Norman Davies argues that the great divide in Polish intellectual life has been between the ‘romantic-insurrectionary-idealist camp’ on the one side and the ‘positivist-conciliatory-realist camp’ on the other. Polish positivism, following the ideas of Comte and Spencer, was concerned with ways to make Poland stronger and, over time, ready for an independent statehood. For romantics, this approach was too fainthearted and conciliatory, prompting them to demand immediate action. This omnipresent intellectual divide also reflected, as so often happens, generational differences; in Poland, the Romantics dominated roughly between 1830-64 and again after 1905, while the positivist generation was ascendant between 1864-1905 (Davies 2001: 179-86).