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Eastern Europe: medieval era colonizations and reclamation of land

Migration A–Z

E

  1. Christian Lübke

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm189

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Lübke, C. 2013. Eastern Europe: medieval era colonizations and reclamation of land. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

While medieval colonization was controversial in Eastern Europe for a long time, it also built a rich heritage. It was rather a question of national pride concerning the cultural improvements that revolutionized social and economic life from the second half of the 12th century. The main reason for the national struggles of the 19th and 20th centuries is related to the seemingly dominating role of the Germans in these processes, which were frequently traced to the immigration of settlers from the west and to the import and spread of the German law (ius Teutonicum). This historic phenomenon was frequently used – and abused – as an argument in fights amongst the Germans for political ascendancy over lands which were populated mostly by Slavs from the early Middle Ages, and then predominantly by Poles in modern times. The debates began in the middle of the 19th century and soon seized the public's attention (Hackmann & Lübke 2002). Generally speaking, the Germans staked a claim for their ancestors having acted as the transmitters of culture, and the Slavs (and other ethnicities) were compelled to accept the beneficial effects of their arrival. But neighbors of the Germans, like the Poles and the Czechs, rejected their assertions and minimized or totally ignored their alleged merits. As a result, autochthonous development became the basis of regional colonization.

Keywords:

  • cultural diversity;
  • empire;
  • archaeology;
  • food;
  • political economy;
  • cross-cultural;
  • rights