acquired a first priority issue in the contemporary inter-state relations. On the contrary, it was always objectified as an element of a game taken into account and used when solving more important issues. France and Great Britain, which to a certain degree supported the rising, needed it to pursue their own political intentions, yet not as much as to provide it with effective military support. Whatever happened in the Kingdom of Poland was not sufficiently important for them to justify a decision to declare war on Russia. We might have been able to count on more extensive diplomatic support on their part, yet this could have taken place exclusively if our spring offensive of 1831 ended with more serious successes than it had actually taken place. Austria displayed a changing attitude towards the Polish insurrection: at times it was even tolerating pro-insurgent activities in itsterritory; at other times it was cooperating with the Russian army against the insurrection and eventually, at the insurrections finale, was leaning towards the proposal of mediations, which would end the conflict in some form of a Polish-Russian compromise, avoiding violence and bloodshed. On the other hand, Russia and Prussia were fiercely opposing the insurrection, considering it a threat to their basic interests.

The described situation, with certain divergences, was repeated in the period of the January Rising[24]. Itsoutbreak was preceded by an important event on the international arena, i.e. the unification of Italy between 1859 and 1861. For the Polish public opinion, this was a significant moral impetus: an example of a struggle for national goals that ended with success, stirring and inspiring our own hopes. Simultaneously, the meeting of Napoleon III and Alexander II in Stuttgart in 1857 marked the French and Russian rapprochement, exploited by the French emperor in his strife with Austria with respect to the Italian case. Improvement of the French and Russian relations was observed warily in London; for the British, such coalition could turn out to be dangerous. Joint activities of the two largest continental powers would reduce the possibility of the British diplomacys manoeuvring on various issues, including competition with Russia in Central Asia and in the Far East. Austria, freshly defeated by France and the uniting Italy in the war of 1859, remained distrustful towards Paris and held a grudge against Russia with respect to itshostile behaviour during the war, also on account of conflicting interests of both empires in the Balkans. It also still competed with Prussia for influence in Germany.

In these circumstances, the growing political tension in the Russian partition, preceding the January Rising, as well as itsoutbreak, remained an internal Russian affair and the European diplomacy officially took no interest in it. The situation changed only after the famous conversation of Alvensleben on 8 February 1863, which made the rising in Poland the object of a Russian and Prussian agreement and transformed it into an international affair, giving the French diplomacy a pretext to take a stance to this issue. The aim of Paris was not, in the first place, settling the Polish case, but acquisition of the natural barrier on the Rhine in Prussia, which France was dreaming about. Thus, in this case the rising was a pretext to implement own political programme and Frances attitude to it was additionally stimulated by strong pro-Polish favour of the French public opinion, which influenced the governments policy. In these conditions, the main addressee of French diplomatic attacks was not Russia - of key importance for solving the Polish problem - but itshelper, namely Prussia.

In the ensuing French activities, London spotted an opportunity for destroying the worrying Russian and French rapprochement; thence, the British diplomacy started to support steps made in Petersburg by the French diplomacy with respect to the rising in Poland in a justified hope that it would soon cause tension and, in effect, break the friendship between France and Russia. The more the French became involved on the Polish side, the quicker they became anti-Russian which, in effect, had to bring a breakdown of French and Russian relations. The British diplomacy managed to accomplish this objective. It is also necessary to be aware of the fact that, according to the opinion of Henryk Wereszycki, expert on the case: Independence of Poland did not suit England as reinforcement of the French impact on the continent. (...) It is necessary to (...) claim straightforwardly that the English government did not contribute to the activities that could bring Polands independence closer at any moment of the changing international situation[25]. Obviously, this did not exclude private and personal favours of certain British ministers for the Polish case. The government of the United Kingdom was forced to certain pro-Polish manifestations also by the British public opinion - similarly to the French one, empathising with the Polish case.

Meanwhile, Napoleon III was dreaming up more or less fantastic plans of rebuilding a political map of Europe, trying to convince Austria to support them. In effect, Austria would procure certain acquisitions in Germany along with Danube dukedoms; however, in the first place, it would have to resign from Galicia, which would be given to the re-established Poland, and from Venice, for the sake of Italy. This mirage of uncertain profits, paid for up front with inevitable losses, in combination with the prospect of a war with Russia (necessary to implement these intentions) was little encouraging for Vienna. The Habsburg state, weakened by external defeats and internally shaken, needed peace. In effect, Austria remained a passive, yet intent observer of the events in the Russian partition; up to a certain moment, it tolerated assistance offered from Galicia for the rising, leaving the initiative with respect to the Polish issue to Napoleon III and even joining the diplomatic interventions undertaken by France and Great Britain in Petersburg, which, however, turned out to be ineffective. If Napoleon III decided to wage a war with Russia for the rebuilding of Poland, Vienna would seriously consider to support France in it; nevertheless, the French ruler was too inconsistent and volatile to remain steadfast in his political plans in spite of numerous obstacles[26].

For Prussia, the January Rising, similarly to the previous insurrection, was a threat to itsbasic interest. Nevertheless, it also offered Berlin an opportunity to establish anti-Polish cooperation with Russia and, on this basis, to get closer to Petersburg, whose support in the Prussian and Austrian rivalry in Germany soon turned out to be very useful. Good Prussian and Russian relations became valuable not only for reinforcing the position of Prussia with respect to Austria, but also with respect to France, even though direct consequences of Anvenslebens convention exposed Prussia to the threat of conflict with Paris and greatly scared the politicians from Berlin. Eventually, the January Rising turned out to be useful for Chancellor Otto von Bismarck to ensure Russian friendship, which turned out as important as in 1866, during the crackdown on Austria,and in 1870 during the war with France[27].

The balance of the risings for the Polish national life is the last aspect that should be subject to analysis to allow for a fuller evaluation of their effects, and thus accomplishing a more comprehensive outlook on the subject matter formulated in the title. Due to the fact that a lot has been said about the advantages of the insurgent tradition already, it is necessary to remind about the losses which were sustained by Poles. First of all, it is necessary to list casualties - direct victims of armed conflicts, which are estimated at several thousands of people killed - approx. 40,000 in the November Rising and approx. 22,000 in the January Rising; this number has to be increased by approx. 40,000 former November insurgents exiled and incorporated into the Russian army and approx. 35,000 - 40,000 sent to hard labour and forced to re-settle. Emigration after both risings was on a similar level, approx. 10,000 people in each case. In approximation, this offers the number of over 160,000 people who died, were murdered, exiled and emigrated from the country[28].

The list of losses should also include the abolishment of the constitution, liquidation of the Sejm, the army and partial (after 1831) and full (after 1863) Russification of the Kingdom of Polands administration and destruction of certain autonomous institutions in Polish provinces of the empire which survived after 1830. It is also necessary to add losses resulting from thefts and destruction of national assets, liquidation of the Vilnius and Warsaw universities after the November Rising, the Main School after the January Rising, destruction of Polish education on the so-called Annexed Lands after 1831 and full Russification of the educational system in the entire Russian partition after 1864. Obviously, there were also material losses resulting from military activities that are hard to assess. It is even difficult to provide approximate data pertaining to the November Rising. It is known that Warsaw suffered during the September attack of the Russian forces at the city[29]; towns where fighting was waged - for example Ostrołęka - were also partially destroyed[30]. More precise numbers can be given in relation to the January Rising; 16 towns and 85 villages were burnt down in the course of it; the horse headcount dropped by 10% and the industrial production of the Kingdom of Poland temporarily decreased by 20 - 30%: these are also incomplete losses, where the destruction made in the Annexed Lands is not included[31]. It is also difficult to provide information about the full scale of confiscation of private property during both risings. In three Ukrainian provinces only (Volhynia, Podolia and Kiev), as part of repressions after the November Rising, 155 farms and over 35,000 hectares of forest were confiscated[32]; after the January Rising, in the same provinces the Russian government took over 144 Polish landed properties with a total surface area of approx. 164,000 hectares[33]. In the Kovno Province in Lithuania, where the rising was much more intense than in Ukraine, by July 1863, the land of 1,515 middle noblemen was confiscated and 279 of peasants who belonged to them[34]. Finally, it is also necessary to mention the persecution that was targeted at the Catholic Church: by 1870, only three bishops were left in the lands of the entire former Republic of Poland in 15 dioceses; the rest were imprisoned or exiled; the Union of Brest was abolished, first in the Annexed Lands in 1839 and subsequently in 1873 in the Kingdom of Poland. The provided data, due to their fragmentary nature, should only be treated as an illustration for the scale of reprisals and do not show the full picture.

In spite of it, it is worth remembering the aspects which were mentioned before, i.e. that at the time when no insurgent fighting was going on, the repressive policy of the oppressors against the Polish society was conducted anyway. Obviously, as a result of the risings, itsintensity drastically increased. It is true that during the insurrections, their participants who derived predominantly from nationally aware layers of the society and itspolitical and national elites, suffered and died, whereas forced conscriptionaffected primarily accidentally selected people. Attacks on culture, language, Polish property or the Catholic church were made in various partitions with varied intensity throughout the 19th century, also in these parts of Poland where they could not be treated as post-insurrection repressions, for example in the Prussian partition at the time of Flotwell or Bismarck.

Finally, having shown the picture of losses resulting from both risings, which greatly aggravated the conditions of national life in captivity, it is also necessary to mention the benefits. Apart from the previously mentioned advantages resulting from national insurrections such as formation of a tradition of an armed struggle for independence, preserving the thought about reconstruction of the state and fuelling hostility to the oppressors, fostering specific national mentality and expected collective behaviour, the most important and definitely one of the few tangible accomplishments which are the result of risings, is the enfranchising of peasants in all Polish lands of the Russian partition after 1864, thus also on Lithuanian and Russian lands, upon principles different than in Russia and the serf reform planned by Wielopolski in the Kingdom of Poland, which would be limited to imposing a fee. As a result of the reform, forced upon the Russian authorities by the Polish insurrection, peasants became owners of land as individual farmers, whereas in the Russian provinces, the owner of the land taken over by villages was the mir, i.e. the commune and thus, the class of peasants - individual land owners, has never been formed. In effect, the land of the former Republic of Poland preserved and solidified civilisation and social distinctness from the Russian Empire, which is hard to underestimate.

The discussion above, as mentioned at the very beginning, cannot offer an unequivocal answer to the question whether Polish national risings in the 19th century were necessary. Without trying to settle the discussion on this issue which has been pursued by every generation of Poles for 200 years and will probably never end, we still hope that these considerations which form the content of the presented article will help the readers to reach their own opinion about the discussed issue, solidify their beliefs or may encourage them to modify them in a certain degree.

[1] T. Rawski, Dylematy wojska, [in:] Powstanie kościuszkowskie 1794 r. Dzieje militarne, vol. 1, ed. T. Rawski, Warsaw 1994, p. 69-80.

[2] W. Tokarz, Sprzysiężenie Wysockiego i Noc Listopadowa, Warsaw 1980, p. 69.

[3] Ibidem, p. 114-133.

[4] B. Łagowski, Filozofia polityczna Maurycego Mochnackiego, Kraków 1981, p. 90.

[5]  W. Pol, Sygnał (Pieśń z obozu Jeziorańskiego), [in:] Byleś Polsko wolną była..., zbiór pieśni i piosenek polskich z melodiami śpiewanych od czasów najdawniejszych po lata ostatnie do użytku domowego podanych komentarzami historycznymi opatrzonych przez J. Czerwińskiego i W. Zatorskiego, Kraków 1988, p. 94.

[6] W. Caban, Służba rekrutów z Królestwa Polskiego w armii carskiej w latach 1831-1873, Warsaw 2001, p. 228.

[7] S. Kieniewicz, Warszawa w powstaniu styczniowym, Warsaw 1983, p. 132-133.

[8] Quotation in line with: idem, Powstanie Styczniowe, Warsaw 1983, p. 346.

[9] E. Kozłowski, Zarys historii militarnej Powstania Styczniowego, [in:] Powstanie Styczniowe 1863-1864. Wrzenie. Bój. Europa. Wizje, ed. S. Kalembka, Warsaw 1990, p. 313-314.

[10] M. Mochnacki, Głos obywatela z Poznańskiego do senatu Królestwa Polskiego z okazji Sądu Sejmowego, [in:] idem, Pisma krytyczne i polityczne, vol. 2, Kraków 1996, p. 18-19.

[11] More about it, see: H. Dylągowa, Towarzystwo Patriotyczne i Sąd Sejmowy 1821-1829, Warsaw 1970.

[12] The degree in which the opinion about the subsequent rising in Poland functioned in the calculations of the European diplomacy in the 1860s and 1870s is corroborated by the great historical trilogy penned by H. Wereszycki, Sojusz trzech cesarzy, Geneza 1866 - 1872, Warsaw 1965; idem Walka o pokój europejski 1872 - 1878, Warsaw 1971; idem, Koniec sojuszu trzech cesarzy, Warsaw 1977.


[13] R. O. Paxton, Francja Vichy. Stara gwardia i nowy ład, 1940-1944, Wrocław 2011, p. 277-278; J. Baszkiewicz, Francja nowożytna. Szkice z historii wieków XVII-XX, Poznań 2002, p. 337-338.

[14] F. Moravec, Špión, jemuž nevěřili, Praha 1990, p. 287-301; G. Deschner, Reinhard Heydrich namiestnik władzy totalitarnej, Warsaw 2000, p. 258-286. L. Kessler, Heydrich. Posłaniec śmierci, Warsaw 2000, p. 121-185.

[15] J. Szujski, O Fałszywej historii jako mistrzyni fałszywej polityki. Z powodu artykułu P.L. Wolskiego pod tytułem Diagnoza, [in:] idem, O Fałszywej historii jako mistrzyni fałszywej polityki, Warsaw 1991, p. 343-344.

[16] M. Mochnacki, Powstanie narodu polskiego w roku 1830 i 1831, vol. 1-2, Warsaw 1984.

[17] Anthologies about this issue were published H. Żaliński, Stracone szanse. Wielka Emigracja o powstaniu listopadowym, Warsaw 1981.

[18]  F. Kowalski, Maliniak, [in:] Byleś Polsko wolną była..., p. 68.

[19] W. Tokarz, Wojna polsko-rosyjska 1830 i 1831, Warsaw 1993; J. Łojek, Szanse powstania listopadowego, Warsaw 1986;  T. Strzeżek, Polska ofensywa wiosenna w 1831 r., Olsztyn 2002.

[20] More about the stance of France and Belgium towards the November Rising, see: J. Dutkiewicz, Francja a Polska w 1831 r., Łódź 1950; W. Zajewski, Belgia wobec powstania listopadowego, [in:] Powstanie Listopadowe 1830-1831. Dzieje wewnętrzne, militaria, Europa wobec powstania, ed. by idem, Warsaw 1990, p. 465-481.

[21] More about determinants of the British policy with respect to the November Rising, see: J. Dutkiewicz, Anglia a sprawa polska w latach 1830-1831, Łódź 1967.

[22] More about it, see: J. Dutkiewicz, Austria wobec powstania listopadowego, Kraków 1933, p. 25 and other.

[23] More about it, see: H. Kocój, Prusy i Niemcy wobec powstania listopadowego, Kraków 2001.

[24] More about international determinants accompanying the January Rising see also: J. Zdrada, Sprawa polska w okresie Powstania Styczniowego, [in:] Powstanie Styczniowe 1863-1864. Wrzenie. Bój. Europa. Wizje, ed. S. Kalembka, Warsaw 1990, p. 446-505.

[25] H. Wereszycki, Anglia a Polska w latach 1860-1865, Lviv 1934, p. 194. More about the attitude of Great Britain to the January Rising see also: A. Gałkowski, Wielka Brytania a Powstanie Styczniowe, [in:] Powstanie Styczniowe 1863-1864. Wrzenie. Bój. Europa. Wizje, ed. S. Kalembka, Warsaw 1990, p. 597-610.

[26] More about Austria's stance with respect to the January Rising, see: H. Wereszycki, Austria a powstanie styczniowe, Lviv 1930.

[27] J. Feldman, Bismarck a Polska, Warsaw 1980, p. 236-356.

[28] The provided calculations result from data deriving from the following studies: W. Zajewski, Powstanie Listopadowe 1830-1831, Warsaw 1998, p. 242; S. Kieniewicz, A. Zahorski, W. Zajewski, Trzy powstania narodowe kościuszkowskie, listopadowe, styczniowe, ed. W. Zajewski, Warsaw 1992, p. 274-275 and 407. S. Kieniewicz, Powstanie Styczniowe..., p. 733-740; W. Caban, op. cit., s. 222.

[29] In Wola, the fire consumed 221 buildings with a value of over PLN 1 million. Almost all possessions outside of the Wola toll-gates were destroyed. Forty-eight manor houses in the outskirts burnt down, along with wooden development from Aleje Jerozolimskie to ul. Grzybowska and a few similar structures in other streets - this is a very incomplete picture of losses. Cf. T. Strzeżek, Warszawa 1831, 1998, p. 146-147.

[30] M. Leszczyński, Ostrołęka 1831, Warsaw 2011, p. 222-223.

[31] S. Kieniewicz, A. Zahorski, W. Zajewski, Trzy powstania narodowe..., p. 407.

[32] D. Beauvois, Polacy na Ukrainie 1831-1863. Szlachta polska na Wołyniu Podolu i Kijowszczyźnie, Paris 1988, p. 243-244. A. Sokołowski, Dzieje powstania listopadowego 1830-1831, Vienna 1907 [reprint Poznań 2002], p. 311, offers other data: In the Vilnius Province, the Russian government took away the property of 1,315 people; in Volhynia - 529, in Podolia - 472, in Grodno - 277, in Minsk - 170 and in Kiev 123, in Mohylev - 2 and in Vitebsk - 1. In total, 2,889 citizens were expropriated.However, these data should be treated as expropriation during the entire period of rule of Nicholas I, thus also cases that were not reprisals for the conspiracy activities after 1831.

[33] Idem, Walka o ziemię. Szlachta polska na Ukrainie prawobrzeżnej pomiędzy caratem a ludem ukraińskim 1863-1914, Sejny 1996, p. 34.

[34] E. Aleksandravičius, A. Kulakauskas, Pod władzą carów. Litwa w XIX wieku, Kraków 2003, p. 162.

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