History of Belarus

This article describes the history of Belarus. The Belarusian ethnos is traced at least as far in time as other East Slavs. After an initial period of independent feudal consolidation, Belarusian lands were incorporated into the Kingdom of Lithuania, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Belarus became an independent country in 1991 after declaring itself free from the Soviet Union; the history of Belarus, or more of the Belarusian ethnicity, begins with the migration and expansion of the Slavic peoples throughout Eastern Europe between the 6th and 8th centuries. East Slavs settled on the territory of present-day Belarus and Ukraine, assimilating local Baltic, Finno-Ugric and steppe nomads living there, their early ethnic integrations contributed to the gradual differentiation of the three East Slavic nations; these East Slavs, a pagan, agrarian people, had an economy which included trade in agricultural produce, furs, honey and amber.

The modern Belarusian ethnos was formed on the basis of the three Slavic tribes — Kryvians, Radzimians as well as several Baltic tribes. During the 9th and 10th centuries, Scandinavian Vikings established trade posts on the way from Scandinavia to the Byzantine Empire; the network of lakes and rivers crossing East Slav territory provided a lucrative trade route between the two civilizations. In the course of trade, they took sovereignty over the tribes of East Slavs, at least to the point required by improvements in trade; the Rus' rulers invaded the Byzantine Empire on few occasions, but they allied against the Bulgars. The condition underlying this alliance was to open the country for Christianization and acculturation from the Byzantine Empire; the common cultural bond of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and written Church Slavonic fostered the emergence of a new geopolitical entity, Kievan Rus' — a loose-knit multi-ethnic network of principalities, established along preexisting trade routes, with major centers in Novgorod and Kiev — which claimed a sometimes precarious preeminence among them.

Between the 9th and 12th centuries, the Principality of Polotsk emerged as the dominant center of power on Belarusian territory, with a lesser role played by the Principality of Turaŭ in the south. It asserted its sovereignty in relation to other centers of Rus', becoming a political capital, the episcopal see of a bishopric and the controller of vassal territories among Balts in the west; the city's Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom, though rebuilt over the years, remains a symbol of this independent-mindedness, rivaling churches of the same name in Novgorod and Kiev, referring to the original Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Cultural achievements of the Polatsk period include the work of the nun Euphrosyne of Polatsk, who built monasteries, transcribed books, promoted literacy and sponsored art, the prolific, original Church Slavonic sermons and writings of Bishop Cyril of Turau. In the 13th century, the fragile unity of Kievan Rus' disintegrated due to nomadic incursions from Asia, which climaxed with the Mongol sacking of Kiev, leaving a geopolitical vacuum in the region.

The East Slavs splintered into a number of competing principalities. Due to military conquest and dynastic marriages the West Ruthenian principalities were acquired by the expanding Grand Duchy of Lithuania, beginning with the rule of Lithuanian King Mindaugas. From the 13th to 15th century and Slavic lands were consolidated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, with its initial capital unknown, but which could have been either Voruta, Kernavė, Trakai or Vilnius. Since the 14th century, Vilnius had been the only official capital of the state; the Lithuanians' smaller numbers in this medieval state gave the Ruthenians an important role in the everyday cultural life of the state. Owing to the prevalence of East Slavs and the Eastern Orthodox faith among the population in eastern and southern regions of the state, the Ruthenian language was a used colloquial language. An East Slavic variety influenced by Polish, was the language of administration in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at least since Vytautas' reign until the late 17th century when it was replaced by Polish language.

This period of political breakdown and reorganization saw the rise of written local vernaculars in place of the literary and liturgical Church Slavonic language, a further stage in the evolving differentiation between the Belarusian and Ukrainian languages. Several Lithuanian monarchs — the last being Švitrigaila in 1432–36 — relied on the Eastern Orthodox Ruthenian majority, while most monarchs and magnates came to reflect the opinions of the Roman Catholics. Construction of Orthodox churches in some parts of present-day Belarus had been prohibited, as was the case of Vitebsk in 1480. On the other hand, further unification of the Orthodox, Grand Duchy with Catholic Poland led to liberalization and partial solving of the religious problem. In 1511, King and Grand Duke Sigismund I the Old granted the Orthod


The Nassophorea are a class of ciliates. Members are free-living in freshwater but in marine and soil environments; the mouth is anterior ventral and leads to a curved cytopharynx supported by a prominent palisade of rods or nematodesmata, forming a structure called a cyrtos or nasse, typical of this and a few other classes. When present, extrusomes take the form of fibrous trichocysts. Cilia are monokinetids, but vary from order to order; the Synhymeniida and Nassulida have uniform cilia arising from monokinetids. Among the former, a few members of the latter, there is a series of small polykinetids running from below the mouth to the left side of the body and sometimes circling the cell, called a frange or synhymenium. Other forms only have three oral membranelles, sometimes extending out of the oral cavity, with or without a paroral membrane; these are medium in size, sometimes larger, cylinder shaped. The Microthoracida have three or more oral membranelles, with at least a vestige of the paroral membrane occurring during cell division.

The body cilia are sparse, arise from dikinetids, with cirrus-like polykinetids occurring in the marine genus Discotricha. These are small and ellipsoid or crescent shaped, with the right side of the body curved outward, have a rigid pellicle; as first defined by Eugene Small and Denis Lynn in 1981, the Nassophorea included the peniculids and, in a separate subclass, the hypotrichs. More recent schemes restore these to their earlier positions, leaving this group a small collection of less well-known forms

Raymond L. Haight

Raymond LeRoy Haight was an American lawyer and politician from California. Involved in the Republican and Commonwealth-Progressive parties, Haight ran as a third party candidate during the 1934 California gubernatorial election. Haight was born in California to George Haight and Isabella Hawkins. Haight's grandfather's first cousin was Henry Huntly Haight, the Governor of California from 1867 to 1871. Haight was related to Henry Haight, a prominent pioneer and San Francisco banker during the California Gold Rush. Haight was educated in law at the University of Southern California, editing the Daily Trojan for a year between 1918 and 1919. Following graduation, Haight entered a Los Angeles-based law practice, gained a reputation with corporate investigations. In the 1934 California gubernatorial election, Haight campaigned for the Republican nomination, gaining 85,000 votes. Haight lost to Frank Merriam, installed as governor following the death of James Rolph. Haight continued to pursue the governorship, gaining the crossed Commonwealth-Progressive Party's nomination, running against the right-wing leaning Merriam, against former Socialist Party of America member and still self-avowed socialist, author Upton Sinclair, the Democratic Party candidate.

During the campaign, there was discussion during amongst Democratic supporters, including A. P. Giannini, of asking Sinclair to leave the race in favor of Haight, due to belief that Haight's moderate politics and unassociation with socialism would stand better against Merriam's conservatism. Sinclair, disapproved. Haight campaigned as a centrist between the right Merriam and the left Sinclair, seeping support from voters dissatisfied with both candidates. Haight garnered 13 % of the vote. Much of Haight's voting strength came from the San Joaquin Valley, where farmers were hostile to Sinclair's End Poverty in California scheme to take over so-called'idle farms'. With 13% of the vote, Haight arguably spoiled Sinclair's chances for the governorship. Haight would unsuccessfully run again as a Progressive in the 1938 election, though he would never garner the same support as he did in 1934. Haight returned to law, rejoined Republican ranks, he served as a delegate to the 1944 Republican National Convention in Chicago.

Haight died in San Diego on September 2, 1947