The present article analyses the evolution of fascinating, though poorly known projects of bringing into being an autonomous enclave or even 'Jewish country' as a method of settling the so-called Jewish question in the Polish Kingdom in the first years of its existence. The author proves that the evolution of the projects in question forms a more general direction in which the reflection upon so-called Jewish question developed among opinion-forming communities in the last years of the Polish Enlightenment: from the first reformers' inclusive attitudes, then Stanislaw Staszic and Wincenty Krasinski's growing anti-Jewish obsession, and lastly to projects of permanent exile of the Jews from the Polish Kingdom propagated by Gerard Witowski and his followers. At the heart of the plans which dominated up to the 1820s and were vivid to the first half of 20th century was separation, i.e. a strive to dispose of the Jewish people being a radical way to solve all the pressing problems of the Polish society. Seen from this perspective, the plans under consideration expressed in the most spectacular way the transition of the Enlightenment ideology from the idea of integration to the idea of separation, which, consequently, must be regarded as the most characteristic of general ideological tendencies and attitudes of Polish late Enlightenment politicians toward Jewish people and towards reforms of their society.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.