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Chapter 20

This webpage reproduces a chapter of


History of the Ukraine
By Dmytro Doroshenko

printed by
The Institute Press, Ltd.
Edmonton, Alberta,
1939

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Chapter 22

 p405  Chapter XXI

 * * * *

(The numbers link directly to the sections.)

(131) Policy of Russian Government Towards the Ukraine After the Catastrophe of Poltava. (132) Demoralization of Cossack Officers. (133) Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky. (134) Works on Canals. (135) Ruin of Ukrainian Foreign Trade. (136) "Little Russian" Board (Collegium). (137) Hetman Paul Polubotok. (138) New Course of Policy Towards the Ukraine in the Reign of Peter II. (139) Hetman Daniel Apostol.

 * * * *

131. Policy of Russian Government Towards the Ukraine After the Catastrophe of Poltava.

In accordance with the Treaty of Pruth and also in consequence of an understanding with Poland, Tsar Peter definitely renounced all pretensions to the Ukraine of the Right Bank. The rest of the population was transferred to the Left Bank or Slobidska Ukraine, the fortress of Bila Tserkva was returned to Poland and the Russian army evacuated the Right Bank of the Dnieper. In spite of all endeavors of Charles XII and Orlik, Turkey was not to be persuaded into a fresh war with Russia and peace among the two powers lasted for at least twenty-five years. The Zaporogian Cossacks accepted the protectorate of the Crimean Khan and transferred their camp, the Sich, lower down the river at the Dnieper's mouth, near the present town of Kherson. Their position was very hard. Cut off from their country, put under the protectorate of their old enemy, the Tatars, they felt their position very keenly. They suffered materially, especially under the prohibition of trade with the Ukraine, and Tsar Peter strictly ordered the Ukrainian population not to have any relations with the Zaporogian Cossacks. The Zaporogians were not allowed to approach the frontier, arms being used against them. Thus the Zaporogian Sich, which always enjoyed the sympathy of the Ukrainian population, was now completely cut off from Ukrainian life except for the refugees who constantly came from there.

 p406  If we look at the consequences of Peter's victory of Poltava we can see that they were very hard for the Ukraine. First of all the whole south of the Ukraine that had been won as far as the shores of the Black and the Azov Seas, was now completely lost in favor of the Turks and the Tatars and access to the Black Sea was again forbidden by the Treaty of Pruth. Moreover, the Ukraine of the Right Bank was definitely surrendered to Poland.

The triumph of Tsar Peter over Sweden fell no less heavily on the Ukraine of the Left Bank. Though before his victory over Charles XII Peter had used Ukrainian resources for his own interest, all of which lay in the north on the Baltic, still he made no attempt to break the Ukrainian constitution. Now he openly boasted of soon having Ukraine "under his thumb", according to his own words. Having learned by experience how important Ukrainian resources were to the interests of the Muscovite State, and how dangerous her separation would be, he decided to put an end to this danger once for all. Being a man who never shrank from any sacrifices to achieve his aims, who never had any regard for his own people but by means of sword and fire tried to beat them into shape and make them look like Germans, how should he have any consideration for Ukrainians whom he always felt to be hostile and independent? Maddened by Mazepa's defection to Charles XII, he gave vent to his terrible vengeance on those on whom he could lay his hands. But he also knew how to wait, and his policy in encroaching upon Ukrainian autonomy was a model of patient but unswerving, truly Muscovite craftiness. Not at once, but slowly and systematically he also weakened the Ukrainian population physically, ruined their material welfare and exhausted their resources.

132. Demoralization of Cossack Officers.

Peter was prevented by external circumstances from making any considerable changes immediately. He could not know what turn his strife with Sweden would take.  p407 On the contrary, it was to his interest to attach the Ukrainian population to himself; so, at the beginning he abstained from making any violent attacks on their constitution. Thus he published his Manifesto to the Ukrainian people promising all possible "rights and liberties such as no people in the world had ever had". He spared no effort to win over those of the Cossack officers who were to be won by material gains. He sent gold and presents to the Zaporogians. But at the same time he firmly held to the principle "divide that you may rule". Nothing can be more characteristic of Peter's policy in the Ukraine than a letter from his minister Golitsyn to the Chancellor Golovkin which contains the whole programme. "For our safety in Ukraina", Golitsyn wrote, "it is necessary first of all to sow discord between the Hetman and the colonels. You will do well not to fulfil any request of the Hetman. When the population sees that the Hetman has not as much power as Mazepa, there is hope that they will turn informers and denunciators. Therefore, it were unwise to treat informers and denunciators harshly; if the first two who come give you false information and you can treat them graciously, you will certainly receive true information from the third. This policy will keep the Hetman and Officers in check and render them powerless. But first of all it is necessary to prevent the Hetman and the colonels from agreement. If you succeed in obtaining this, we shall know all their affairs".

At the time of the election of the new Hetman in Hlukhov only a few Officers appeared and among them only three colonels. All present wished to have Paul Polubotok, the Colonel of Chernigov, a very energetic and courageous man. But Tsar Peter, declaring that Polubotok would turn out to be a second Mazepa, ordered the election of the Colonel of Starodub, Ivan Skoropadsky, an elderly man of quiet and amiable disposition.

133. Hetman Ivan Skoropadsky.

Ivan Skoropadsky was a native of the Ukraine of the  p408 Right Bank and came over in 1674 after the ruin of Uman by the Turks. He entered the service of Hetman Samoylovich and was occupied in his Chancellery. He carried out different diplomatic commissions, took part in the war against the Turks and Tatars under Mazepa and became the first General Bunchuk Bearer and then General Commander. Mazepa nominated him in 1706 Colonel of Starodub. Skoropadsky was a partisan of the Swedish alliance and familiar with its negotiations and conclusion, but the circumstances were such that at the very beginning he and his Regiment in North Ukraine were cut off by the Tsar's army from Mazepa and the Ukrainian government. Thus nothing was left to Skoropadsky but to remain on the Muscovite side. To his lot fell the hard task of trying to save all that could be saved of Ukrainian autonomy. According to precedent, after the election of every Hetman, the "Articles" or constitution had to be renewed. Tsar Peter put off, making the excuse that they were in the middle of a war. Soon after the battle of Poltava Hetman Skoropadsky from his camp in Reshetylivka, where he lay with his Cossacks, sent a petition to the Tsar asking him to confirm Ukrainian "rights and liberties" and requesting the Tsar's decision about certain urgent questions as, for example, if the Cossacks during campaigns were to be put under Russian officers or remain under their own Ukrainians. Further he asked him to return the artillery taken in Baturin, and that the Muscovite voevods should not interfere in Ukrainian home administration and that Muscovite troops should not be quartered on the population, and so on. A reply came from the Chancellor Golovkin: Tsar Peter confirmed in general terms the Ukrainian "rights and liberties" and also promised to have the "Articles" drawn up later on. Ukrainian Cossacks in campaigns were to be put under the orders of Russian Generals; the artillery of Baturin was to be carried to Moscow as trophies; Muscovite voevods would be told "not to take an interest in the Ukrainian population" and, as a special favor from the Tsar the Cossacks were exempt  p409 from taking part in the campaign of 1709 in view of the ruin of the country. Hetman Skoropadsky received a reprimand for his "unseemly" mention to the Tsar of the "rights and liberties" of the Ukrainian people, seeing that "by the Tsar's favor they established those rights and liberties like no other nation in the world".

At the same time Peter nominated his resident minister Izmaylov, at Hetman Skoropadsky's court. Izmaylov received from the Tsar two different sets of instructions: one open and one secret. The open instructions were drawn up under ten headings: Izmaylov was to watch that there be no "high treason" in Ukraine; that the Zaporogian Cossacks should not under any circumstances cross the frontier or settle too near to it; foreign ambassadors were to be received in the presence of Izmaylov and their letters were to be sent at once to the Tsar; he was to see that the Hetman did not dismiss or nominate General Cossack Officers or colonels; that he did not confiscate or grant estates without having the Tsar's permission and that the Hetman's residence should be fixed in Hlukhov. Baturin and other places, destroyed as punishment for "high treason" were allowed to be rebuilt, but the inhabitants had to pay two ducats per household into the Tsar's treasury by way of punishment. Lastly Izmaylov was to watch that the Hetman informed the Tsar concerning his whole income.

The secret instructions contained orders to watch that the Hetman and Cossack Officers should have no relation with Turks, Tatars, Swedes or those "traitors, Mazepa followers". He was to inquire as to the reserve of the State Treasury in the Ukraine in Mazepa's time and now; to listen to the conversations of the Cossack Officers and observe who was faithfully attached to the Tsar and who was not. Hlukhov was chosen as the Hetman's residence as it was almost on the Muscovite frontier. Two Muscovite regiments were to be stationed at Hlukhov and were at the disposal of the Tsar's resident representative.

All these arrangements and instructions plainly show  p410 that the Tsar had no confidence whatever in the Ukrainian government and wished to have them under his close control. Izmaylov was soon replaced by another resident minister Protasyev, who was given to bribery and inimical to the Ukraine and who constantly denounced Hetman Skoropadsky. It was by his initiative that the Tsar abolished in 1715 the elections of Colonels and all Regimental Officers (polkova starshina) and Hundred's Officers (sotenna starshina). The Hetman was to nominate them together with the resident minister from the candidates proposed by the Councils (Rada) of Regiments and Hundreds. The newly nominated officer was to take an oath of allegiance to the Tsar in the presence of his resident minister.

The Cossack Officers who followed Mazepa were at the beginning promised an amnesty if they would return to the Tsar. Some indeed returned, among them the General Standard Bearer, Sulyma, the Colonel of Myrhorod, Apostol, and other lesser officers. They were left at their posts. But after Poltava's victory all those who returned were arrested, tortured, punished, exiled to Siberia, or in other similar ways disposed of. All the estates of Mazepa's followers were confiscated and out of these lands the Tsar rewarded those who had shown loyalty to him.

After his victory the Tsar's policy was gradually but relentlessly directed towards the curtailment of Ukrainian autonomy. He began, for example, the nominating of Cossack Colonels and General Officers from among inhabitants of Muscovy. Thus the Cossack Regiments of the Northern Ukraine: Starodub, Nizhin, Chernigov, received Muscovites for colonels. In other regiments he nominated foreigners without taking counsel of the Ukrainian government. Thus for instance, he nominated a Serb Miloradovich, to the Regiment of Hadiach. Generally speaking Peter nominated strangers, mostly Serbs and Rumanians to a series of important posts in the Ukrainian administration. He also took to granting lands in the Ukraine to his generals, most of whom were Germans  p411 such as Weissbach, Roop, Münnich and others. All of them, administrators of foreign origin as well as the land­owners, treated the Ukraine as a conquered land, permitting themselves all sorts of violence against the population. They were quite independent of the Hetman and the Ukrainian government; they disregarded the local authorities; and all complaints against them were of no avail. The Hetman was powerless against them and the Tsar or the Russian government never took any notice of these complaints. These new land­owners, not being sure how long they would enjoy the possession of their estates, made every effort to enrich themselves as quickly as possible and mercilessly exploited the peasants on their lands. They at once introduced serfdom in forms in which it existed in Muscovy but which were unknown and seemed terrible to Ukrainians. In the Ukraine, it is true, the peasants had been bound by certain duties to the land­owners. They were, however, always under the control of the government and abuses could be promptly punished. Some of the Tsar's favorites, as for instance Menshikov, the butcher of Baturin, not being satisfied with the estates granted to him, seized the lands of two adjoining Cossack Hundreds and turned the Cossacks into his serfs. It cost Hetman Skoropadsky enormous effort and much time to make him surrender the lands unlawfully seized.

Some of the Ukrainians who, in these sad times now came to the top, were hardly any better than the foreigners. At times of political terrorism on one side and loss of morals on the other, demoralization is apt to set in apace. Unscrupulous men and adventurers of all sorts usually lift their heads at times like these and take advantage of others' misfortunes in order to build up their own prosperity. Thus it was in the Ukraine after the Tsar's victory in Poltava. All those Ukrainians who had shown themselves as the Tsar's "faithful henchmen ", having either given information against Mazepa and members of the Ukrainian government or having in any way rendered services to Muscovites, were now lords of  p412 the situation and expected to be rewarded by the Tsar for their services. And the rewards indeed came in a generous shower. Quite a number of mean and despicable persons were nominated to posts of Colonels and other important posts and given estates; such people as Galagan, the Kochubeys, sons of the executed informer, Charnysh and many others. All of them, of course, proved to be bad administrators and cruel to the population; they took bribes, practised exactions and in a short time amassed considerable wealth in their hands by such illegal means.

It is superfluous to say that the nomination of foreigners to posts of colonels of Regiments and to other responsible posts, besides being a breach of the Ukrainian constitution, brought disorder into the Ukrainian administration and contributed much to the demoralization of Ukrainian Cossack Officers. The foreigners not bound by any traditions and having no regard for the interests of the Ukrainian State, considered themselves only as the Tsar's servants put there to watch over the "traitor" Ukrainians. They looked down not only on the population but also on the Hetman and the government, feeling responsible only to the Tsar who nominated them. Thus they proved to be obedient tools in his hands. The Tsar's policy in the Ukraine aimed first of all at discrediting the Ukrainian government, Ukrainian institutions, and Cossack Officers in the eyes of the population.

134. Works on Canals.

As has been said one of the methods of Tsar Peter's policy in the Ukraine was the systematic exhaustion of the physical strength of the Ukrainian population. To this end thousands of Ukrainian Cossacks were sent to far northern places to execute hard labors, to dig canals and ditches and to drain the Finnish bog, where the new capital of St. Petersburg was to be built; or they were sent to hot unhealthy places on the shores of the Caspian Sea to dig trenches and to build lines of fortification. In 1716, 10,000 Cossacks were sent to dig the canal between  p413 the Volga and the Don near the town Tsaritzyn. In 1718 a new detachment was sent to dig trenches and build forts along the river Terek in the Caucasus. In 1721, 12,000 Cossacks were sent to dig a canal around the lake Ladoga, north of St. Petersburg; the Ladoga lake being very stormy and unsafe for navigation, it was thought expedient to make a canal parallel to the lake. Of these 12,000, twenty-four hundred died in the first few months. Another 12,000 were sent the following winter of whom also several thousands died before the year was out and most returned home invalids. Work on these canals lasted until 1725 and it is known that thirty percent of the Cossacks perished from hard labor. The horror of these toils left indelible traces in the popular memory and was echoed in a whole cycle of most melancholy, heartrending songs bearing on the canal works.

Tsar Peter began a war against Persia in 1721. He sent to Derbent on the Persian front 10,000 Cossacks; a year later another 10,000 were sent to the Persian front. In the years 1724 and 1725, 12,000 Cossacks were sent to the same front; more than half of them perished in the hot unhealthy climate from privations and hard work. In 1725 there were 6,800 Cossacks on the Derbent front; according to an official report to St. Petersburg, 5,200 perished on the spot, one thousand were dismissed as invalids and only about 600 were reported to be in good health though they had no clothes and no shoes. In spite of this Cossacks were continually sent there and to similar places even after Tsar Peter's death in 1725. No year passed without another and yet another 10,000 being sent; in 1731, 20,000 Cossacks and 10,000 Ukrainian peasants had to build the line of fortifications along the shores of the Azov Sea; next year another 30,000 joined them. Thus the ruthless process continued. Half of these numbers never returned but perished from privations, unsuitable climate and hard work.

135. Ruin of Ukrainian Foreign Trade.

In the meantime as the Cossacks and peasants were  p414 away at these hard labors, their farms at home were neglected, there being no one to look after them properly and work regularly on them. In spite of this the Ukraine had to furnish enormous quantities of corn, cattle, horses and various food supplies for the Russian army. Besides these re­quisitions in war time, the whole of the Russian army in peace time was quartered on the Ukrainian population where they were provided with free billets, food and fodder. Even the families of Cossacks working on Ladoga lake or in St. Petersburg or in Persia were not exempt from this burden.

In consequence of this policy the Ukraine of the Left Bank was much impoverished during the twenty years after Mazepa's downfall. Even the Russian generals themselves accused each other of being responsible for this state of the Ukraine: that a country so rich in former times was now unable to provide the necessary supplies for Russia. When in 1735 a new war against Turkey began, the whole burden of it as of old, fell upon the Ukraine. The Russian Field Marshal Münnich, a German, who had no regard whatever for the Ukraine, complained to the Empress Anna that Russian generals who commanded the armies stationed in the Ukraine only thought of their estates there and the income from those estates. The country was getting more and more impoverished, the Cossacks fleeing from hard labor in all directions, to Poland, to Turkey, to Crimea and there entering in the enemies' armies in order to fight against Russia. Münnich continued: "in former times the Ukraine was able to put 100,000 men in the field, now 20,000 could hardly be gathered together". The fighting value of the Cossacks was quite lost for according to Münnich: "they were too long employed on hard labors and their fighting spirit declined". This was the intended result of Tsar Peter's policy since he aimed at reducing the fighting spirit of the Ukrainians so as to make them unfit to defend their own country; and his long premeditated programme was only too well carried out.

This same policy of weakening the Ukraine until her  p415 population would not even dream of national independence also included economic measures started by Tsar Peter. This policy aimed at ruining the Ukraine as an independent economic organism and turning it into a Russian colony, into a market for young Russian industry introduced and fostered by Peter I. In one of the foregoing chapters we related how, after a few years of peace towards the end of the Seventeenth century, life in the Ukraine was stabilized a little and how this was followed by an intense development of agriculture and a revival of foreign trade. Cossack Officers, having considerable landed property concentrated in their hands, turned their energy to the intensification of agricultural production. Cossack Officers being limited and hindered in the free exercise of their political activity, instinctively felt that they would still remain the leading class in the country, even in the case of a loss of the national independence of the Ukraine, if their economic position were strong enough. Wealth, and above all, lands, concentrated in the hands of Ukrainian families would insure them against all political changes which might come as a result of Muscovite (Russian) political centralization. Under the conditions of a natural economy at this time in the Ukraine, land owner­ship and intensified agriculture were the chief sources of wealth. The export of agricultural products was in the Ukraine the chief means of enrichment. Cossack Officers were thus driven by a kind of feverish instinct to concentrate in their hands as much land as possible, to provide by every means labor on it and to organize large scale export of agricultural products. In a wide sense these included also sheep, cattle, and horse breeding and the products of forest industry such as tar, resin, potash, besides the actual timber. Imports from Central and Western Europe almost balanced the exports. Ukrainian land­owners often were also traders, arranging the export of their own products. Only later, about the end of the Seventeenth century, a special class of merchants was arising from among the rich burgesses of Ukrainian towns such as Starodub and  p416 others. The lower classes of the Ukrainian population took an active part in the export trade; common Cossacks and peasants in companies undertaking to provide necessary quantities of certain products. Often indeed they were carriers freighting export goods with their own carts and horses.

The Ukraine was commercially connected in the first place with Poland, Austria and Germany. These countries were the chief markets for Ukrainian products, and the main export from the Ukraine also for other lands went through these twoº countries. Ukrainian export went chiefly to Silesia (Breslau) and to Baltic ports: Gdansk (Danzig), Krolevec (Koenigsberg) and Riga which until 1700 was Swedish. In 1701 Tsar Peter issued an ukase (edict) forbidding Ukrainians to export to Baltic ports and ordered them to carry their export goods only to Azov on the Azov Sea. This ukase was not carried out and the events of 1709 and 1711 interrupted for a long period trade with the southern countries.

Ukrainian exports were chiefly: cattle, hides, bees wax, bacon, tallow, oil, bristles, wool, brandy, tobacco, hemp, flax, dried fish, corn, salt, saltpetre, potash, tar and pitch. The chief export centres were: Kiev, Nizhin, Chernigov, Starodub. Through the hands of Ukrainian merchants also passed Oriental goods brought into the Ukraine from Turkey, Persia and other eastern regions. These were chiefly tea, coffee, spices, Persian carpets and various Oriental textiles.

One of the chief exports from the Ukraine was oxen. They were driven in great herds of thousands of heads to Breslau, Danzig and Koenigsberg. Cattle breeding was mostly carried on in the southern districts of the Poltava province. We can judge of the numbers exported from the fact that in 1735, the Russian authorities re­quisitioned from the Ukraine 20,000 oxen; in 1737, 44,000 were re­quisitioned and another 30,000 purchased for money.

After cattle, tobacco was a very profitable product for export. Plantations of tobacco were cultivated not only on a grand scale on the estates of great land­owners  p417  but also in small quantities by common Cossacks and peasants. Many thousands of pounds of tobacco were yearly exported from the Ukraine. Corn and brandy were also important items of Ukrainian export. In some cases Ukrainian merchants carried their goods directly to France and Holland.

Imports into the Ukraine, according to recent researches in various archives, chiefly consisted of: Dutch and English cloth, linen, silk, wrought metal objects, scythes, sickles, earthenware, glass and china, silver plate, needles and knives. Books: Latin, German, French and Italian, were also imported from Silesia, chiefly Breslau, which was the chief market for export of books to the Ukraine, though some were also sent from Leipzig, Danzig, and Koenigsberg. Danzig also sent copper and medicaments. There were in the Ukraine good foundries for bells, guns, kettles, etc., but copper had to be imported. Turkey sent into the Ukraine or through the Ukraine to other countries: silks and satin, brocade, gold and silver cloth, velvet, carpets, silk woven belts and scarves, pearls, corals, tobacco, incense, rice, raisins, coffee, lemons, almonds and different spices. From Muscovy came mostly furs and also Chinese goods.

Concerning the volume of Ukrainian trade we have important indications in ledgers seized by Russian authorities in different towns in the Ukraine, about 1715‑1720 when Ukrainian trade was under restrictions imposed by the Russian government, and also from some documents preserved in the archives in Moscow. They show that the chief imported goods during those five years were mostly textile goods from Turkey and Germany to the extent of about a hundred thousand measures (cubits) and several tens of thousands of bales. Almost all these fabrics were used in the Ukraine. There were also about 100,000 leather belts and 20,000 Turkish woven silk belts and scarves besides 417 scarves and belts of embroidered gold and silver cloth. Great quantities of fur were also imported, but the Ukrainian export of fur was higher as the Ukraine also exported fur of her own,  p418 fox, ermine, and marten. Other kinds of imported goods in these five years were: knives, scythes, razors, wine, coffee, incense, ladies' trinkets and cosmetics. Perusal of these documents also leads to the conclusion that commercially Ukraine was more closely connected with Poland, Germany and Turkey than with Muscovy.

Exported goods during these five years were: cattle, especially oxen, sheep, wool, hemp, flax, hides, leather, glue, potash, bees wax, oil, tobacco, fur, linen, bacon, tallow, bristles.

In the interest of trade reciprocal credit was widely used. The Ukrainian merchants received goods on credit in Poland, Austria and Germany and vice versa foreign merchants received Ukrainian products on credit. A great hindrance in the commercial relations of the Ukraine on the one side and Austria and Germany on the other lay in the geographical position: the trade was carried across Poland and Lithuania where unsettled conditions, wars and disorders as well as arbitrary dealings of Polish authorities and of Polish nobles rendered transport unsafe. Since the Great Northern War military operations in Poland and Lithuania caused considerable hindrance to Ukrainian foreign commerce. The Muscovite government, however, was the chief obstacle in the continuation of Ukrainian trade with European countries. Before the actual prohibitions and restrictions, the Muscovite government in the conflicts of Ukrainian merchants with the Polish authorities and Polish szlachta invariably took the side of the Poles against the Ukrainians as Tsar Peter wished to propitiate the Poles and win them over to the side of himself and his ally, in competition with the Swedish candidate, Stanislaus Leszczynski. But it was of course, worse when Peter prohibited Ukrainian merchants from carrying their goods to German ports on the Baltic and now ordered them to bring such goods to Russian ports. Further the Russian government prohibited Ukrainian merchants from importing certain categories of goods from Europe and forced them to buy Muscovite goods instead. Besides  p419  quite a number of Ukrainian export goods being State monopolies in Muscovy were now also excluded from private trade. All these measures of the Russian authorities sapped Ukrainian trade to its very foundation and brought about a great economic change for the worse in Ukrainian national economy.

At first, as we have seen, Tsar Peter had the idea of directing all Ukrainian trade through his only sea‑port of Azov which was of course absurd and impossible to carry out as this port led nowhere; the Azov Sea had no advantageous exit and no access to Europe. Besides the port of Azov was soon lost by Peter under the Treaty of Pruth 1711. However, Ukrainian merchants were forbidden to take their export to Baltic ports and ordered to bring them to Archangel. Thus in 1701 Ukrainian merchants were ordered to export hemp, flax, potash, hides, bees wax, bacon and other goods solely from Archangel. From Moscow to Archangel it was only possible to cart goods during the winter on sledges, there being no road at other seasons of the year because of bogs and morasses. Since the sea voyage from Archangel was frozen for half the year, it can be easily seen how this ukase had the effect of ruining the Ukrainian export of these important goods. It was very little compensation if any, that hemp exported from Archangel was free from Muscovite port duties. In 1711 hemp was allowed to be exported from Riga which now became Russian. In 1714 all Ukrainian export was to be carried out only through Russian ports; St. Petersburg, distant Archangel, and Riga. In 1719 Ukrainian grain was forbidden to be exported at all. This was again a great blow to Ukrainian trade. Further restrictions brought Ukrainian export down to the minimum.

Similar restrictions and prohibitions were used against the Ukrainian importation of foreign goods. In 1714 it was prohibited to import: stockings, gold and silver thread, silk fabrics, sugar, dyes, linen, tobacco, playing cards and cloth. The explanation of these prohibitions  p420 is to be sought in Peter's introduction of the textiles industry into Muscovy. He protected Muscovite mills by extensive privileges when they began to manufacture textile goods and in order to force them to buy inferior and more expensive Muscovite manufactures instead of foreign goods which were cheaper and better.

The artificial displacement of trade routes had very serious consequences for the Ukrainian trade. Apart from the fact that the new routes to St. Petersburg, Riga, and especially Archangel, were much longer other disastrous consequences had to be reckoned with. Old established trade relations with German ports were broken and the customary credit was lost. Ukrainian merchants gradually lost their character of merchants and descended to the role of mere exporters of agricultural products. They were now more or less dependent on the Muscovite merchants, buying at increased prices from them the foreign goods forbidden for importation into the Ukraine, but allowed to enter Muscovy.

By prohibiting the exportation of certain categories of goods, the Russian government brought down artificially the price of these goods, then bought up great quantities of them at a low price and exported them abroad. Very often the Russian authorities made known their decisions about prohibitions only after having enforced them for some time. These proceedings ruined Ukrainian merchants, and deprived them of the ambition to begin any commercial operation at all since no one was certain that any category of goods purchased would not turn out to have been prohibited for some time.

Parallel to these artificial regulations for Ukrainian exports and imports, the Russian authorities introduced special customs on the Ukrainian Muscovite frontier. Up to this time, Ukrainian merchants had paid on the Ukrainian frontier the custom duties for the imported goods, the so called "inducta" and the export duties called "evecta" were collected by the Ukrainian State treasury. In addition to this the Russian government introduced special customs on the Ukrainian-Muscovite frontier  p421  which were collected by the Russian treasury and after having paid these two duties, Ukrainian merchants had to pay for the same goods export duties in Russian sea ports. Custom duties usually amounted to 5 per cent to 26 per cent of the value of the goods and were to be paid in gold. Imported goods brought into the Ukraine across the Muscovite frontier were subject to additional duties on the Ukrainian-Muscovite frontier, the whole duties amounting to 10 per cent to 37 per cent of the value of the goods.

Ukrainian export was also suffering under a new abnormal practice of Muscovite trading agents buying up Ukrainian agricultural products on a grand scale for exportation. Different agents and hangers‑on of the new Muscovite land­owners made it their practice to buy up the local products and export them. They used their patrons to protect themselves, and being thus unpunishable they bought products for ridiculously low prices in order to sell them much higher in Muscovy. Ukrainian merchants could not compete at all with this sort of agents enjoying high Muscovite protection. The agents about Menshikov, Tsar Peter's omnipotent favorite, were especially notorious. They used to buy up thousands of oxen, beating down the price of an ox to about 10 kopeks (less than ten cents), a price that even at that time was ridiculously low. The same oxen were of course sold in Muscovy or abroad for much better prices.

The control of Ukrainian trade was most thorough and a burden to Ukrainian merchants. After Hetman Skoropadsky's death in 1722, special Ukrainian passports were abolished and in order to go abroad it was necessary to provide oneself with a Russian passport from the voevod in Kiev, whereas the exported goods had to be taken to Briansk on the Ukrainian-Muscovite frontier to receive permission for export and to pay the export duties. In order to protect certain Muscovite products such as tobacco and brandy from Ukrainian competition, the Russian government totally prohibited their import into  p422 Muscovy; later they were imported but with 30 per cent custom duties.

All these measures of the Russian government ruined Ukrainian trade and deprived the Ukrainian population of an important source of income. The Ukraine lost the character of an independent economic organism and, cut off from direct trade relations with other countries, gradually became a colony of Muscovy, a market for Muscovite industry and a cheap source of agricultural products for the Muscovite population.

The prohibitive measures of the Russian government against Ukrainian trade were all very much felt in countries which previously had had direct trading relations with Ukraine. First among them Silesian merchants approached their government in Vienna and in consequence of their complaints the Austrian government, in 1720, intervened with the Russian government in the question of direct trade relations with the Ukraine. After long negotiations in St. Petersburg and in Vienna, the Russian government made a certain compromise on condition, however, that the question was put as concerning "Russian" trade and not specially Ukrainian. Poland was also interested in Ukrainian trade being carried on directly with Austrian provinces across Poland and, in 1723 was drawn into these negotiations. Finally the Russian government allowed such Ukrainian products as cattle, bees wax, bacon, glue, tallow and bristles to be exported direct from the Ukraine into Silesia and other Austrian provinces across Poland. In 1727 a special Treaty was concluded to revive direct export trade between Austria and the Ukraine through Poland. These measures somewhat revived Ukrainian foreign trade, but after twenty years of ruthless suppression it was hardly possible to restore its former prosperity. First of all the Ukrainian merchants as a class were weakened and diminished in numbers. After the revival foreigners and especially Muscovites took most of the foreign trading operations into their hands and almost excluded the native element. Loss of foreign trade was also felt by the lower classes  p423  of the population in the Ukraine because they were free from the passport duties on the Ukrainian-Muscovite frontier to which Ukrainians were subject. Thus Ukrainian peasants and common Cossacks who had previously carried on the freighting lost much profit. The Ukrainian State Treasury, of course, suffered great losses from the ruin of foreign trade.

Ukrainian cultural life also suffered very much from Muscovite-Russian domination. Soon after the Poltava victory Tsar Peter ordered all students of the Kievan Academy, inhabitants from the Ukraine of the Right Bank, to leave; in this way the Academy lost about a thousand students. The Muscovite Patriarch first, and after him the Russian Synod, assumed control of the Ukrainian printing offices and wished to make Ukrainian church books uniform with the Muscovite. Finally, in 1720, the Synod and the Tsar prohibited any books to be printed in the Ukraine which differed from those printed in Muscovy. This in fact amounted to a prohibition to print any books at all unless they were reprinted from Muscovite editions, all Latin, Ukrainian and Polish books falling under this prohibition.

Tsar Peter's ultimate aim being the gradual abolition of Ukrainian autonomy and the reduction of the country to the status of an ordinary Russian province, he ignored the Ukrainian government and the Hetman, interfered in all spheres of Ukrainian home affairs and laid a heavy hand on all manifestations of Ukrainian life. Like the Muscovite government of old, he found a very convenient pretext for so doing in the ever increasing social antagonism between the mass of the Ukrainian population and the Cossack Officers. This gave Peter's policy the apparent aim of protecting the interests of the common people from the abuses of the Cossack Officers. It has already been stated that after the victory of Poltava and Mazepa's downfall the Cossack Officers underwent a radical change. The best of them having left with Mazepa; others were dismissed, exiled, or executed by Tsar Peter. Quite a new stamp of Cossack Officers appeared from among  p424 the distinctly lower elements protected by the Tsar for their "loyalty" to him, this "loyalty" being in the case of Ukrainians by birth, nothing else than a desire to build up their fortunes on the national misfortune. There were, however, now many Cossack Officers who were not Ukrainians at all, but international or Muscovite adventurers of every kind. These new Cossack Officers, who had received great landed estates together with the peasants on them, were now under no control whatever, but were encouraged to reproduce in the Ukraine the conditions of serfdom in Muscovy and had every opportunity of turning the heretofore only half-bound peasants (under Mazepa, peasants had to work two days in a week for the landlord) into fully-bound serfs. Besides being encouraged by the conduct of the new Muscovite land­owners such as Menshikov for instance, these new Cossack officers had no scruples in forcing the peasants and common Cossacks to surrender their lands or sell them at a low price and turn the previous free Cossacks into serfs. They could indulge in extortions and all sorts of violence knowing that everything now went unpunished. This demoralization gradually spread to almost all the Cossack Officers. Having seen all their political and national hopes and dreams broken and having lost a higher ideal, even the better elements among them were now thinking only of securing their material well-being in order to insure themselves against any political change. General demoralization and the preponderance of mere material interests had sharpened all the worse instincts of mankind and rare indeed were the Cossack officers, even among Mazepa's former collaborators, who did not now take advantage of their position in order to enrich themselves by illegal means such as extortions, bribes and all sorts of abuses of their administrative or judicial power. The popular masses in the Ukraine, tired of long years of war with all their heavy burdens, economically ruined and utterly exhausted, bitterly resented the oppression of the ruling class. Failing to obtain just and impartial treatment in the Ukrainian Cossack courts  p425  which were entirely in the hands of the Cossack Officers, the Ukrainian population often turned to representatives of the Russian authorities stationed in the Ukraine or sent complaints to Moscow and later to St. Petersburg. Tsar Peter gladly received these complaints which gave him an opportunity of discrediting Ukrainian courts and Ukrainian authorities in general. In his official papers which he ordered to be made publicly known, the Tsar accused the Ukrainian authorities of partiality and of neglecting the interests of the Ukrainian population and posed as a protector of the Ukrainian people against their own ruling class.

Hetman Skoropadsky's position was very difficult. He was of the Mazepa group and a true Ukrainian patriot. He tried by all means in his power to ameliorate the lot of the families of political refugees, Mazepa's followers, or of those among them who tried to return. He intervened on behalf of those who were arrested, exiled and deprived of their property. He was a very humane and righteous ruler. Tsar Peter on the whole behaved well to the old Hetman, showed him outward consideration but actually he paid scant attention to his advice, neglected his requests and demands and carried out his extermination policy against Ukrainian autonomy with ruthless persistence. Skoropadsky was, however, of too gentle a nature to offer Tsar Peter any effective opposition and besides he was influenced by his relations, especially his wife's relations who were very unscrupulous people and made use of him in their own interests and not in the interests of the country. Hetman Skoropadsky had often to go to Moscow and later to St. Petersburg in order to make personal remonstrances before the Tsar in the interests of the Ukrainian population.

136. "Little Russian" Board (Collegium).

In the spring of 1722 he was in St. Petersburg on one such visit when unexpectedly he received the ukase of the Tsar on the 29th of April 1722, about the establishment  p426 of a "Little Russian Board" which actually deprived the Hetman of the remainder of his power. The motives given for the creation of this board were the constant complaints reaching the Russian authorities of the General Cossack courts of justice and of Cossack administration on the whole because of bribes, extortions and turning Cossacks into serfs; because of the failure of the Hetman to furnish sufficient information about the State revenue from taxation, customs, etc.; and because his Chancellery was overworked. Quoting the "Articles" of Bohdan Khmelnitsky which, he averred, empowered all those discontented with the Cossack courts to appeal to Muscovite voevods, the Tsar now appointed a Board composed of six Muscovite officers from the armies stationed in the Ukraine with Brigadier Veliaminov as their president. The "Little Russian Board" was instructed to hear all complaints from the population against the Cossack courts of justice and to decide these controversial cases; to control Ukrainian finance; and to watch that the Cossack Officers did not oppress the common Cossacks and peasants.

The Hetman at once presented a petition to the Tsar in which he proved that no "Articles", either of Bohdan Khmelnitsky or of any other Hetman, contained an allusion to an appeal from the General Cossack court of justice to Muscovite voevods. He explained that the abuses of Cossack Officers and the shortcomings of the Ukrainian finance were ultimately to be laid at the Tsar's own door, stating that most of the complaints were inspired by "spite and hate" and he reminded the Tsar of his solemn promise to respect Ukrainian "rights and liberties". Further, he asked in the name of the whole Ukrainian people that "the Ukraine should have her former rights and order". Hetman Skoropadsky received from the Tsar a very curt answer stating that nothing could be done as the ukase had already been published and that there was nothing contradictory to Bohdan Khmelnitsky's "Articles" in the future functions of the "Little Russian Board". In the meantime the Tsar's  p427 manifesto to the Ukrainian people was published, explaining that the new institution had no other end in view than to "protect the Ukrainian population from the injustices and abuses of the Cossack Officers". Brigadier Veliaminov received detailed instructions as to the control of the Ukrainian Hetman and the government. This was the crowning point of Tsar Peter's brilliant demagogic method of dissolving the Ukrainian State which he introduced after his Poltava victory.

The old Hetman could not recover from this blow. He returned from St. Petersburg and died within a few days, in July 1722.

137. Hetman Paul Polubotok.

Shortly after Hetman Skoropadsky's funeral the Cossack Officers sent a petition to the Tsar asking permission to elect a new Hetman. In the meantime they chose the Colonel of Chernigov, Paul Polubotok, to act as Temporary Hetman since he was the chief candidate for the post. At the same time Brigadier Veliaminov also came to Hlukhov and formed the "Little Russian Board". There were thus in Hlukhov two governments: the Hetman at the head of the General Chancellery of the Cossack Headquarters and the "Little Russian Board" with Brigadier Veliaminov. At once misunderstandings and conflicts arose between them. Hetman Polubotok was a very energetic, active and courageous man and a decided champion of Ukrainian autonomy. He also was held in high esteem by the Cossack Officers and had authority over the common Cossacks. A true son of his age and a typical representative of his social class, he was not overscrupulous in choosing the means to his material interests. Being a man of authoritative nature and commanding character he sometimes treated the common Cossacks, burgesses and peasants harshly. He was actively concerned in foreign trade and became one of the wealthiest men in Ukraine. His courageous opposition to Tsar Peter in defence of Ukrainian autonomy made Polubotok one of the favorite heroes of the old Ukrainian  p428 historians. He was indeed an ardent Ukrainian patriot, though characteristically for his time and social class, he did not neglect his own interests. As soon as Veliaminov began to receive complaints and petitions ignoring Ukrainian institutions, Polubotok protested energetically as he did against Veliaminov's sending orders to the Hetman's Chancellery as if to a subordinate office. Hetman Polubotok secured an order from the Russian Senate instructing Veliaminov to carry on his business in co‑operation with Ukrainian institutions. But Veliaminov did not give way; he prepared a draft of various changes to be made in Ukrainian administration, courts of justice and finance and early in 1723 he brought it to St. Petersburg. Tsar Peter approved of it, confirmed most of its twelve headings and especially insisted on all financial business being delegated to the "Little Russian Board".

Polubotok, however, continued his opposition. Above everything else he constantly reminded the Tsar not to forget to give permission for the official election of the Hetman. Peter, who till now had carefully avoided answering, lost his temper and at last declared that "considering all Ukrainian Hetmans are traitors to Muscovy, he had better wait until some loyal and faithful man were found for this post". In order to take the ground away from under the feet of the "Little Russian Board" and make their intervention unnecessary, Polubotok began a reform of the Cossack courts of justice, appointing assessors to sit with the judge, thus making abuses less likely. He supervised the provincial courts in order to exterminate bribery and delays and introduced an exact procedure of appeal and by strict injunctions succeeded in keeping the Cossack Officers from perpetrating abuses against the population. By all these reforms he deprived Tsar Peter of his alleged motive in setting up the "Little Russian Board" as a would‑be protection of the Ukrainian population against the arbitrary rule of the Cossack Officers. This especially infuriated the Tsar. In the summer of 1732 he summoned the Deputy  p429 Hetman Polubotok and several Cossack Officers to St. Petersburg to give an explanation. In order to avoid any complications in the Ukraine, he ordered Prince Golitsyn, commander-in‑chief of the Russian army stationed in the Ukraine, to bring most of the Cossack regiments out into the steppe as if against the Tatars.

Arrived in St. Petersburg, Polubotok presented a petition to the Tsar asking for the restoration of all the ancient Cossack rights in administration and judicature. But Veliaminov, in the meantime, arranged through his agents to send Peter a petition from the Cossack regiment of Starodub asking in the name of the common Cossacks that a Muscovite should be nominated as their colonel and the Muscovite courts of justice introduced in their regiment. Peter sent Brigadier Rumiantsev to the Ukraine to investigate and ordered the "Little Russian Board" to publish a general invitation to the population to present any complaints against Cossack Officers, promising every security. A sufficient number of such complaints was collected. But at the same time the Cossack Officers stationed with their regiments in the camp on the river Kolomac in the southern frontier of the Ukraine, prepared a joint petition asking the Tsar for permission to elect officially a Hetman and restore to the Cossacks their ancient rights and liberties. The same was done in all regiments in the Ukraine. Polubotok's spirited opposition made the Tsar, unaccustomed as he was to any opposition from the Muscovites, very angry. He had him arrested together with all the Ukrainians who were with him and thrown into St. Peter and Paul fortress on an island in the river Neva. He also sent orders to the Ukraine for the arrest and despatch to Petersburg of all those who were suspected of drawing up the petitions. Accordingly, the old Colonel of Mirhorod, Daniel Apostol, the General Bunchuk-Bearer, Lyzohub, the General Commander Zhurakhovsky, and many lesser Cossack Officers were brought to St. Petersburg and imprisoned in the same fortress. Hetman Polubotok died there on the 29th of December, 1724, as did also some others of the imprisoned  p430 Cossacks. The rest were liberated on Tsar Peter's death early in 1725. Instead of exile to Siberia as he had intended for them, the Ukrainian prisoners remained in St. Petersburg for several years; some of them were released and allowed to return to the Ukraine on condition they left their sons behind as hostages.

During the short reign of Tsar Peter's wife, Catherine I, the Russian empire was actually ruled by Menshikov. He continued Peter's regime in the Ukraine. After Hetman Polubotok's death no new Hetman was allowed to be elected. The "Little Russian Board" continued to rule the Ukraine together with newly nominated Cossack Officers, who were all very docile and obedient. The Cossack regiments of Chernigov and Starodub received Muscovites as colonels. Veliaminov was in full control of Ukrainian finance and was forever imposing new taxation on the population.

138. New Course of Policy Towards the Ukraine in the Reign of Peter II.

Late in 1726 the "High Secret Council", the highest institution of the Russian Empire, was considering a possible war against Turkey, and some of the members of the Council thought that perhaps it would be useful to show some leniency towards the Ukraine in order to propitiate the Ukrainian population, as for example, to let them have a Hetman, to remit some of the new taxation, and to restore perhaps their own judiciary. Other members of the Council were very much opposed to this breach of Tsar Peter's policy towards the Ukraine, which consisted in setting the population against the Cossack Officers in order to "keep the Ukraine under his thumb". Tolstoi especially was for continuing Tsar Peter's policy which was "giving good results, seeing that the Cossack Officers and the population are pretty well always quarrelling". The late Tsar's authority was so great that it was decided not to introduce any changes in his policy towards the Ukraine, though the question was again and again put in the "Secret Council".

 p431  Soon, however, Menshikov himself changed his mind with regard to continuing Tsar Peter's policy in the Ukraine. As a matter of fact he quarrelled with the "Little Russian Board" which, having taxed all private estates in the Ukraine, also taxed his vast domains in Chernigov province. He protested and took the "Little Russian Board" to account, and the "Secret Council" where he had a decisive voice, sided with him. Now the "Little Russian Board" had in Menshikov a deadly enemy. When in May, 1727, Catherine I died and Tsar Peter's young grandson, son of the unfortunate Tsarevich Alexis, succeeded to the Russian throne as Peter II, Menshikov became the omnipotent regent. He now advocated in the "High Secret Council" that the Ukraine should be ruled more mildly in order to gain the sympathies of the population, and hardly a week after Catherine's death the "High Secret Council" ordered the abolition of the newly imposed taxation. A manifesto in the name of the youthful Emperor Peter II was sent to the Ukraine with permission to proceed to the election of a new Hetman. At the same time Veliaminov was recalled to St. Petersburg with his books and papers and all his chancellery for examination. About the same time Menshikov quarrelled with Tolstoi, had him arrested and sent into exile; he also deprived Tolstoi's son, Hetman Skoropadsky's son-in‑law, of the post of Colonel of Nizhin and banished him from the Ukraine.

139. Hetman Daniel Apostol.

In June, 1727, the "High Secret Council" transferred all Ukrainian affairs from the Senate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The "Little Russian Board" was abolished. On the 1st of October in Hlukhov, with all the traditional pomp and solemnities, Daniel Apostol, Colonel of Mirhorod, was elected Hetman.

Already in the spring the news of the future election of the Hetman was greeted in the Ukraine with great rejoicings. The young Emperor received from all the Cossack Regiments expressions of gratitude in addresses  p432 signed by officers and common Cossacks. The actual election took place amidst great rejoicings. Not Cossack authorities only but municipal authorities of the more important towns arranged popular feasts for the occasion. From, the city of Kiev had a feast of this kind from which have been preserved programmes, odes, panegyrics and various addresses and speeches composed for the occasion by the authorities and by teachers and students of the Kievan Academy. The Russian administration, expecting that political refugees would now return, ordered the frontiers to be freely opened for them. So many of them arrived that the Polish administration and Polish land­owners in the Ukraine of the Right Bank became alarmed. Zaporogian Cossacks also sent congratulations to the newly elected Hetman asking his protection.

Soon after his election, Hetman Apostol went to Moscow to be present at the coronation of the young Emperor and here he presented a scheme for the restitution of ancient Ukrainian rights and liberties according to the Treaty concluded with Hetman Bohdan Khmelnitsky. He received a written document under twenty-eight headings known in Ukrainian history under the name of the "Confirmed Articles" which served as the written constitution in the Ukraine until the final abolition of Ukrainian autonomy. The chief headings of this constitution were as follows: The Hetman had no right to carry on diplomatic relations with foreign powers and if any ambassadors came to him, he had at once to send their letters to St. Petersburg. He was empowered to have direct relations only with the adjoining countries of Poland, Crimea and Turkey on questions concerning the immediate frontier relations and only with the knowledge and approval of the Russian resident at the Hetman's courts, the Hetman's residence being in Hlukhov. The number of his mercenary troops was limited to three regiments of "Kompaniytsi"; Cossack Regiments remained as usual. In war time the Hetman with his army was put under the command of the Russian Field Marshal.  p433  Candidates for General Cossack Officers and Colonels were to be chosen by Ukrainians, but confirmed by the Emperor. Elections of lesser officers were confirmed by the Hetman.

Certain changes were introduced in the courts of justice. The General court was made the chief court of appeal in the land but it was now composed of six judges; three Ukrainians and three Russians, the Hetman being President of this Court. One of the headings of the "Confirmed Articles" dealt with a special Commission to be constituted to revise the laws and compile a new code. A number of headings concerned economic questions. Jewish merchants were allowed solely on condition that they sold their goods only wholesale and not retail and used the money so obtained for buying local products for export; they were not allowed to export gold or silver. Duties on foreign goods (inducta) collected at the Ukrainian frontier were to go to the Russian treasury. Muscovites possessing lands in the Ukraine were put under Ukrainian jurisdiction and were not allowed to bring Russian peasants-serfs to settle on their Ukrainian estates.

The "Confirmed Articles" considerably curtailed, as we see, the rights enjoyed by Ukrainians before Mazepa's downfall. It was, however, important that instead of the arbitrary interference of the Russian government in Ukrainian affairs during the last twenty years, certain limits to this interference were fixed and certain constitutional forms were established. It would now depend on the Ukrainian government and above all on the new Hetman to carry this constitution into effect.

The new Hetman, Daniel Apostol, was a very brilliant political figure. Having grown up before the Ukrainian power was broken and when Ukrainian leaders had not lost hope of obtaining freedom and better conditions for the Ukrainian people, he belonged to those few Cossack Officers (starshina) who had not soiled their hands with wrong doing. He was, moreover, a warm defender of Ukrainian autonomy. He had also belonged to the intimate  p434 circle round Mazepa, who formed the Swedish alliance in order to obtain Ukrainian independence. If he left Mazepa, it was not because of personal advantage or his personal safety, but only because he had soon lost faith in Swedish success. Having decided to return under the Muscovite protection he, like Hetman Skoropadsky, endeavored to save what could be saved after the catastrophe. Indeed, in spite of his advanced age, being almost seventy, Hetman Apostol set himself very energetically to restore Ukrainian autonomous rights neglected during the last twenty years.

In the first place, Hetman Apostol almost entirely changed the staff of General Cossack Officers and Colonels of the Cossack Regiments, himself selecting his candidates who were then confirmed by the Russian Emperor. His candidates were all either good active officers or good administrators: among them should be mentioned Jacob Lyzohub, an old experienced soldier who was made head of Military Affairs. The posts of General Judges were now occupied by two of Mazepa's followers, Andrew Kandyba and Michael Zabila. On the whole, Hetman Apostol succeeded in surrounding himself with colleagues of his choice, who shared his political views and helped him to carry out the political programme of restoring Ukrainian autonomy.

One of the chief tasks of the new Ukrainian Hetman and Government was to restore the economic well-being of the land devastated to a great extent by the chaos and disorder deliberately maintained by the Russian government. The question of owner­ship, about which there were so many abuses, had to be regulated in the first place. The work of "General Inquiry Into Landowner­ship" as the Commission was called, lasted three years. It supervised all the categories of landed proprietor­ship and also established the position of peasants in the Ukraine. It was found that one‑third of the peasants in the Ukraine were free, the remaining two‑thirds were bound to the land by fixed obligations. Part of the land belonged to the state, part was attached to monasteries  p435  and part belonged to private owners. The statistical material collected by the commission, besides its practical purpose of settling disputes and litigious questions at the time, forms an invaluable source of information to Ukrainian historians.

Hetman Apostol was himself a very success­ful organizer of his landed estates. He skilfully colonized empty lands which he bought and introduced intensive agriculture and cattle breeding. He was well informed in questions of export trade, having himself exported on a large scale, grain, cattle and butter from his estates. His talents and experience in organization he now applied to the settlement of the various economic difficulties in the Ukrainian State. Hetman Mazepa used to support the class of great land­owners endeavoring to raise a landed aristocracy and make them supporters of Ukrainian independence. Apostol saw in foreign trade and those engaged in it on a large scale a useful support for the Ukrainian State.

Hetman Apostol's attempts to establish a fixed Ukrainian State budget (Viiskovyi skarb) are very interesting. Before his time this department was unsettled and vague. Also, the Russian government's interference in Ukrainian Finance introduced much disorder. Hetman Apostol was the first to establish a fixed preliminary yearly budget with items such as costs of maintaining the central administration, costs of the mercenary troops, of the artillery, etc. Most of the State expenses were to be covered by the income from export duties.

In the measures taken by Hetman Apostol in order to ameliorate the state of Ukrainian trade we can distinguish two tendencies: first, he tried to induce the Russian government to change their economic policy directed against the Ukraine; in the second place, he tried on his own authority to neutralize the effects of that policy on Ukrainian trade. Even before he went to Moscow early in 1728, the Hetman called to Hlukhov representatives of Ukrainian merchants to a conference on questions of foreign trade. They passed a resolution asking the Russian  p436 government to take off the prohibitions of quite a number of categories of export goods: wax, tallow, hides, hemp and others. In his petition to the Emperor, Hetman Apostol took into consideration all sides of Ukrainian trade, defending the interest not only of the merchants on a large scale, but of other classes of population, mostly common Cossacks and peasants who largely practised export trade, for instance the "Chumaki" or salt carriers who, being peasants or common Cossacks, used to go with their carts and oxen on their own enterprise, selling their products and bringing back salt and dried fish from Crimea and the shores of the Azov Sea for sale.

Hetman Apostol took steps to regulate the credit of Ukrainian merchants. The sudden interruption of Ukrainian foreign trade by Tsar Peter caused the ruin of most Ukrainian merchants. Hetman Skoropadsky had already on his own authority deferred payments and Hetman Apostol published such "moratorii", especially for the merchants with Danzig and Silesia.

Hetman Apostol's rule characterized by an ardent defence of Ukrainian autonomy, or to use a modern term, by the national spirit, in spite of partial failure of his policy, raised the spirits of the Ukrainian people and gave them courage. All classes of the population had some improvement to register. Ukrainian foreign trade was again active. Cossack Officers recovered their rights of being elected, and not nominated from St. Petersburg. Russian troops which had been quartered on the Ukrainian population were removed from the Ukraine. Local administration and courts of justice were much improved.

Better conditions of life in the Ukraine also encouraged the Zaporogian Cossacks to return to their old quarters. During the years 1712‑1728 the Zaporogians were settled on the lower Dnieper where they had built their fortified camp, the Sich, near the present town of Kherson. They did not feel morally at ease under the protectorate of the Crimean Khan and suffered materially from the severance from their native country. Often the group among them favoring an understanding with the  p437 Tsar, raised their voices; but still the majority headed by the old leader Hordienko, the irreconcilable enemy of Muscovy, kept the upper hand. Only after Hordienko's death in 1733 did the Zaporogian Cossacks accept the overtures from the Russian government, which was planning a war against Turkey and wished to have the Zaporogians on their side. Negotiations between the Russian government and the Zaporogians begun in 1733, ended in 1734. The terms signed by the representatives of both parties in Lubni, after the death of Hetman Apostol, included these chief points: Zaporogian Cossacks were to receive back all their former lands (present province of Katerinoslav); they were to continue to live under their own laws and orders; in war time they were to stand under the command of the head of the Russian army in the Ukraine, and they were to receive from the Russian government a yearly payment of 20,000 rubles. The Zaporogians came under the Russian protectorate and transferred their Sich nearer the Ukrainian frontier on the river Pidpilna, a small tributary of the Dnieper, near the present town of Nikopol. The Zaporogian Cossacks took part in the next war against Turkey and proved to be extremely useful to the Russians. The reunion of the Zaporogians with the Ukraine of the Hetmans was, from the national point of view, a certain advantage, though with it was lost the last real power that stood in open opposition to the Russian government and their centralizing policy. Exiled Ukrainian patriots with the former Hetman Orlik were, for instance, very much against the return of Zaporogians under the Russian protectorate.

Hetman Apostol died on the 17th of January, 1734. The six years of his rule were a short, bright period on the dark background of Ukrainian life after Mazepa. He succeeded in strengthening Hetman power and his authority against Russian and local Ukrainian authorities. Though not all his measures to raise the welfare of the Ukrainian population were brought to completion, still the Ukraine of the Left Bank had time to recover under his  p438 rule from the terror under which the population had lived for the last twenty years.


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