This study focuses on the conflicting aims and deeds of the Russian government and Polish nationally-minded student youth in the situation which emerged after the closure of the universities of Warsaw and Wilno (Vilnius) in 1832. Thousands of Poles studied in Russian universities, constituting a considerable proportion of the whole student body. The Poles formed conspiracies, student unions and study circles. Their relations with Russian fellow students entailed both enmity and co-operation. Apart from analyzing the question what it meant for students to be a Pole, the book reveals secret disagreements between government politicians concerning the Polish question at the universities.
Keywords: students, nationalism, Polish, Russia, 19th century, national identity, universities, higher education