What mark did the uprising of Kastus Kalinouski leave in world history? Did it put an end to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or give birth to Belarus? Belarusian and Polish historians have met in Hrodna to satisfy these questions.
In the frames of conference “The 1863 uprising in Hrodna region: in research studies and peoples’ memory” held on May 25-26 scholarly dispute “1863: end of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or uprise of Belarus” and round table for local historians “ The memory of the 1863 uprising in Hrodna region: the way we pay tribute to heroes” took place.
According to the organisers, the main conclusion made by the participants is that the uprising … saved the United States of America.
It is commonly known that it is during the period of 1861 – 1865 when the War between the States lasted. Great Britain was to send its fleet to support the South but suddenly the uprising in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth flared up. The British Crown might not have been very concerned over developments in this part of Europe but French Emperor Napoleon the Third voiced his support of the insurgents.
Complexities in the Franco-British relations have become proverbial; that is why Great Britain took a decision to put off sending its fleet to North America and sit tight. But after the Russian troops squashed the rebellion there was no need in British marine support: the victory of the North became merely a question of time.
“The conclusion is bold enough but who knows maybe that is the very case where Belarusians and Poles did affect the present-day state of things on the international stage,” the organisers stress.