Polonisation and all that, or religious identity and cultural change in Ruthenia: the Union of Lublin and the myths of "polonisation"
Section: Studies in Special Historical Disciplines
Abstract: The article presents a review of an obsolete historiographic statement saying that an ultimate aftermath of the Union of Lublin signed in Poland in 1569, which caused the incorporation of Ukrainian lands of Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Poland, was the forced polonisation of Orthodox people. As way of replacement for this oversimplified scheme, grounded on Ukrainian populist historiography of the 19th ct., complemented with the elements of Polish nationalistic and Russian imperial historiographic traditions, the author presents a new model, based on an assimilation formula. According to the formula, Orthodox szlachta people conversion to Protestantism and later to Catholicism initiated their loss of self-identification with Ukraine-Ruthenia cultural space. The process intensified as the Orthodox Church lost its legitimate status after the Church Union of Brest of 1596 and finished with an ultimate merger of this social group with the Polish Catholic elite in the early 17th century
Keywords: historiography, Union of Lublin of 1569, Church Union of Brest of 1596, polonisation, religious conversion, self-identification