Wawrzyniec Surowiecki 1769-1827

He was born on 4 August 1769 in Imielenko near Gniezno. Having graduated in law from the University of Lviv (during his studies, he contributed to the Dziennik Patriotycznych Polaków [“Patriotic Poles’ Daily”], he continued to seek historical and economic education, attending courses in Vienna and Dresden and making numerous trips around Europe. From 1807, he was a member of the Society of Friends of Sciences. From 1810 to 1817, he was a secretary of the Education Directorate in Warsaw. He taught at the Warsaw Main School of Law and Administration. His draft of agrarian reform of the Kingdom of Poland reflected the influence of contemporary economic schools. He promoted supporting the development of industry and trade in the Kingdom of Poland. In his studies of the culture of early Slavs, he was the first to emphasise the importance of oral tradition, which transmitted the history of Slavs and manifested itself in folk tales, fairy tales and rituals. He died on 10 June 1827 in Warsaw. His main works included: Uwagi względem poddanych w Polsce i projekt do ich uwolnienia [“Remarks on subjects in Poland and a design for setting them free”] (1807), O upadku przemysłu i miast w Polsce [“On the collapse of the industry and cities in Poland”] (1810), Uwagi o cechach [“Remarks on guilds”] (1816), Śledzenie początków narodów słowiańskich [“Tracing the beginning of Slavic nations”] (1820).


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