Wielkie posiadłości ziemskie w Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodów i ich wpływ na dzisiejsze środowisko antropogeniczne
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The heritage of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of Both Nations exerts until today an influence on the shape of the geographical environment of Poland and her eastern neighbours, this fact often not being noticed. A particularly strong imprint on the development of spatial structures results from the existence and functioning of the large feudal property. In the period of the Commonwealth, given the far-reaching decentralisation of authority in the country, such large landed properties enjoyed broad judicial and administrative, as well as economic autonomy. Their position and separate character were in many cases strengthened through the status of principality, entail or county. Under several aspects they reminded of the duchies existing at more or less the same time in the German Reich. Liquidation of the Commonwealth in 1795 brought limitations to the autonomy of the landed estates within the framework of the occupying powers, Russia, Prussia and Austria. They continued, though, to fulfil important administrative, cultural and economic functions. Until peasants were affranchised the landed estates had been the primary organiser of economic life and local administration on rural areas. After the affranchising acts the estates shrunk to the manor farms, employing farmhands, but they still played an essential socio-economic role. Their importance was particularly high under the Prussian occupation, where affranchising had limited dimensions, leaving in the hands of the manor farm owners a significant part of the estate from before (the Prussian way toward the capitalism in farming). In the course of introduction of the socialist system after the World War II, the majority of the landed estates and manor farms were transformed into the state farms, which dominated the landscape of the Polish countryside in many areas of the country. In view of the earlier situation in Prussia, this concerned in a particular manner the western part of the country. At the same time, the peasant family farms functioned, belonging to the successors of the affranchised peasants. Within the framework of the socialist system this sector was subject, as well, to supervision of the state administration and was included in the mechanisms of the socialist economy (e.g. obligatory supplies). Lack of civic tradition, which was especially perceptible on the areas of the former Russian occupation, and was, generally, a far-reaching consequence of the feudal serfdom, was definitely conducive to the introduction of this socialist variety of paternalism. It cannot be excluded that the heritage of feudalism was one of the more important factors facilitating the strengthening of the communist rule in Poland and in the neighbouring countries. The continuity of tradition of the separate socio-economic development of the individual landed estates exerted also influence on the development of characteristic cultural features, leading, in particular, to appearance of the distinct ethnographic groups, and to the development of a separate local and regional awareness. The autonomy of the owners of large estates in terms of religion in the times of the Commonwealth, brought about the differentiated denominational landscape on certain areas. The most striking reflection of these processes is constituted by the community of the Reformed Evangelicals, persisting until today, which developed in the northern part of Lithuania, in the Birże estate of the Protestant line of Radziwiłł family. The administrative separation of the large estates, functioning in many cases in an unchanged territorial form for several centuries, shaped also other elements of the contemporary socio-economic landscape. In the 19th century the landed estates and their internal divisions became the basis for development of the modern territorialadministrative division of the country. The traces of these organisational solutions can still be perceived today, first of all in the form of the courses of boundaries of villages, municipalities and counties. Sometimes the existence of the large scale estates (like, e.g., the Zamoyski Entail) influenced the territorial shape of the present-day administrative provinces. The thus described role and significance of the large landed estates allows for considering them as an essential and characteristic element of the political and systemic, as well as socio-economic, order of the Commonwealth, exerting an influence through the consequences of its existence also on the contemporary forms of geographical environment.Artykuł podkreśla znaczenie wielkich posiadłości ziemskich w ramach systemu polityczno-ustrojowego i społeczno-gospodarczego Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodów. Zwrócono również uwagę na utrzymujące się przez stulecia antropogeniczne formy przestrzenne, będące efektem szczególnie silnego oddziaływania wielkich posiadłości na kształt życia społeczno-gospodarczego. Wpływ ten można dziś dostrzec w sposobie zagospodarowania przestrzeni oraz w formach i przebiegu licznych zjawiskach o charakterze politycznym, kulturowym i gospodarczym w Polsce oraz u jej wschodnich sąsiadów.
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