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History DerailedCentral and Eastern Europe in the Long Nineteenth Century$
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Ivan Berend

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520232990

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520232990.001.0001

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The Emerging West as an Ideal and Model for the East

(p.1) Introduction
History Derailed

Ivan T. Berend

University of California Press

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”.

Keywords:   Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northwestern Europe, Western Europe, elite, political thinkers

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