A Pole-catholic stereotype as seen by the polish press in Teschen Silesia (2nd part of the 19th century)

Izabela Ławrusewicz
Original title: Stereotyp Polaka-katolika w świetle polskiej prasy Śląska Cieszyńskiego (druga połowa XIX w.)
Śląski Kwartalnik Historyczny Sobótka 2010

In the 19th century a Pole-catholic stereotype acquired strong religious and political characteristics. Researchers often underestimate its meaning for Poles under the Austrian rule in Teschen Silesia. They do not analyze it at all or spread the opinion that the influence of the stereotype for social life here was not really important. This article is based on the Polish press in Teschen Silesia and its purpose is to present national and religious groups which drew to the stereotype. The most early the influence of the stereotype was visible in the national and religious context in 1860ties in the daily newspaper ‘Gwiazdka Cieszyńska’. From 1880ties the Pole-catholic stereotype was popularized in a radical form. It was used incidentally during the national, religious, language and educational disputes. The author discussed the attitude of particular national and religious groups to the stereotype. She paid attention to the election periods when the stereotype was the most exploited. The relations between evangelicals and catholics, who were often neighbours, were characterized as correct. From the sources used by the author comes a conclusion that using the Pole-catholic stereotype for political and propaganda purposes in Teschen Silesia, especially by the pro-German press, brought negative effects only in a hectic time of election campaigns.

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