Belarusian national revival

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Dudka Bialaruskaja, an 1891 book of poems by Francišak Bahuševič

The Belarusian national revival (Belarusian: Беларускае нацыянальнае адраджэнне) is a social, cultural and political movement that advocates the revival of Belarusian culture, language, customs, and the creation of the Belarusian statehood at the national foundation. Revival refers to the Belarusian nationalism and the modern Belarusian national consciousness represented by several waves starting from the 19th century.

Early 19th century[edit]

In the early and mid 19th century, Jan Czeczot, Wladyslaw Syrokomla, Wincenty Dunin-Marcinkiewicz, Jan Barszczewski and several other writers, most of whom represented the local nobility, created the first literary works in modern Belarusian language. Their works were written in local rural dialects and ignored the traditions of the written Old Belarusian language from the period of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The greater part of the Belarusian regional elite at that time supported the movement to reestablish the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and took an active part in the uprisings of 1830-31 and 1863-64. In that situation a new trend for Belarusian national separatism was something completely new and unknown in regional policy.[citation needed] Konstanty Kalinowski, the leader of the 1863 Uprising on the lands of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, published his appeals to the Belarusian peasants in the Belarusian language, but his activity was part of the movement for independence of the "Polish-Lithuanian" new Commonwealth of Poland and Lithuania.[citation needed]

In the second half of the 19th century, the first leftist national clubs emerged among Belarusian students in the major universities of the Russian Empire, i.e. in the University of St. Petersburg. These clubs issued several illegal publications, for example, Homan with demands for autonomy or independence for Belarus. Ignacy Hryniewiecki, the assassin of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, according to some historians, was one of creators of the Belarusian fraction in the Russian socialist movement Narodnaya Volya.[1]

Late 20th and early 21st centuries[edit]

Perestroika advanced a new wave of the Belarusian national revival. Several new regional cultural national organisations like Talaka were formed by end of the 1980s. Also political pro-independence movement of the Belarusian Popular Front, led by Zianon Pazniak was founded in 1988. Following the elections held in 1990 Belarusian Popular Front created a 35-member fraction in the Supreme Soviet of Belarus.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michaluk D. Białoruska Republika Ludowa 1918-1920 u podstaw białoruskiej państwowości - Toruń, Wydawnictwo naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika, 2010