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By A. C. Hepburn (auth.)

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Religion is probably the best objective guide available to us, bearing in mind once more that Protestants tended to be more or less exclusively German-speakers or other westerners, while Catholicism was a strong, but less precise indicator of Polish or Kashubian linguistic identity. 2 shows a relative increase in the Catholic minority population from the 1790s to 1821, and then a reversal of this trend in the next generation. 6 Total population 37,462 55,370 58,280 70,000 162,000 Source: Cies´lak:321, 355; Tighe:49 Polish-speaking areas.

The annexation by Brandenburg-Prussia in 1772 of all Royal Prussia except the cities of Danzig and Thorn further aggravated this relationship. The burghers were no more willing to surrender their privileges to a Polish rump-state, which was now desperately attempting to centralise, than they had been in easier times. In Thorn it was declared that anyone appointed to the city council must be ‘at least of the German nation’, yet it was to Russia and England rather than Brandenburg that the two cities looked for allies.

Religion is a less reliable ethnic indicator in this case, but the Catholic proportion of the city’s growing population rose from 26 per cent to 39 per cent during the first half of the century (Davies & Moorhouse:250, 375, 244–45). This was primarily at the relative expense of Protestants, for the Jewish population remained at around 1 per cent until the later nineteenth century, when in rose to around 7 per cent. Throughout the nineteenth century regional dialects of both German and Polish continued to thrive, at a literary as well as a popular level.

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