The article deals with the first twenty years of the existence of 'Przeglad Historyczny' (Historical Review) and the connections between this periodical and the Polish so–called historical schools of the time. The author recalls the division within Polish historiography into two main schools dating back to the second half of the nineteenth century, and the prime object of the controversy raging between them - the reasons for the fall of the Polish state at the end of the eighteenth century. Representatives of the school known as Cracow or pessimistic sought the causes of Poland's in the 'national character' of the Poles, especially the absence of a 'political instinct' which produced a weak state. They also postulated a change of character so that in the future the Polish nation could regain its political independence. The supporters of the so–called Warsaw school, known as optimistic, stressed that prior to its fall Poland had entered a path of reforms and rapid modernisation (the Third May Constitution) and that the reason for its collapse lays in aggression on the part of Russia, Prussia and Austria. This view implicated the thesis that the Polish nation was, and is capable of living in its own independent state. At the time of the emergence of 'Przeglad Historyczny' (1905) the majority of the researchers who had created those schools was either no longer living or, owing to their advanced age, was not involved in active scientific work; the prevailing current in historiography was 'optimistic'. This fact together with the location of the editorial board of 'Przeglad' in Warsaw, the leading centre of the 'optimists', was why the periodical was strongly connected with the Warsaw school although it actually did not issue any of its manifestos. The author stressed that despite its connections with the 'optimists' 'Przeglad Historyczny' was never closed to representatives of the other historical schools, as evidenced by the publication of an article by Stanislaw Smolka (1905), the youngest among the eminent representatives of the Cracow school.
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