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Chapter 26

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.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Chapter 28

 p557  Chapter XXVII

 * * * *

(The numbers link directly to the sections.)

(178) Revival of Ukrainian National Movement in Russia After the Crimean War. (179) Peasant Reform of 1861. (180) Suppressions of Ukrainians in Russia. (181) Galicia Under Austrian Rule. (182) Emancipation of Serfs in Austria. (183) Beginning of National Renaissance in Galicia. (184) Relations With the Ukraine of the Dnieper.

 * * * *

178. Revival of Ukrainian National Movement in Russia After the Crimean War.

Russia's breakdown in the Crimean war meant the collapse of the whole governmental system of Tsar Nicholas I. The bureaucratic police regime did not stand the severe strain of a war against a coalition of European powers. Russia proved to be insufficiently prepared for war. The communications were bad. The military commissariats showed complete incompetence. The army trained to a soulless, formal discipline, fought courageously but, deprived of good leader­ship, suffered heavy losses. In technical armament Russia was far behind her enemies. Failure and terrible casualties began to agitate public opinion. Tsar Nicholas could not bear the shame of the collapse of his whole system and it was even rumored that he committed suicide by poisoning himself. The throne passed in 1855 to his son Alexander II, who had been brought up in a liberal spirit by the well-known Russian poet, Zhukovski. Russian public opinion greeted the new Tsar with enthusiasm, expecting from him reform and an alleviation in the severe regime of his predecessor. Relief came as if of itself, even before the new Tsar had made any changes or given any fresh orders. The press began to adopt a tone it had not previously known, and loudly declared the necessity for reform. There was a new stir in literature. People felt easier and used an altogether new language. The new Tsar, soon after his accession, granted an amnesty to the members of the Ukrainian Brotherhood of SS Cyril and  p558 Methodius, and all the more important members, Kostomarov, Kulish, Shevchenko, Bilozersky and others, assembled in St. Petersburg, at that time the headquarters of the Ukrainian national movement.

The general revival which spread throughout all cultured and educated circles in the whole of Russia also affected Ukrainians. The entire attention of the best representatives of the Ukrainian movement was directed to the expected emancipation of the serfs. Compared with the problem of serfdom, all other questions took a second place. Russian and Ukrainian literature co‑operated in propaganda for this purpose; Russian reviews gave a place to Shevchenko's poems in their column; the great Russian novelist, Turgenev, translated into Russian Ukrainian peasant novels by Marco Vovchok,1 which were an open indictment of serfdom and played in the emancipation of the serfs in Russia an analogous role to Mrs. Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in the Abolitionist movement in the United States. The peasants and their lot now became the focus of all the thoughts of the Ukrainian "intelligentsia", already prepared by Romanticism for the idealization of the common people as bearers of high moral principles in life. Serfdom was there regarded as the worst of social evils and the greatest injustice which must be removed as soon as possible. These ideas were the foundation stone of the whole movement which characterized this period in Russia, Poland and the Ukraine, and which later received the name of "narodnitstvo".​2a

In the Ukraine this movement had a distinct nationalistic bias. The Ukrainian "narodniki"​2b regarded Cossacks and peasants not only as the bearers of those high moral qualities which the cultured classes were supposed to have long since lost, but as the sole representatives of the Ukrainian nation, in contradiction to the polonized or Russianized nobles. Thus to the Ukrainian  p559 "narodniki" drawing closer to the people, to their language, traditions and folklore, meant also a return to the nationality of their ancestors disregarded by the preceding generations. Thus the Ukrainian "narodniki" were led to view their national history in a critical light; the time of Ukrainian sovereignty, the Hetman period, now meant to them the beginnings of serfdom. The only heroes in the eyes of the "narodniki" were those of the Cossack leaders who had unequivocally striven for popular freedom and whose memory the common people had gratefully enshrined as such in their traditions and songs and above all, the Zaporogian Cossacks. The Ukrainian "narodniki" were thus breaking with the tradition of Ukrainian sovereignty and began to view the Ukrainian renaissance not as a return to political national independence, but as a self-imposed duty of the "intelligentsia", especially of noble origin, "to return to the people", as they said, to adopt popular speech, popular interests and ideals and to sacrifice everything in the service of the common people.

In the meantime these people still remained in bondage. So the whole activity of the Ukrainian "narodniki" was directed to propaganda in favor of emancipation, as well as in attempts to persuade the authorities and public opinion of the necessity for this reform. At the same time school books were hastily prepared for the future popular schools, containing all sorts of elementary reading in the Ukrainian language which they adapted and developed in order to make it a serviceable tool for the purpose of popular enlightenment and education, so neglected during the last century. The study of Ukrainian political history was abandoned for investigations into the past and present life of the common people, which was the object of special attention by the "narodniki". The collection and publication of folklore was especially cultivated.

St. Petersburg, as we said, became the headquarters of the Ukrainian national movement in the "narodniki" period. A Ukrainian Society (Hromada) was founded  p560 there with Kostomarov and Kulish at the head. The wealthy Ukrainian land­owners, Tarnovsky and Halahan, gave funds for a Ukrainian publishing centre and printing office, where a number of important Ukrainian works were published. After long and fruitless attempts to obtain permission from the authorities for a Ukrainian daily paper, Bilozerski at last obtained permission for a monthly review, "Osnova", which appeared in 1861‑62, and became the central organ of the Ukrainian national movement. In the Ukraine Societies, analogous to that in St. Petersburg, were founded under the name of "Hromada" in Poltava, Chernigov, Kharkov, Kiev and other places. These Societies organized Ukrainian schools, published and distributed Ukrainian books and promoted Ukrainian theatrical performances, concerts and leisures. Wearing the national costume, singing popular songs and using Ukrainian language, gradually came into fashion.

179. Peasant Reform of 1861.

The new imminent emancipation of the serfs was the central point of attention. The new Tsar mentioned it for the first time in the spring of 1855 in Moscow, where he received the delegates from the nobles. He told them that "emancipation must come" and that "it were better to do it from above rather than wait until it is done from below", by the serfs themselves. He, however, proposed not to act in any hurry and recommended the nobles to take counsel as to the manner in which this reform should be carried out. The actual preparation for the reform began by the establishment in the autumn of 1855 of a secret Committee, who were to consider a "gradual emancipation, without sharp and sudden revolution, according to a detailed and carefully prepared plan". The government hesitated for a long time, not knowing how to take up the work. At one time they gave permission to the press to write about it, at another they forbade even the mention of emancipation. When the nobles, land­owners of the Lithuanian and White- p561 Russian provinces, offered to emancipate their serfs of their own accord settling the conditions with them, the Tsar expressed his appreciation and ordered that a special committee should be formed in each of these provinces in order to settle the plan of this voluntary emancipation. Following this example other provinces began to organize committees. The Secret Committee that had sat since 1856 in St. Petersburg was publicly announced in 1858 and openly began their preparatory work under the name of the Chief Commission in co‑operation with the work being done by the provincial Committees.

In the Central Commission as well as in the provincial committees, an obdurate struggle at once set in between the representatives of the owners and those who defended the interests of the serfs. In the interests of the nobles the former tried to make the allotments of land to the liberated serfs as small as possible and to make them pay for the land as much as possible, the latter endeavoring to obtain the best possible conditions for the peasants. General Rostovtsev, President of the Central Commission, was a sincere defender of the interests of the serfs and was well supported by Milutin, Minister of Home Affairs. But when Rostovtsev died in 1860, the Tsar nominated to his post Count Panin, the champion of the land­owners, who succeeded in considerably curtailing the scheme elaborated by General Rostovtsev. At last the scheme was finished, accepted by the State Council and proclaimed in the form of an Imperial manifesto on the 19th of February, 1861.

The emancipation of the serfs was to be spread over two years. The peasants were to receive allotments of land as their private property and had to pay for it by instalments during twenty years. The size of the allotment for every adult male was to be determined according to the quality of the soil and the condition of farming in general. For this purpose all the provinces of the Russian Empire were divided into special groups. In the Ukraine the peasants received on an average about  p562 11 or 12 acres (4½ dessiatines) for each adult male. The land was estimated on the whole at more than the real value and the peasants overpaid by about 45%. A certain category of serfs, the so‑called "dvorovi" or household serfs who had been taken by the owners from agriculture to perform various household duties, though receiving personal freedom, did not receive all the rights which other classes of the Russian population enjoyed. They were put under the special protection of the local administration, were restricted in their movements by the commune to which they belonged, and were subject to corporal punishment.

The peasants were not satisfied with the reform, since it did not fulfil their expectations. In several places in Russia and also in the Ukraine the authorities used military force in order to keep the peasants down. The liberal intelligentsia were also very dissatisfied with the curtailed scheme. Nevertheless, former primitive slavery was abolished and the educated classes of the Russian population were faced with the task of spreading elementary education among the emancipated masses of the serfs and helping them to become more or less responsible citizens by giving them elementary political ideas to widen their horizon. It was the more necessary to do this as the government had promised reform of the judiciary and administration and had in view the introduction of provincial and municipal self-government. Attention in the Ukraine also was centred on the organization of elementary popular schools, the publication of elementary textbooks and the creation of popular educational literature. In a comparatively short time quite important results were achieved in this field. Kulish organized, in St. Petersburg, the publication of popular educational books and textbooks for schools. Kostomarov organized a public collection of funds for this purpose. Others devoted themselves to the organization of schools in towns and villages. Two types of schools were started, those for children and those for adults; the  p563 latter were mostly evening and Sunday schools for working people. Many students abandoned their studies in order to work as teachers in the elementary schools in villages, others took up posts of village scribes, others again took up colportage of books, going about from one fair to another. This was the beginning of the "return to the people" which, when the Russian government later relapsed into reaction, took the character of revolutionary and socialistic propaganda. In the beginning, however, there was nothing subversive or revolutionary in the intentions of all these idealist youths, mostly students of both sexes, who often sacrificed their studies, gave up their future careers and even broke with their parents in order to "return to the people" and take up the service of the masses, wishing nothing but to raise the level of their culture.

The Ukrainian national movement, now entirely consecrated to cultural work among the masses, soon found obstacles in its path. The land­owners, afraid for their interests, aroused the provincial administration and even addressed the central authorities direct with denunciations against such enlightenment of the people. This was especially true in the Ukraine of the Right Bank and they succeeded in bringing about various restrictions and prohibitions in these educational activities of the Ukrainian "intelligentsia". Besides the obstacles set by authorities, the Ukrainian national movement soon met with enemies among the Russian "intelligentsia" also. At first Russian liberals and the Russian liberal press even showed sympathy with Ukrainian literature and Ukrainian national aspirations. Russian reviews of both sections, the so‑called "Westerners" (zapadniki) and "Slavophils", readily published in their columns articles and works in the Ukrainian language or in defence of the right of Ukrainians to an independent cultural development, also the result of researches into Ukrainian history or folklore. They saw in Ukrainians allies in the work of obtaining the liberation of the serfs. But by 1861 their attitude had altered. The development of Ukrainian literature  p564 and the growth of Ukrainian cultural national activity caused alarm in chauvinistic Great-Russian groups which, though calling themselves "Slavophils", actually wished the domination of all Slavic peoples, or to use the expression of the Russian poet, Pushkin, that "all Slavic rivers should unite in the Russian Sea". In the columns of the Slavophil press and later in the reactionary papers, voices began to be heard saying that the Ukrainian language was not a language at all but only a dialect, and as such, should not be encouraged to develop its literature; that using the Ukrainian language would only defer the ultimate union of the Ukrainian population with the great Russian, and so on. On the Polish side voices were raised declaring that Ukrainians were only a branch of the Polish nation, and that the Ukrainian language was only a dialect of Polish. The Ukrainian national cultural movement was represented by the Polish press as the result of a foreign intrigue designed to harm Polish interests and weaken Polish influence in the Ukraine of the Right Bank of the Dnieper, which they represented as purely Polish territory.

The Ukrainian review "Osnova" energetically refuted all these attacks. Kostomarov and Kulish in their brilliant articles unmasked Great-Russian chauvinism and intolerance, explaining them as survival of Muscovite dark ages as well as the groundless pretensions of the Poles on Ukrainian territory and population. According to declarations made by representatives of the Ukrainian cultural movement of "narodnitstvo", the partisans of this movement or "narodniki" thought it in the interest of the masses to renounce the political independence and sovereignty of the Ukraine. Thus Kostomarov, in answering the accusations of separatism, formulated the Ukrainian national programme in very modest terms: free development of Ukrainian literature, education and schools for the Ukrainian people. He promised the loyalty of Ukrainians to the Russian State and denounced all political aspirations. Kostomarov brought up this controversy in the columns of the most influential Russian  p565 periodical of the period, the "Kolokol", (The Bell) published in London by Alexander Herzen, a political Russian refugee. In his letter to the editor of the "Kolokol" in the beginning of 1860, Kostomarov thus formulated Ukrainian aspirations: Ukrainians are most grateful to Emperor Alexander II for his intentions in the direction of liberation, expressed not in words only but in deeds, so that the masses may enjoy equal rights before the law with the nobles because Ukrainians, according to their old traditions, do not accept any other conception of freedom.

"Besides, we wish", continued Kostomarov, "that the authorities not only would not hinder Ukrainians in our wish to develop our literature and language, but would help us in order that the teaching in the elementary schools in the Ukraine should be given in the native Ukrainian language which our people understand and not in the official Russian language which is strange to them. Apart from this we have no wishes other than those common to all Russians. We wish that other Slav people would unite with us, even under the sceptre of the Russian Tsar, if this Tsar becomes the sovereign of free peoples and not the autocrat of an all devouring Tataro-German Muscovy. In the future Slavic Union in which we believe and which we expect to see, our Southern Rus must constitute a separate State-organism uniting all territories where the Ukrainian language is spoken, conserving a unity based not on pernicious deadly centralization, but on a definite feeling of equality and the consciousness of our own interests".

This outline of the Ukrainian programme closed with an energetic apostrophe to Russians and Poles: "Let neither Russians nor Poles call theirs the lands populated by our people!"

The Ukrainian-Russian and Ukrainian-Polish controversy came to a climax when the Poles started another uprising against Russia in 1863. In the preparations for this uprising, Polish noble land­owners in the Ukrainian provinces of the Right Bank and in Kiev joined. They contributed, however, in a way to strengthen the Ukrainian national ranks. We have already mentioned  p566 the Romantic Ukrainophils among the polonized gentry in the Ukraine and the so‑called Ukrainian school in Polish literature. A group of these platonic Ukrainian patriots started a movement which offered a practical solution of the Ukrainian question for the Polish or polonized szlachta in the Ukraine. A number of students of Kiev University, belonging to this class of now polonized former Ukrainian nobles, left the Polish national camp and came over to the Ukrainians. They were influenced by democratic ideas reaching the Ukraine from Western Europe, mostly through Polish revolutionaries, exiles of 1831. Like the "narodnitstvo" of the Left Bank of the Dnieper, they tried to approach the Ukrainian masses and received the nickname of "khlopomany".3 The partisans of this movement, like the "narodniki", carried on propaganda for the liberation of the serfs, and for democratic reform. They also thought that some service was due to the people on the part of the nobles as a sort of expiation for the faults of their fathers and grandfathers. A group of Polish students, "khlopomans", with Volodimir Antonovich at their head, openly declared themselves Ukrainians, left Polish societies and came over to the Ukrainians. They were accused of treason and disloyalty but in answer to these reproaches and accusations Antonovich published a "Confession" in the columns of the Ukrainian review "Osnova". He said:

"Polish nobles living in the Ukraine have two alternatives before them. Either to love the people amidst whom they grew up and live, take an interest in their welfare, return to the nationality once abandoned by their ancestors and by work and devotion gradually expiate all the wrongs done to the people which have brought up several generations of Polish colonists and whom these colonists have repaid by religious persecution, contempt of their morality and customs, by humiliation of their national dignity and economic exploitation, or they may remain as hated strangers, parasites and exploiters,  p567 enemies of this people."a

For himself, Antonovich said, he chose the first one unafraid of any reproaches and with his conscience at rest, he returned to the nationality of his ancestors and from the camp of strangers came over into the ranks of those who wished to work for the interests of the Ukraine and her people. Antonovich was followed by a number of young nobles from among the Polish szlachta in the Ukraine. Though few in number, they were mostly very gifted men who in time rendered great literary or scientific services to the Ukraine. It will be sufficient to name Antonovich himself, who became a great historian and professor at the University of Kiev, Constantine Mikhalchuk, a well-known linguist; Boris Poznansky, a notable student of folklore; Thaddey Rilsky, an economist, and a number of others.

180. Suppressions of Ukrainians in Russia.

At first the Russian authorities paid no special attention to the growth of the Ukrainian national movement in the early sixties, seeing their exclusive occupation with cultural, literary and educational work. The Russian local authorities took to publishing in the Ukrainian language various orders and proclamations to the Ukrainian population in order to be properly understood by them. Kulish was commissioned to translate into Ukrainian the legislation about the emancipation of the serfs and the peasant reform. The School Board in Kiev edited several text-books for Ukrainian schools. This tolerant attitude was, however, very soon changed. The Polish uprising of 1863 gave the reactionary press an opportunity of also accusing Ukrainians: after the Polish uprising, they said, it will be the Ukrainians next if the government does not take precautions in time. The Ukrainian national movement, they said, was only a result of the "Polish intrigue" and was invented by the Poles in order to weaken Russia. A campaign of persecution planned and organized against the Ukrainian cultural movement, Ukrainian elementary schools and  p568 literature now broke out in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov and other towns. A wave of chauvinism spread throughout Russia. The Russian press and authorities were inundated with articles and letters full of calumnies and denunciations against the Ukrainian national movement. This chauvinistic campaign in the press awoke the traditional distrust of the Russian government towards Ukrainians. The activity of the "narodniki" and "khlopomany" for the enlightenment and education of the Ukrainian masses, made the Russian authorities afraid of revolutionary propaganda; and the development of Ukrainian literature brought back the spectre of Ukrainian political separatism. The Russian government, indeed, had never believed that the Ukrainians had altogether renounced political independence or autonomy and no assurances from Ukrainian patriots of the time could make them believe that the Ukrainian national movement had only literary, cultural and educational aims. Local administrators kept on reporting the successes of the Ukrainian national movement among the rural population, in towns, in the army and so on. Repressions then began, in 1862, directed against all Ukrainian societies and centres of cultural work in Kiev, Kharkov, Poltava, Chernigov and other towns. Many persons belonging to the Ukrainian intelligentsia were arrested, imprisoned and after a summary enquiry, without any trial, sent into exile in the extreme North of Russia. The Ukrainian schools were all closed. Tsar Alexander's aide-de‑camp, Mezentsev, was sent into the Ukraine with a special mission to enquire into Ukrainian propaganda. The Minister of Home Affairs, Valuev, prohibited by his order of 1863, the printing of Ukrainian text-books for schools and of popular reading books giving as a reason: "The Ukrainian language does not exist, has never existed and must not exist". In consequence of these repressions the Ukrainian national movement came to a standstill which lasted until the beginning of the seventies, when it again revived. Unfavorable conditions in Russia made Ukrainian patriots turn their eyes to  p569 the part of Ukrainian territory now under Austrian rule in quite different political conditions, and where a Ukrainian revival had for some time been under way under the influence of Ukrainian literature in Russia. This was Galicia.

181. Galicia Under Austrian Rule.

Galicia was added to Austria in 1772. In order to straighten the frontier of their possessions in the East and put Galicia in communication with Transylvania, the Austrian government annexed in 1774 the northern part of Moldavia with the towns Czernowitz, Sereth and Suchava, on the ground that this territory once formed part of Galicia. This land, indeed, belonged to the former Galician Princedom under the Galician-Volynian princes, and was only seized by Moldavian rulers in the Fourteenth century. The country was called Bukovina. Its population was Ukrainian in the north and mixed Ukrainian-Rumanian in the south. Though the Moldavian Prince protested, his Over­lord, the Turkish Sultan, gave Austria his consent in 1775, and Moldavian protestations were of no avail. For some time Bukovina was under Austrian military government; in 1786 it was united to Galicia, remaining thus until 1849 when it was made a separate province.

Both Galicia and Bukovina came under Austrian rule in a very neglected state, economic and cultural. The upper classes of the Ukrainian population were polonized in Galicia, and Rumanianized in Bukovina; the Uniate clergy were much reduced in the Eighteenth century, both materially and morally. The country clergy were extremely poor and ignorant. In some places priests were even compelled to work for the landlords like serfs, and in 1772 the Austrian government made a special law in order to stop this. Though the Uniate clergy as well as the masses firmly adhered to their Eastern rite as the only feature of their Ukrainian nationality, even the more educated among them were losing courage and spirit. The Austrian authorities,  p570 having observed the hard conditions of the Uniate clergy, took measures to improve it. As a beginning the level of education was raised by the founding of two Uniate clerical seminaries, one in Lvov, the other in Peremysl. The material and legal conditions of the clergy were also improved through different measures. This led to the raising of the level of the moral and intellectual life of the Uniate clergy.

The Austrian government, on the whole, paid attention to the state of education in Galicia and especially in elementary schools for the masses. Secondary education in Galicia was then completely in the hands of a few monastic orders who kept about a dozen schools teaching in Latin and Polish. Under Austrian rule they were changed into the German type of "High Schools", where the teaching of Polish was introduced only in 1815; the first "High School" in Bukovina was opened in 1808 in Czernowitz. The measures taken for primary education were more important, as both in Galicia and in Bukovina no elementary schools had existed until they came under Austrian rule. Three types of elementary schools were founded throughout the two provinces in 1774. There were the parish schools with teaching in the native language. The second type were schools with three years teaching in German, and the third type was the normal school of four years with teaching in German. The Ukrainian language was introduced in elementary schools as one of the "native" tongues.

Further, a University was founded in Lvov in 1784 with four Faculties, the teaching being in German with the exception of Theology which was taught in Latin. In order to prepare groups of educated clergy and officials from among the Ukrainians, the Austrian government founded in Lvov in 1787 a University College for theological and philosophical studies specially for Ukrainian students, the so‑called "Studium Ruthenum", where the Ukrainian language was introduced. This College was also open to Ukrainians from Carpathian Ruthenia. "Studium Ruthenum" played an enormous role  p571 in the cultural development of Ukrainians in Galicia. It produced an educated group from whom came many well-known Ukrainian scholars and political men. A Theological College was opened in 1827 in Bukovina which existed until 1875, when a University was opened in Czernowitz with three Faculties, Theology, Philosophy and Law.

Special attention was given to the economic position of Galicia and Bukovina and to social relations there, particularly with regard to the condition of the rural population. The census made in 1772 led to the so‑called "rural" taxes paid on the basis of landowner­ship. In 1775 Empress Maria Theresa issued orders to the nobles asking them not to overburden the serfs with duties. This order was, however, more or less of theoretical significance only. During Maria Theresa's reign everything remained as of old. With the accession of Joseph II (1780‑1790) a new era began for Austria. Joseph II, a brilliant representative of what was termed "enlightened absolutism", was inspired by an enthusiastic wish to do his best for his subjects. "Joseph's conceptions", said the English historian Fife, "were so advanced that the most reckless innovators of the French Revolution could not add anything new ten years later". But in his endeavors to bring social and religious reforms to his "variegated" monarchy, Joseph II did not in the least take into account the different national characteristics of the different peoples, nor their traditions and customs, in which he saw nothing but superstitions and prejudices. He introduced centralization throughout the administration and the predominance of German as the official language and culture. He closed the monasteries and convents and with their possessions created the so‑called "religious funds" for charitable purposes. He prohibited all religious processions and pilgrimages, cancelled all privileges with regard to taxation and reformed the Universities by taking from them their clerical character. Having the best intentions for the benefit of his subjects,  p572 he nevertheless roused against himself all those who cherished traditions, all those who were attached to their religions, to their national ways and customs. Thus a most varied collection of national groups, classes and individuals in the Austrian Monarchy became united in their opposition to the reformer on the throne. A month before his death Joseph II was compelled to repeal all his orders for the abolition of the old institutions in his Empire.

182. Emancipation of Serfs in Austria.

Among the Ukrainian people in Galicia, however, Emperor Joseph II left a good reputation. Having declared in 1781 his intention of "abolishing slavery and serfdom in his realm", the following year he published specially for Galicia an important order making various concessions to the serfs: although remaining under the jurisdiction of the landlords the peasants were to be free to marry, to apprentice their children or send them to school, and to work where they liked with the permission of the landlord, which the latter was compelled to give. Work for the landlord was limited to thirty days in the year. After this order several others followed which gradually reduced serfdom and freed the peasants from petty duties and taxation. The landlord's administration of justice was reformed in the sense that a certain knowledge of law was required and if the landlord did not pass his examination, he was compelled to pay a special judge who was called "justiciarius" or "mandator". Rural communes were allowed to choose their delegates or "plenipotentiaries" who sat in the Court of Justice. A government survey of taxable land (cadastre) was commenced in 1785 and finished in 1789. According to this survey new taxation was introduced on the principle that a peasant's land should serve to maintain him, and only the surplus was to go partly to the State Treasury and partly to the landlord. Thus 70% of his revenue remained to the peasant, 12% went to the State and 18% to the landlord, this being the price  p573 of the serf's labor including all dues, whereas before this reform the landlord appropriated 80% leaving to the peasant 20% of his revenue. We can understand what a storm of protest was raised by the landlords. The next decree of Emperor Joseph II which was entirely revolutionary, replaced the work for the landlord by a tax paid by the serf. This decree was not put into effect since Joseph II died soon after.

During the reign of his successor, Leopold II (1790‑1792) a certain reaction took place. But still Leopold II, though not so strong a partisan of the emancipation of the serfs as his brother, was sufficiently liberal to refuse to give effect to the wishes of the nobles to cancel all the reforms of Joseph II. He only rescinded the last decree substituting a money tax for the work for the landlord, but he gave strict injunctions to the administration to watch that the nobles did not hinder the peasants who wished to free themselves from all dependence by a money payment. But Leopold II soon died and his son Francis II (1792‑1835) entirely neglected the question of the emancipation of the serfs. His reign was a period of decided reaction in all spheres of life. Austria was going through very hard times owing to constant wars against France and in consequence was totally ruined and on the verge of complete bankruptcy. Paper money issued in great quantities upset the Austrian exchange and led to the ruin of many private persons. It was necessary to restore the balance of the national finances. In these circumstances the government feared fresh economic trouble and was in no hurry to proceed to the liberation of the serfs. So peasant reform was put off for a long time. The position of the peasants became much worse after a new land survey was made in 1819, when many abuses were tolerated in assigning the possession of forests and grazing grounds almost everywhere to the landlords. Innumerable lawsuits took place between the peasants and the landlords in consequence of these abuses; peasants appealing to Joseph II's survey and the landlords to that of 1819, with  p574 the result that the peasants invariably lost their suits. Many villages were thus economically ruined.

183. Beginning of National Renaissance in Galicia.

Reforms in Austria, though conducted in a bureaucratic manner and never completed, nevertheless helped Ukrainians to recover their courage and raise their hopes. Among the clergy in Galicia men began to appear who defended the rights of Ukrainians and demanded recognition for their language in literature and in general usage.

Ideas of Romanticism together with the renaissance of the Slavic peoples, Czechs and Poles, exercised an influence on the beginnings of the national revival of Ukrainians in Galicia. Still greater was the influence of modern Ukrainian literature from the Ukraine of the Dnieper. The pioneers of the Ukrainian revival in Galicia were three former students of the Uniate Seminary in Lvov, the so‑called "Ruthenian Trinity"; Shashkevich, Vahilevich and Holovatsky. All three were sons of clergymen and themselves took orders. While still students they became enthusiastic about the ideas of the Ukrainian national revival and decided to develop it in Galicia, supported by contact with the Ukraine of the Dnieper and her rich historical and national tradition. In 1837 Shashkevich published a collection under the name of "Rusalka Dnistrova", the first book to be published in Galicia in the Ukrainian popular language. This book, in spite of its being promptly confiscated by the authorities, made a great impression on Ukrainian youths. Members of the "Ruthenian Trinity" collected and published popular songs, wrote articles to Czech, Polish and German periodicals about Ukrainians in Galicia, their life and folklore in order to awaken the interest of foreigners as well as Ukrainians themselves. The pioneers of the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia had to carry on their work under very hard and unfavorable conditions. Since the Congress of 1815 in Vienna, Austria was under the sway of a general political reaction. The  p575 censor and police jealously watched the emergence of every new idea and pitilessly nipped it in the very bud. The Austrian government was especially suspicious of every evidence of national awakening among the Slavic people, regarding it as a menace to the status quo in the Austrian Empire. The Ukrainian collection "Rusalka Dnistrova" could not be printed in Lvov but was printed as far away as Budapest and confiscated almost as soon as it appeared in Galicia. At that time the educated Ukrainians in Galicia belonged exclusively to the clergy. They were extremely conservative. Being grateful to the Austrian government for the reforms and their emancipation from Polish oppression, the Ukrainian clergy in Galicia were very reluctant to accept liberal and new ideas. Among the members of the older generation there were a few patriots attached to their Galician Ruthenia — the Latin name Ruthenia was adopted officially in Austria to designate Ukrainians in Galicia — but they were extremely discouraged and downhearted; they could not believe in the possibility of raising the Ukrainian population in Galicia by their own efforts alone. In consequence of the propaganda of the Russian "Slavophils" relations were established between some of the Ukrainian clergy in Galicia and the leader of the Slavophils, Professor Pogodin in Moscow, a notorious Muscovite nationalist. Thus the eyes of the Galician clergy now turned towards the mighty Russian empire as the only saviour for Ukrainians against Polish oppression and Austrian reaction. Russian Slavophils sent them papers and reviews from Moscow and maintained a correspondence with them, assuring them of the "unity and identity of all Russian tribes" and persuading them of the impossibility of creating a new modern Ukrainian literature, and of the advantages of accepting Russian literature in a language so akin to Ukrainian. This was the beginning of the so‑called "Moskvophil" movement in Galicia, born of discouragement and lack of self-reliance as well as of the illusion of a great power­ful Russian empire which would liberate all the Slavs and  p576 make them happy. Such thoughts among the elder generation of Ukrainians and the general reaction in Austria, caused great resistance to the efforts of the young Ukrainian generation to revive interest in their own nationality, and induce work for the well-being of the masses. Shashkevich, discouraged by unfavorable conditions, broke down and died young; Vahilevich soon followed him. Holovatsky alone survived and showed great energy in his manifold activities as ethnographer, linguist, folklorist, anthropologist and journalist. An article of his in a German review in 1847 in which he described the conditions of life of the Ukrainian people in Galicia and reproached his countrymen with their indifference to the national work met with great success. He outlined a programme for the improvement of the political, economic and cultural life of Ukrainians in Galicia. Plans were then made among the younger generation for future activity. But before anything could be carried out, the revolution of 1848 broke out in Vienna and opened up the field for political activities which up to then had been prohibited.

A few years before the outbreak of the revolution of 1848, Polish revolutionaries had been preparing a revolt against the Austrian government. In order to stultify this the Austrian authorities had set the peasants against the revolutionaries, who all belonged to the Polish nobility. In the Polish part of Galicia, near Tarnow, the Austrian government succeeded in indu­cing the peasants to attack their landlords on the ground that they were against the Emperor. The Ukrainian peasants in eastern Galicia, who also had grounds for thankfulness to the Emperor for reforms defending them against the arbitrary power of the Polish nobles without directly attacking the Polish revolutionaries, showed evident opposition to them and fidelity to the Austrian authorities. In order to recompense the loyal peasants, the Austrian government decided to complete the emancipation of the serfs by an Imperial decree of the 16th of April, 1848. The government was to buy the land from the landlords  p577 and grant it to the emancipated serfs, who were to refund its value to the State over a period of 40 years. Here again the difficulties of the forests and grazing grounds were not definitely solved and later led to endless lawsuits which the peasants invariably lost, often being ruined thereby. Further, the noble land­owners retained some of their former feudal rights as, for instance, the right to brew and distill and sell spirits, which also for a long time to come remained a source of many misunderstandings and of rightful dissatisfaction among the masses.

The attention of the authorities, however, as well as of all classes of the population was engaged by revolutionary events first in Hungary, then in the Austrian capital, Vienna, and at last throughout the entire Austrian Empire. The French Revolution of February, 1848, had repercussions throughout Europe and almost at once in Austria. By March, 1848, Metternich had to leave his post and the Emperor was obliged to satisfy the demands of the Hungarians for full autonomy. The Czechs followed with a proposal to unite Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, and demanded equal rights with the Austrian Germans in questions of education and administration, as well as the emancipation of the serfs, freedom of press and assembly, religious tolerance and so on. The convocation of a Pan‑German Congress in Frankfurt in 1848, led to the convocation of a Pan‑Slavic Congress in Prague in the same year where all the Slavic peoples of Austria were represented. The Polish revolutionaries in Galicia at first invited Ukrainians to act jointly with them, but the Ukrainians decided to act independently and began by a petition to the Emperor in the name of all Ukrainians in Austria, stating that the Ruthenians formed part of a great Slavic nation and that they were the autochthonous population of Galicia, having once had their own sovereign State there. They asked for the introduction of the Ukrainian language into the schools and for the publication of laws and governmental decrees in Ukrainian. State officials should  p578 be compelled to know the Ukrainian language; Ukrainian Uniate and Orthodox clergy should have the same rights as Roman Catholic clergy; and Ruthenians (Ukrainians) should have access to all State offices. On the 2nd of May, 1848, a "General Ruthenian Council" (Holovna Ruska Rada) was founded which issued a declaration containing the programme of Ukrainian aspirations. It stated that the Galician Ukrainians or Ruthenians formed a part of the Ukrainian people, a great Slavic branch numbering fifteen millions. The former political independence was dwelt upon and the period of disintegration which must not return. Ruthenians were invited to awake and secure for themselves better conditions within the limits of the constitution given by the Austrian government. Following the General Council (Rada), Local Councils were constituted and the movement spread to the province. The activities of the "General Ruthenian Council" met with opposition in Polish circles where it was desired that Ukrainians should act jointly with the Poles. The polonized Ukrainian nobles formed a separate committee and wished to co‑ordinate their activity with the Poles. When the latter began to organize their National Guards, the Ruthenians (Ukrainians) did the same, organizing battalions of "Ruthenian Guards" (Ruski striltsi).

The Austrian government showed themselves favorable to the demands of the Ukrainians who did not go so far in their aspirations as the Poles, showed no separatistic tendencies and everywhere affirmed their loyalty. The Viceroy of the emperor in Galicia, Count Stadion, recommended the government to use the Ukrainians as support because they were the loyal element in Galicia. Thus the alliance of the Ukrainians with the Austrian government began, and though it did not lead to any practical results for the Ukrainians, and did not in the least fulfil their hopes, the legend of an "Austrian intrigue" and of "Count Stadion having invented the Ukrainians in Galicia" was taken up by the Poles and spread against the Ukrainians.

 p579  Ukrainians had also taken part in the Slavic Congress in Prague. The General Ruthenian Council sent delegates there who were included in the same section as the Poles. Antagonism broke out in the Congress between the Ukrainians and the Poles, the former demanding the division of Galicia along national lines. By the mediation of the Czechs and the Russian political refugee, Bakunin, a compromise was reached; autonomy for Galicia, recognition of both languages, Polish and Ukrainian, separate elementary and secondary schools for both nations. The revolutionary turmoil interrupted the work of the Congress and they separated.

In the meantime a "Congress of Ukrainian scholars" met in Lvov numbering 118 members. Their object was to establish a uniform Ukrainian spelling, to separate the Ukrainian language from Church-Slavonic and scientifically establish the position of Ukrainian among the Slavic languages in its relation to Polish and Russian. Holovatsky then communicated the valuable results of his investigations into the Ukrainian language and, according to the well-known Slav linguist, Shafarik, proposed a division of the Roman group into three independent idioms, Russian, Ukrainian and White-Russian. The Congress decided to accept the so‑called etymological Ukrainian orthography existing in the Ukraine of the Dnieper and a uniform grammar. Further the Congress declared for the introduction of the Ukrainian language into all types of schools in Galicia, and demanded the division of Galicia according to the ethnic principle, into Western or Polish and Eastern or Ukrainian. In the summer of 1848 the General Ruthenian Council (Holovna Rada Ruska) founded a Society under the name "Galician Ruthenian Matitsia" (Halitsko Ruska Matitsia), for publishing Ukrainian schoolbooks and generally to supervise educational affairs in Ukrainian language. Late in 1848 a chair of Ukrainian language and literature was founded in the University of Lvov by the Imperial decree and Holovatsky was appointed  p580 to it. He began his course in 1849 and very soon published his grammar of the Ukrainian language.

The first Austrian Parliament met in the summer of 1848; of 383 representatives 96 were from Galicia, and among them 39 Ukrainians who at once proposed measures for the division of Galicia into two parts, the Western or Polish and the Eastern or Ukrainian. This proposal was supported by a petition to the crown signed by 15,000 names. Ukrainian members representing peasants energetically demanded various changes in the laws for peasant reform, and above all a reduction in the price they had to pay to the landlords for the land assigned to them on their emancipation. But the Parliament was dissolved in March, 1849. Reaction took the upper hand in Austria, especially after the Hungarian revolution was put down with the help of the Russian army sent by Tsar Nicholas I. The constitution of 1848 was cancelled and the Austrian government returned once more to bureaucratic methods of rule. In the summer of 1851 the General Ruthenian Council (Rada) was dissolved and the Galicia Ukrainians went to sleep for ten long years. Disappointment and discouragement at obtaining no results from the national revival of 1848‑49 strengthened the Muskvophil party in Galicia; even Holovatsky very soon found himself in that camp.

A revival of the national movement came in 1860 when a new constitution was given, according to which local assemblies of representatives — called in Galicia "Seim" — elected representatives to the State Council (Reichsrat) in Vienna. The Seim in Galicia was composed of 150 representatives. During the first elections Ukrainians obtained 49 seats. A national struggle between the Poles and the Ukrainians at once began in the Galician Seim and continued without ceasing until the beginning of the Great War and the downfall of the Austrian Monarchy. The Poles held the majority of seats and Ukrainian proposals were always rejected. After the unsuccess­ful Polish uprising in Russia of 1863, national antagonism in Galicia increased and at the  p581 same time the Muskvophil movement in Galicia grew considerably and from being merely cultural and literary, became distinctly political in character. In 1866 Austria was defeated by Prussia at Sadowa, and rumors were about that Galicia was going to be surrendered to Russia. This led to an open movement towards Russia among Galician Ukrainians. Even many Ukrainian patriots, despairing of obtaining anything from the Polish majority in the Seim, now expected everything from Russia and were ready to unite with the Muscovites. Holovatsky, Hushalevich, Naumovich, Diditsky, all talented Galician leaders, declared themselves for Russia. But Galicia remained Austrian and the Austrian government after the defeat was disposed to make concessions and proceeded to new reforms: the State was rebuilt on the basis of a dual Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the separate countries, including Galicia, received a certain degree of autonomy. Now the Austrian government decided to seek support from the Poles, owing to their hatred for Russia in consequence of the suppression of the uprising of 1863. Although equality of rights for both peoples in Galicia was declared on paper, the local administration actually fell into the hands of the Polish nobles, their majority being assured by a system of indirect elections. The Polish language replaced German in all the schools and became the dominant language in Galicia. Ukrainians were reduced to an unequal and discouraging though stubborn struggle in the Seim for their cultural and economic rights.

184. Relations With the Ukraine of the Dnieper.

The Ukrainian national struggle in Galicia was hindered by disunion. The active patriots of 1848 with Holovatsky at their head joined Muskvophils, thus strengthening their ranks. The young Ukrainian generation on the other hand were greatly influenced by the Ukrainian national revival in Russia. Shevchenko's poems were read with enthusiasm, copied and widely disseminated. The writings of Kulish and the review  p582 "Osnova" became known in Galicia and met with an enthusiastic reception. Young Ukrainians in Galicia were seized with the same desire to serve the common people, "returning to the people", and this movement "narodnitstvo", analogous to that in the Ukraine spread throughout the country. Singing folksongs and wearing peasant costumes became the fashion; young students devoted themselves to collecting folklore; reviews in Ukrainian were published and relations with Ukrainian patriots in Kiev were started. The younger generation of "Narodovtsi" declared themselves against the older generation who were mostly Moskvophils, and controlled the most important cultural Ukrainian institutions, such as: "Galician Ruthenian Matitsia", "Stauropigian Institute" — former Stauropigian Brotherhood of the Fifteenth century, "Narodny Dim" (People's Home), "Narodovtsi", the young nationalists, then founded new cultural institutions, among them the "Prosvita" in 1868. Thus each party had their parallel institutions, societies, clubs, press, etc. So Ukrainian public life in Galicia was split up into these two camps, which opposed each other in the cultural and later on also in the political field.

Although the "Narodovtsi" (Ukrainian Nationalists) were at first considerably weaker than the Moskvophils — also called "Old Ruthenians" — who were backed by all the higher Uniate clergy, the development of the national movement in Galicia went forward irresistibly and in its turn exercised an influence on the national movement in the Russian Ukraine. When the Russian government began repressions the Ukrainian patriots made a plan to transfer all literary and publishing activity into Galicia, taking advantage of the more favorable conditions under the constitutional regime in Austria. This plan would strengthen the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia, the results of which could in turn be applied in the Russian Ukraine when conditions of life in Russia had become more propitious. So with funds from the Ukraine, a review was founded under the name of "Pravda", in which the works of the best Ukrainian  p583 authors from the Russian Ukraine were published. With funds given by Elizabeth Miloradovich, a Ukrainian patriot and land­owner in Poltava province, a printing press was bought in Lvov and put at the disposal of a "Shevchenko Scientific Society" (Naukove Tovaristvo imeni Shevchenka), founded there in 1873. The help given by Ukrainians from Russia was of the greatest importance to the Ukrainian movement in Galicia. It contributed to the development of literature and encouraged the liberal and democratic tendencies among Galician Ukrainians. Although it shortly appeared that the political and social ideas of the Ukrainians from Russia differed greatly from those of the Galicians, owing to the different political outlook in Russia and Austria, the influence of the former was nevertheless generally beneficial to the political and national development of Galicia. It broadened their provincial ideas and accustomed them to think of themselves as part of the great Ukrainian nation.

In Bukovina life had developed on its independent lines since its separation from Galicia in 1849; when they were divided into two separate crown-lands, Bukovina's cultural life was strongly influenced by German-Austria and by Rumania in religious matters. The Ukrainian masses were deprived of schools. After 1850, however, the situation improved first, when schools were given to the Orthodox Ukrainian Consistorium and later, when the school administration was taken in hand by the government in 1868. The number of schools grew with rapidity. The "Narodnitstvo" movement in the Ukraine and Galicia found support in Bukovina also, where a number of talented poets and novelists appeared, among whom the first place belongs to Yuri Fedkovich, the "Shevchenko of Bukovina". The first Ukrainian Society was founded in Czernowitz in 1868, and remained for a long time in the hands of the "Moskvophils". In the German University founded in Czernowitz, Ukrainians were granted a chair in 1875 for the Ukrainian language and literature.

 p584  The revolution of 1848‑49 had a much stronger influence in the Carpathian Ruthenia where its prospects seemed good. At the end of the Eighteenth and beginning of the Nineteenth century this small country produced a series of gifted scholars who occupied Professorial Chairs not only in Galicia but also in Russia. This fact had, however, no other influence on local conditions than to create some Russophil tendencies. When the Hungarian revolution of 1848 broke out, the Austrian government found faithful allies against the Magyars in the Slovak and Ukrainian population. A talented and energetic man among the latter, Adolph Dobriansky, succeeded in organizing his countrymen and in obtaining from the Austrian government autonomy for the Carpathian Rus. His patriotic activity was, however, not of long duration: the Magyars recovered their domination over Carpathian Ruthenia in the sixties and all the results of the revolution of 1848 were lost. The country underwent a long period of forcible Magyarization. Under the rule of the Magyar land­owning nobles, the education of masses, as well as their material well-being, suffered a great decline. Neglected economically and culturally, cut off even from adjacent Galicia, Carpathian Ruthenia was left a prey to poverty and ignorance until the downfall of the dual monarchy.


The Author's Notes:

1 Pseudonym of Maria Markovich (1834‑1907).

[decorative delimiter]

2a 2b From "Narod" — the people or nation.

[decorative delimiter]

3 From "khlop" — Polish for peasant.


Thayer's Note:

a I moved to here the closing quotation mark that was printed at the end of the next sentence; but some of that sentence should probably have been enclosed in quotation marks as well.


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