Austro-Russian borderlands

In the aftermath of the First Partition of Poland in 1772 a new border was drawn in a region that had formerly been shaped by the social and economic structures of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Studying the economic, social and political processes in three pairs of border towns, this project analyses the consequences of the partitions on the Austro-Polish and Austro-Russian borderlands.  The towns investigated in this micro-study are Brody – Radyvyliv, Pidvoločisk – Voločisk, and Austrian Husjatyn – Russian Husjatyn. Owing to their location at the very border, they followed similar urban development patterns on the one hand. On the other, however, being part of two competing empires, the political conditions varied considerably. Our focus is on the cross-country and cross-city interaction. We look at mechanisms of border control, trading conditions, contraband, pilgrimages and deserters. The time range of this project are the roughly 150 years between the creation of the border in 1772 and its forcible disintegration in the course of the First World War.

See our project’s main publication: Paulus Adelsgruber, Laurie Cohen, Börries Kuzmany: Getrennt und doch verbunden. Grenzstädte zwischen Österreich und Russland. 1772-1918. [Separated Yet Linked. Border Towns Between Austria and Russia, 1772-1918] Vienna, Cologne, Weimar: Böhlau, 2011.

See also the conference programme of the workshop I co-organised “Grenzräume der Habsburgermonarchie” (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Haus der Geschichte Österreich, 22 November 2016).