Dlaczego razem? Uwagi o relacjach między geograficzno-historyczną i geograficzno-polityczną perspektywą metodologiczną i poznawczą
As some has attempted to prove, both “titular” disciplines have different origins. They differ in their development trends and, thus, in the contents, scope and place in the system of sciences. However, different paths of development do not preclude them from tackling the same issues, especially considering that historical geography and political geography both refer, the former in a literal sense, to the unique bond between history and geography. Specific topics, that may seem familiar to both disciplines today, were discussed as far back as the 18th century, when political geography was still defining its identity and attempting to become a valid subject of geography. However, in the case of this discipline, its interests shared with its historical counterpart (concerning such issues as heraldry and toponymy) were mostly incidental and marginal. On the other hand, the issue of territorial divisions (nations, regions, borders), described by historians (or historical geographers) as “historical and political landscapes”, was discussed by both geographies since the very beginning. The main difference between the two – geo- -political and geo-historical – approaches was the temporal perspective they assumed. While the present was most important for political geography, historical geography was more concerned with “former territorial divisions” (thus the term “historical and political landscapes” is apt). Each of the disciplines also treated the research subject differently. Political geography considered “the area described by borders and characterised by some organisation, i.e. above all a state” or region as central, while historical geography acknowledged its importance as one of many elements, apart from the transformed (cultural) environment, settlement, elementary disasters, formed communication network, the history of geographical horizons, toponymy and historical cartography, while referring it, as mentioned earlier, the reconstructed image of the past. With the development of the methodological foundations of both sciences, the belief that “what is today includes what was yesterday, so in order to understand the presence, we have to study the past” grew. This reflection was aided by the deepening relations between historical geography and anthropogeography, which influenced not only the expansion of tasks of the former, but also lead to the inclusion of the “historical element” in the scope of geo-political discussion. Reaching into the past to reveal spatial differences and similarities of a political nature, more and more boldly practised by political geography, was also caused by the references to human history (human “fate”) construed in the spirit of mechanistic determinism, as well as the changes in the political map of the world at the break of 19th and 20th centuries. As their eyewitness, political geography could not close itself in a narrow, quickly dating formula of the present. The explanation of interrelations between political entities and their physical-geographical surrounding attempted at the time required constant references to the historical context. The contemporary political map was quickly becoming, if we can paraphrase Barbag, a strictly historical map. The practice of reaching into the past to interpret contemporary phenomena and political systems caused the historical context to become an immanent element of political geography. The discipline was becoming more and more bold in interpreting the political map and the territorial characteristics of political formation and development of states and regions, not only in the presence, but also in the future. This research field saw the formation – in reference to the bond between history and geography – of a unique relationship between historical geography and political geography. Significantly, by exposing the past, political geography sometimes lost view of the presence, i.e. the element that defined its existence and distinguished it from historical geography. Thus, we can say that M. Kulesza (2009) was right when he observed, as mentioned above, that the development of political geography after World War II and, especially in the 1990s, resulted in the “internal” expansion and the emergence of new research fields, which was caused by, among other things, taking some of them from historical geography.W artykule dokonano uzasadnienia tytułowego powiązania geografii politycznej i historycznej. W tym celu przeprowadzono analizę relacji między obiema dyscyplinami, podejmującą kwestie ich genezy, kierunków rozwojowych, treści, zakresu i miejsca w systemie nauk, a także ustanowienia ram organizacyjnych dla rozwoju tych dyscyplin w łódzkim ośrodku geograficznym.
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