Subject and Keywords:
An analysis of the phenomena which occurred in the administrative, economic, social, ethnic and cultural spheres, as well as in respect of the self-identification and identity of inhabitants has demonstrated what a complex region Silesia was under the Habsburgs. Administratively, it was highly fragmented, it possessed an expansive network of government offices, and was economically, ethnically, linguistically and religiously diverse. The beginning of the 17th century constituted a significant turning point. The eruption of the Thirty Years’ War led to deep social transformations, altered the religious situation, and generated serious economic consequences. The first half of the 17th century also bore fruit in the form of new cultural and artistic phenomena. Baroque came to Silesia, stimulating the birth of a new artistic and aesthetic movement of European quality, visible in literature, architecture and the visual arts. It should also be stated that during the entire period under analysis, when compared to conditions before 1526, the region’s integration and cohesion became stronger and more entrenched. From the turn of the 15th and 16th centuries, Silesia’s inhabitants also began feeling a stronger sense of identification with the region. This picture was not transformed by tendencies towards disintegration associated with religious conflicts, but rather by the coexistence of diverse ethnic, linguistic and social groups.