Taxonomies of Slavic Identity

Through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, encyclopedia entries for “Slavs” or “Slavic Languages” have typically given a taxonomy of Slavic national or national-linguistic identities.  The identity categories listed on such taxonomies change as various national movements win recognition from interested international public opinion.  So by schematizing and comparing encyclopedia, the chronological development of different national movements becomes empirically possible.  The Russian, Czech, Bulgarian and Polish categories are almost always present in such taxonomies, Belarussian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Macedonian and Slovenian win recognition within the last two hundred years.  Serbs and Croats undergo a series of complicated redefinitions which have not yet solidified.  This comparison also illustrates that national movements win popular recognition before state-formation, and that a given national movement can switch names while retaining essentially the same content, as for example when ‘Bohemians’ became Czechs or ‘Little Russians’ and ‘Ruthenians’ became Ukrainians.