This article presents the history of Belarusian national development in the light of Miroslav Hroch’s theory and demonstrates how the initial process of national awakening typical for small nations in eastern and central Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century described by M. Hroch continued under Soviet rule after the Bolshevik revolution. Changes which were brought to Belarusian society together with socialist modernization in the Soviet state constituted “Phase D” (a term coined by Terry Martin) in Belarusian nation-building. As the history of Belarusian nation-formation illustrates, Hroch’s scheme of three phases of national movements within small nations ignored a specific mode of small nations’ development in a multiethnic state and within the socialist formation. At the same time, the question about the status of the Soviet era’s achievements in Belarusian national development appears to be an important issue for understanding the current political development in the country.
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