The Emerging West as an Ideal and Model for the East
In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the Central and Eastern European elite, national prophet-poets, intellectuals, and enlightened aristocrats, looked to the West with the greatest admiration. From the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth, a series of Central and Eastern European political thinkers, poets, statesmen, and reformers closely watched the ideas and transformation of Western Europe. Most of the reform-oriented Central and Eastern European elite were convinced that the rise, the “century-long experience,” of Northwestern Europe offered a model to follow. They would have to educate themselves, set goals, implement the needed reforms, build the required institutions, and “adopt the norms of European life”.
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