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Encyclopedia > Potemkin village

Potemkin villages were, purportedly, fake settlements erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787. Conventional wisdom has it that Potemkin, who led the Crimean military campaign, had hollow facades of villages constructed along the desolate banks of the Dnieper River in order to impress the monarch and her travel party with the value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in the empress's eyes. Forgery is the process of making or adapting objects or documents (see false document), with the intention to deceive. ... A hamlet is (usually — see below) a small settlement, too small or unimportant to be considered a village. ... Prince Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin (Russian: Григорий Александрович Потемкин) (September 13, 1739 (NS: September 24) – October 5, 1791 (NS: October 16)) was a Russian... Catherine the Great redirects here. ... Motto: Процветание в единстве - Prosperity in unity Anthem: Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина - Your fields and mounts are wonderful, Motherland Location of Crimea (red) on the map of Ukraine. ... Year 1787 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Conventional wisdom is a term coined by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, used to describe certain ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public. ... The Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792 was a futile attempt by the Ottoman Empire to regain lands lost to Russia in the course of the Russo-Turkish War, 1768-1774. ... West facade of the Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral A facade (or façade) (Pronounced fa-sa-de) is generally the exterior of a building — especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. ... The Dnieper River (also known as: Dnepr, Dniapro, or Dnipro) is a river which flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, ending its flow in the Black Sea. ...

Contents

Modern view

Modern historians consider this scenario of self-serving deception to be, at best, an exaggeration, and quite possibly simply malicious rumors spread by Potemkin's opponents.[citation needed] Potemkin did mount efforts to develop the Crimea and probably directed peasants to spruce up the riverfront in advance of the party bringing the empress by boat to the Crimea. But the tale of elaborate, fake settlements, the glowing fires of which were designed to comfort the monarch and her entourage as they surveyed the barren territory at night, is largely fiction.[citation needed] Potemkin had in fact directed the building of fortresses, ships of the line, and thriving settlements, and the tour – which saw real and significant accomplishments – solidified his power. An historian is someone who writes history, a written accounting of the past. ... Look up rumour in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In a detail of Brueghels Land of Cockaigne (1567) a soft-boiled egg has little feet to rush to the luxuriating peasant who catches drops of honey on his tongue, while roast pigs roam wild: in fact, hunger and harsh winters were realities for the average European in the... Table of Fortification, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... Ships of the line were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-rated ships in the rating system of the Royal Navy. ...


So, while "Potemkin village" has come to mean, especially in a political context, any hollow or false construct, physical or figurative, meant to hide an undesirable or potentially damaging situation; in fact, there appears to have been no such thing.[citation needed] Politics is the process by which groups make decisions. ...


"Potemkin village" has also frequently been used to describe the attempts of the Soviet government to fool foreign visitors. The government would take such visitors, who were often already sympathetic to socialism or communism, to select villages, factories, schools, stores, or neighborhoods and present them as if they were typical, rather than exceptional. Given the strict limitations on the movement of foreigners in the USSR, it was often impossible for these visitors to see any other examples. [1]


This practice was certainly not confined to the Soviet Union, but rather has been common in "currently socialist countries." "The Big Fish" is a famous story from People's Republic of China which deals with the visit in the early 1970s of foreigners to an urban market Potemkin Village (Chen: 135-150). This article is about a form of government in which the state operates under the control of a Communist Party. ...


Minutiae

Curiously, the term "Potemkin village" is almost never spelled "Potëmkin village," using the Russian letter called "Yo," nor is it ever pronounced "Potyomkin." Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin did spell his name with the "Yo." Russian usage of this letter varied. His Serene Highness Prince Potemkin of Tauride Knyaz Grigori Alexandrovich Potyomkin (Potemkin) (Russian: Григо́рий Алекса́ндрович Потёмкин) (September 13, 1739 (NS: September 24) – October 5, 1791 (NS: October 16)) was a Russian general-field marshal, statesman, and favorite of Catherine II the Great. ...


Examples of Potemkin villages

And who can forget the scene from Mel Blanc's "Blazing Saddles"? Gijeong-dong (Peace Village) sometimes romanized as Kichong-dong; is a village in North Korea (known in South Korea as Propaganda village), and is situated 1 mile from the South Korean village of Daeseong-dong (which is the only inhabited village in the southern side of the Korean Demilitarized Zone). ... Map of Germany, location of Trinwillershagen Map of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, detail: Trinwillershagen Trinwillershagen is a village in the North of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany. ... GDR redirects here. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... For other uses, see Sheffield (disambiguation). ... Combatants United Kingdom Including combatants from:[1] Poland New Zealand Canada Czechoslovakia Belgium Australia South Africa France Ireland United States Jamaica Palestine Rhodesia Germany Including combatants from Italy Commanders Hugh Dowding Hermann Göring Strength 754 single-seat fighters 149 two-seat fighters 560 bombers 500 coastal 1,963 total... One aspect of the Manchurian Incident (January 1931) was an engagement of the Imperial Japanese Army with Chinese forces. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ...


Term used in legal system

The term "Potemkin village" is also often used by judges, especially members of a multiple-judge panel who dissent from the majority's opinion on a particular matter, to describe an inaccurate or tortured interpretation and/or application of a particular legal doctrine to the specific facts at issue. Use of the term is meant to imply that the reasons espoused by the panel's majority in support of its decision are not based on accurate or sound law and their restrictive application is merely a masquerade for the court's desire to avoid a difficult decision. Often, the dissent will attempt to reveal the majority's adherence to the restrictive principle at issue as being an inappropriate function for a court, reasoning that the decision transgresses the limits of traditional adjudication because the resolution of the case will effectively create an important and far-reaching policy decision, which the legislature would be the better equipped and more appropriate entity to address. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Legal Doctrine is a framework, set of rules, or procedural steps, often established through precedence in the common law, through which judgments can be determined in a given legal case. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... A dissenting opinion is an opinion of one or more judges in an appellate court expressing disagreement with the majority opinion. ... Adjudication is the legal process by which a arbiter or judge reviews evidence and argumentation including legal reasoning set forth by opposing parties or litigants to come to a decision which determines rights and obligations between the parties involved. ...


For example, in the U.S. Supreme Court abortion case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v Casey, 505 US 833, 966 (1992) Chief Justice Rehnquist said that "Roe v Wade stands as a sort of judicial Potemkin Village, which may be pointed out to passers-by as a monument to the importance of adhering to precedent". William H. Rehnquist has served as the Chief Justice of the United States since 1986. ...


Related terms

Sometimes, instead of the full phrase, just "Potemkin" is used, as an adjective. For example, "Potemkin Court", "Potemkin Security". The meaning of "Potemkin Court" seems distinct from kangaroo court in that the court's reason to exist is being called into question, not its standard of justice. The use of trees to screen a clearcut from a highway has been called a "Potemkin Forest." Look up kangaroo court in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Political example

In Frank Rich's 2006 book, "The Greatest Story Ever Sold," he likens the George W. Bush administration's efforts to create fake favorable news stories about the progress of the Iraq War, both in the United States and in Iraq, as a "Potemkin Village."


See also

H.I.M. Ekaterina II Aleksejevna the Great, Empress and Autocrat of all the Russias The flamboyant and non-trivial character of the Russian Empress Catherine II of Russia as well as the dramatic changes the country underwent under her long rule gave rise to many urban myths, most putting... Novorossiya (Russian: , literally New Russia) is a historic area now mostly located in southern Ukraine, and partially in southern Russia. ... Potemkin City Limits is the fifth album by the punk rock band Propagandhi, released on October 18, 2005. ... Propagandhi is a political punk rock/hardcore punk band formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1986 by Chris Hannah and Jord Samolesky. ...

References

  • Chen Jo-hsi. (1978). The Execution of Mayor Yin and Other Stories from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-12475-1
  • EircomTribunal, "2003 Potemkin Village Award," EircomTribunal.com, [2]
  • Goldberg, Jonah. "Potemkin Village in Cuba: Let's make one of our own", National Review, April 19, 2000. [3]
  • Katchanovski, Ivan and Todd La Porte. "Cyberdemocracy or Potemkin E-Villages? Electronic Governments in OECD and Post-Communist Countries," International Journal of Public Administration, Volume 28, Number 7-8, July 2005. [verification needed]
  • Ledeen, Michael. "Potemkin WMDs? Really?", National Review, February 2, 2004 [4]
  • Love and Conquest: Personal Correspondence of Catherine the Great and Prince Grigory Potemkin ISBN 0-87580-324-5 (edited and translated from the Russian by Douglas Smith)
  • Potemkin Court as a description of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (from the Washington Post)
  • Potemkin Parliament as a description of the European Parliament (from the New Statesman, Sept 20 2004)
  • Sullivan, Kevin. "Borderline Absurdity", Washington Post, January 11, 1998.
  • Buchan, James. "Potemkin democracy" as a description of Russia. "New Statesman", July 17, 2006

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is a secret U.S. court composed of eleven federal judges, established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978), and expanded by the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. ... The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary body of the European Union. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Potemkin village: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (786 words)
Potemkin villages were, purportedly, fake settlements erected at the direction of Russian minister Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin to fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to Crimea in 1787.
Conventional wisdom has it that Potemkin, who led the Crimean military campaign, had hollow facades of villages constructed along the desolate banks of the Dnieper River in order to impress the monarch and her travel party with the value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in the empress's eyes.
The term "Potemkin village" is also often used by judges, especially judges who dissent from the majority's opinion on a particular matter, to describe an inaccurate or tortured interpretation and/or application of a particular legal doctrine to the specific facts at issue.
Grigori Alexandrovich Potemkin: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (1413 words)
The allegation that he had sham villages (“Potemkin villages”) built along her route is, at best, an extreme exaggeration, for Potemkin was in fact an able administrator, and he did much to develop the Crimea.
Potemkin became a favorite of the tsarina; he received many awards, and was given the highest posts.
In 1776, at Catherine's request, the Emperor Joseph II raised Potemkin to the rank of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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