Reclus, Jean-Jacques Elisée

Reclus, Jean-Jacques Elisée, b 15 March 1830 in Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde, France, d 4 July 1905 in Turnhout, Belgium. French geographer and political theorist. A graduate of Brussels University and a member of the First International (see Socialist International) from 1865, he was exiled permanently from France in 1871 because of his involvement in the Paris Commune. He lived in Italy, Switzerland, and Belgium, where he taught in universities. His major scholarly work was the 19-volume Nouvelle géographie universelle (1876–94). In the fifth volume a substantial section with the heading ‘Russia in Europe’ dealt with Ukraine. Reclus recognized Ukraine as a distinct geographical and historical entity. Much of his information about Ukraine was derived from the writings of Mykhailo Drahomanov, whom he knew personally.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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