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Chapter 27

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 29

 p585  Chapter XXVIII

 * * * *

(The numbers link directly to the sections.)

(185) Ukrainian Movement in the Seventies. (186) The Decree of the 18th of May, 1876. (187) Events in the Eighties. (188) Ukrainian Movement Becomes Radical. (189) Revolution of 1905‑06. (190) Successes of Ukrainian National Movement in Austria. (191) On the Threshold of Great Events.

 * * * *

185. Ukrainian Movement in the Seventies.

The Ukrainian national movement in Russia, which early in the sixties of the Nineteenth century seemed to be so strong and hopeful, did not strike root deeply enough even among the upper classes of the Ukrainian population and still less among the masses. Ukrainian nobles, who in the third and fourth decades of the century conserved to a considerable extent their national historical traditions building on them their claim to a privileged and leading position in the country, gradually lost as a class their Ukrainian patriotism, partly because their aspirations were recognized by the Imperial ukase of 1835 and partly because of a general reaction in Russia. Only individuals among the Ukrainian nobles supported the national movement in the sixties and seventies. The Ukrainian Orthodox clergy were in closer contact with the masses, especially on the Right Bank of the Dnieper and among them groups of patriotic Ukrainian "intelligentsia" were continually arising, but as a class they were too poorly off to be able to play an independent part in public life. Deprived, with but few exceptions, of the support of the most influential and wealthy class in the Ukraine, that of the land­owning nobles, the Ukrainian national movement was furthered by the efforts of the "déclassé intelligentsia" who chiefly consisted of impoverished nobles, sons of clergy, even peasants who had become State officials, members of the liberal professions — lawyers, doctors, teachers and so on who, owing to the absence in Russia of political freedom and free political public life, could not have any  p586 influence or importance. It is true that from the class of nobles single individuals continually arose who were warm supporters of the Ukrainian national movement, but usually they had to break with their class and go over into the ranks of the "déclassé intelligentsia". This was the reason for the feeble resistance made by the national movement to all the prohibitions and persecutions which the government began to shower on it early in the sixties.

The provincial self-governing body "Zemstvo", introduced in 1864 in the Ukraine of the Left Bank (Poltava, Chernigov and Kharkov) and in the Ukraine of the steppe region (Katerinoslav, Kherson), had among other functions one very important branch of popular education, namely elementary schools and libraries; the same is true of the Municipal self-governing bodies introduced in towns after 1870. At first Ukrainian national interests were not considered. The limited composition and indirect system of elections of these self-governing bodies permitted the election only of totally ignorant peasants or of representatives of the noble land­owners whose Ukrainian patriotism had, as we have seen, cooled off. The same happened in the Municipal elections where only Russianized urban upper classes or quite uneducated small artisans could take part in the elections and be elected. It was not till somewhat later and only after great effort that the Ukrainian movement penetrated at all into the self-governing bodies, Provincial and Municipal.

In the sixties Ukrainian youth fell under the influence of the cosmopolitan socialistic and revolutionary ideas spreading in Russia from Western Europe. These ideas were advocated by talented and influential authors in the columns of numerous Russian reviews, though more or less disguised and veiled owing to the censor­ship. Ukrainians had no press in which to defend Ukrainian positions and make known Ukrainian national ideas. When secret Russian revolutionary societies were founded such as "Zemlia i Volia" (Land and Freedom),  p587 many active young Ukrainians swelled their ranks and perished in the struggle against Russian autocracy, believing that general political freedom in Russia would also bring freedom for the Ukrainian people. Compared with the political and social perspectives by which the Russian revolutionaries attracted the imagination of the young, the small and modest Ukrainian work of improving the education and culture of the Ukrainian people seemed narrow and insufficient. Thus the Ukrainian young generation of the seventies was more and more attracted by cosmopolitan aspirations which were in fact, Pan‑Russian, while the Ukrainian language and literature became in their eyes no more than means by which they could more easily approach the Ukrainian masses and propagate among them the extreme and practically Great-Russian conceptions of socialism.

Education gradually began to spread once again among the popular masses but in the Russian language and form; compulsory military service introduced in 1874 took all the young men year after year through Muscovite barracks, especially as Ukrainians were sent to serve outside the Ukrainian frontiers, whereas the troops stationed in Ukraine consisted exclusively of Muscovites. Owing to the prohibition to print in Ukrainian there were no Ukrainian books or papers, thus the spread of the Russian press and literature also led to Russianization. A Russian school was absolutely alien to a Ukrainian child, not only on account of the language but because of the whole spirit of the teaching. The official State Church was transformed into a Russianizing agency. The official administrative and judicial institutions, barracks, factories, and in brief all the various manifestations of the modern life of the country were power­ful agents of mass-Russianization against which all efforts of the Ukrainian intelligentsia, bereft of every means, and whose every step was watched by the vigilant political police, were too weak and powerless. The Ukrainian national movement in the late sixties was reduced to a literary current without influence in the press, and  p588 "Zemstvo" or Provincial and Municipal self-governing bodies the only lawful spheres of public life under Russian conditions. Ukrainians of the time of "Osnova" in the early sixties, having voluntarily renounced all political activity and aspirations and so having repelled the more active Ukrainian elements, had themselves contributed to this stagnation of the Ukrainian movement and to its now being excluded from all the realities of political and public life, such as existed in Russia.

But the Ukrainian national movement, reduced though it was to the status of a literary current, contained great potential strength. We have proof of this in the power­ful impressions made by Ukrainian books which in spite of all prohibitions reached the Ukrainian masses, by the Ukrainian speech in the mouth of educated people even if it were used for other purposes, revolutionary propaganda for instance. This was evident in the Chihirin affair when a revolutionary propagandist, called Stefanovich, roused several villages because he addressed them in Ukrainian and told them about Cossack times. When, despite all prohibitions, Shevchenko's collected poems "Kobzar" reached peasant readers they never failed to make a power­ful impression. Very often, indeed, this book awakened in many a Russianized reader his national consciousness and stimulated him to active work for the Ukrainian national movement. Later the Ukrainian theatre had the same influence. No less an impression was made by Ukrainian books and papers printed in Galicia when, by chance, they penetrated to the masses. Even through the hardest years of black reaction when almost all manifestations of the Ukrainian spirit lay moribund or were barely smouldering under oppression, prohibitions and repressions, a constant flow of new and fresh forces never ceased to swell the ranks of disinterested workers for national liberation, coming from all classes of the Ukrainian populations, from the descendants of the old Ukrainian nobility to simple peasants and workmen, and what was most significant, the latter became more and more numerous as time went on.  p589 Now and then the Ukrainian movement awakened with new power in the depths of the Ukrainian people some hidden force, lulled to sleep by centuries of misfortune. Sometimes the smallest effort sufficed to awaken it. Kostomarov was right when he wrote to the Muscovite Slavophil Aksakov: "Russians make an error," he said, "when they think that they know the Ukrainian people: they hardly suspect that at the bottom of every Ukrainian who is not stupid and can think for himself, there slumbers a Vyhovsky, a Doroshenko, a Mazepa, who will awaken when the destined moment comes". The history of the Ukrainian movement shows us that he was right: after every forced interval, the Ukrainian movement revived with renewed strength to break into the bright flame of the national revival of 1917.

A considerable intellectual and scientific Ukrainian movement was concentrated early in the seventies in Kiev, which thus became once more the chief centre of Ukrainian life. A Ukrainian Society in Kiev, the "Hromada",1 included among its members a number of brilliant and talented men in all branches of scientific, literary and artistic activity, who not only succeeded in organizing for the time being active national work in many fields — scientific, literary and artistic, but also modelled the Ukrainian movement according to modern scientific achievements, adapting it and bringing it to bear on the exigencies of their time. The programme of Ukrainian activities was formulated by them in correspondence with the new current of thought. It suffices to enumerate such names as: V. Antonovich, Dragomanov, Zhitetsky, Chubinsky, Mikhalchuk, Lisenko, Vovkov, Staritsky, Nechuy-Levitsky, in order to see that this was a happy combination of talented men among whom there were quite a number of promising young members. The incentive to found a Ukrainian scientific institution under the official name of "The South-Western Branch of the Imperial Geographical Society" founded  p590 in 1872, came from the members of the "Hromada". This scientific society organized its members and adherents throughout the entire Ukraine and set on foot an active and systematic inquiry into all sides of the life of Ukrainian people: history, archaeology, language, folklore, statistics, economy, health and so on. They succeeded in publishing works that were epoch-making in the Ukraine. Outstanding are Chubinsky's work on the ethnography of the Ukraine of the Right Bank, Antonovich and Dragomanov's collection of Ukrainian historical songs, Dragomanov's collection of Ukrainian fairy tales, and Rudchenko's collection of the Chumaki songs. When the results of this colossal work achieved in a very short time were demonstrated at the Historical and Archaeological Congress in Kiev in 1874, they surprised European scholars present there by their volume and importance, and were reported in the French and English press of the time. Taking advantage of a temporary lull in the activity of the political censor­ship, excellent Ukrainian books were printed in Kiev which, along with scientific works, poetry and fiction had escaped the vigilance of the censors. The talented composer, N. Lisenko, initiated a study of Ukrainian popular music and created Ukrainian opera. The Society "Hromada" bought the daily paper in Kiev "Kievsky Telegraph" which, though in Russian, became a thoroughly Ukrainian organ. Lively contact was established with "Societies" or "Hromadas" in other Ukrainian cities of which the "Hromada" of Odessa was the most active. The political programme of the Kievan "Hromada" and of the Ukrainian national movement as a whole tended to favor autonomy for the Ukraine, including Galicia and Bukovina in a federative Russia, thus continuing the traditions of the Brotherhood of SS Cyril and Methodius. In their social tendencies the members of the Kievan "Hromada" were somewhat radical and some of them were inclined to socialism. The "Hromada" of Odessa was even more radical; both societies were in touch with the Russian revolutionary parties of the time.

 p591  186. The Decree of the 18th of May, 1876.

The development of the Ukrainian national movement alarmed the government, who saw therein a new manifestation of Ukrainian separatism. Local reactionary circles afraid of socialism and of revolutionary propaganda, denounced the activities of "Hromada" in St. Petersburg. In consequence of these denunciations Tsar Alexander II ordered in 1875, the creation of a special Commission of ministers to "consider means of combatting Ukrainophil danger". The Commission came to the conclusion that "toleration of literature in this popular Ukrainian idiom would give permanent footing to the idea of the possibility, even in the distant future, of the separation of the Ukraine from Russia". In consequence, the Commission decided to dissolve the "South Western Branch of the Imperial Geographical Society" in Kiev, to close the daily paper "Kievsky Telegraph" and to take repressive measures against some individual Ukrainians. The climax of this new official Russian campaign against the Ukrainian national movement was Tsar Alexander's secret ukase signed in Ems on the 18th of May 1876, decreeing absolute prohibition of Ukrainian books. And further, it was prohibited to print the text of Ukrainian popular folk-songs with the music and to sing them in public. The Ukrainian theatre was likewise prohibited. At the same time the Commission of the Ministers decided to give regular financial support to the Moskvophil movement in Galicia, secretly sending them subsidies to combat the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia.

Michael Dragomanov deprived at once of his chair of history in the University of Kiev, and several other Ukrainians, among them Th. Vovkov, S. Podolinsky, Ziber and others, were compelled to seek refuge by crossing the frontier and becoming political refugees. The "Hromada" of Kiev instructed Dragomanov to found in Geneva a review which could serve as a free tribune and defend Ukrainian interests in Western Europe. Most Ukrainian authors transferred the publishing of their works to Galicia.

 p592  The ukase of 1876 did not destroy the Ukrainian movement nor Ukrainian literature but, together with the general reaction in Russia by which the government hoped to put down the terroristic activity of Russian revolutionaries, it had its influence on the Ukrainian movement. The political activities of the Ukrainian societies declined very much. At the same time Dragomanov started energetic activity in Geneva, publishing his review under the name of "Hromada" and a series of Ukrainian books and pamphlets as well as books and articles in different European languages. Ukrainians in Russia were discouraged by the failure of political opposition, and again tended to renounce all political pre‑occupations and continue purely cultural national work. Dragomanov was for a time cut off from Ukrainians in Russia and turned his attention to the Ukrainian movement in Galicia, having made connections there with some men of the younger generation. Black reaction which set in after the assassination of Alexander II, forced Ukrainians to turn exclusively to scientific Ukrainian work: history, archaeology, ethnography, language, history of literature and of art, were the branches to which Ukrainians devoted their attention. The review in Russian "Kievskaya Starina", founded in Kiev in 1882, now became the chief centre of this purely scientific activity. Besides the "Kievskaya Starina", a number of scientific societies, historical and others in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa and other Ukrainian towns that were in Ukrainian hands, devoted their activity to the Ukraine but, of course, in Russian and under the eye of the political censor­ship.

187. Events in the Eighties.

The period of the eighties and early nineties was perhaps the darkest period in the whole history of the Ukrainian national movement, but even this period was not completely sterile. Important scientific work had been secretly carried on and this work became the basis of the future development of the Ukrainian scientific literature in its national language and spirit. It was  p593 also at this time that a number of young authors began their literary career, publishing of course in Galicia. These authors were destined in time to become ornaments of Ukrainian literature. These were Lesia Ukrainka (pseud. of Larisa Kosach Kvitka), Michailo Kotsiubinsky, Volod. Samiylenko, Boris Hrinchenko, Volod. Leontovich, A. Krinsky, T. Zinkivsky and others. During what seemed to be the darkest years, the national organizing activity of A. Konisky was going forward. Imperceptible to an uninitiated eye, in strict secrecy, the Ukrainian movement was skilfully guided by the experienced hand of Professor Volodimir Antonovich. In the person of Vassyl Simirenko, the owner of sugar refineries in Kiev province, the Ukrainian movement acquired a generous patron. Eugen Chikalenko,​a landed proprietor in the Kherson province, later became another such patron. Both very generously supported the Ukrainian cultural movement with funds, assisting publishing in Galicia and when it again became possible, in Russian Ukraine also.

The most striking phenomenon in Ukrainian national life in the ninth and tenth decades was the brilliant development of the Ukrainian theatre created in the early eighties by Marko Kropivnitsky. His company of actors, which besides himself included first class actors such as Maria Zankovetska, M. Sadovsky, O. Saksahansky, Ivan Karpenko Kary and others, won a great reputation for the Ukrainian theatre throughout all Russia. Divided later into several companies the Ukrainian theatre became an important agent in the awakening of the Ukrainian national consciousness throughout the Ukrainian population.

Ukrainian political thought, limited and repressed in Russian Ukraine, could be freely expressed in Galicia in the columns of reviews published with funds contributed by Ukrainians from Russian Ukraine and with their active collaboration. Such were: "Zoria", "Pravda", "Zhitia i Slovo", "Narod", etc. The most important Ukrainian questions were discussed and settled in their columns. Ukrainians from Russia became the leaders of  p594 the varying currents of political and national thought in Galicia. Professor Antonovich and A. Konisky on one side and Dragomanov on the other, influenced the development and the direction taken by the policy of Ukrainians in Galicia. In 1894 the newly-founded chair of Ukrainian history in the University of Lvov was given to a young scholar from Kiev, Mykhailo Hrushevsky. His arrival in Galicia constituted the beginning of an era in its national and cultural life. Relations between Russian Ukraine and Galicia became more lively and frequent, thus influencing the course of development of national life in both parts of the Ukraine.

188. Ukrainian Movement Becomes Radical.

The new Ukrainian generation entering public life at the end of the Nineteenth century, was far more uncompromising in their Ukrainian nationalism and gave it a wider scope. Unwilling to be restricted to scientific and cultural activities, they claimed for the Ukrainian people their full quota of national and political rights. They did not mix with the Russian liberal movement but worked in their own organizations. In 1897 a Pan‑Ukrainian Congress took place, secretly of course, in Kiev, consisting of representatives from the societies "Hromada" in the various Ukrainian towns. A central organization was founded under the name of "General Ukrainian Democratic non‑party Organization", which elected its Executive Committee and established regular relations with all Ukrainian societies, as well as regular periodical congresses in Kiev. In a short time the Ukraine became a network of secret societies, not only in the chief provincial towns but also in small district towns. Ukrainians living in St. Petersburg also founded a society through which the Ukrainian Central organization entered into relations with Russian secret political organizations. In Kharkov in 1899, a group of Ukrainian students with Dmitro Antonovich at their head founded the "Revolutionary Ukrainian Party", which at the start put the watchword of Ukrainian political independence  p595 in their programme. This party included in its ranks the most active elements among Ukrainian students and younger members of the "intelligentsia". They were very active in publishing revolutionary pamphlets, printing them in Galicia and Bukovina and bringing great quantities across the frontier to be distributed among the population, especially to peasants and workmen. "The Revolutionary Ukrainian Party" was rapidly transformed into a Socialistic Democratic Party formulating general socialist ideas in the first place and limiting its national aspirations to claiming autonomy for the Ukraine instead of political independence. The watchword of political independence was adopted by a branch that separated from the "Revolutionary Ukrainian Party" calling themselves "National Ukrainian Party", who now actively kept this idea before Ukrainians. Based, however, as it was, not so much on national historical tradition, as on theoretical socialist arguments, it as yet attracted little attention among the masses and seemed to many to be only a distant ideal.

The beginning of the Twentieth century is marked in Russian history by the rapid growth of political movements, heralding an awakening from the still prevailing reaction. Russian absolutism surrendered rapidly under pressure of public opinion and of its own inward deterioration. Even the Ukrainian national movement, though always suspect in the eyes of Russian authorities and subject to vigilant observation, actually obtained some concessions. The number of Ukrainian books printed in Russia was rapidly growing, especially those for popular reading. Some elementary text-books for primary teaching had also seen the light. Some Ukrainian law societies under Russian names obtained permission to exist in St. Petersburg. Public Ukrainian demonstrations became fairly frequent such, for instance, as the unveiling of the monument to the poet Ivan Kotliarevsky in Poltava on the 30th of August, 1903, when thousands of Ukrainian intelligentsia came to Poltava, among them delegates from the Galician and Bukovinian societies,  p596 and in answer to the prohibition against using the Ukrainian language from the platform organized a silent and imposing demonstration. The jubilees of M. Lysenko and of I. Nechuy Levitsky in Kiev, turned out to be similar all‑Ukrainian festivities. The Ukrainian speech began to be used in public. Quite a number of "Zemstvo" (Provincial) and "Duma" (Municipal Self-Governing bodies) began to pass resolutions about the necessity of using the Ukrainian language in elementary schools. All kinds of congresses (agriculturalists, engineers, etc.), followed their example, demanding freedom to use the Ukrainian language. Theatrical companies began to take measures to remove the restrictions on the Ukrainian theatre. Petitions signed by thousands of names were sent to the central government about the necessity of abolishing the special prohibitions against the Ukrainian language.

189. Revolution of 1905‑1906.

The Russian government began to realize that the Ukrainian movement had already overstepped the limits of a narrow literary or political current and had entered the open arena of public life. The first breach in the wall of prohibitions that surrounded Ukrainians was the permission to publish a Ukrainian translation of the New Testament in Russia.2 The Russian Synod of bishops, which up to now had prohibited all use of the Ukrainian language in church, gave their blessing to the publication of the Ukrainian translation of the Gospels and even published it at their expense. Late in 1904 the Council of Ministers, in a special sitting, considered the question of abolition of the special censor­ship against Ukrainian books and noticed "the low standard of education in Ukrainian provinces owing to the absence of books in the language understood by the population". The Council of Ministers asked the opinion of the Academy  p597 of Sciences on this matter, the Universities of Kiev and Kharkov and the Governor General of Kiev. All were against the prohibition. The Academy of Sciences answered by a memorandum written by its most competent members, and the answer of Kiev University was written by Professor Volodimir Antonovich himself. The Russian government was still deliberating and discussing the matter when the revolution broke out in the autumn of 1905, and the Ukrainian language was allowed under the Imperial manifesto of the 17th of October, 1905, granting Russia a constitution and a Parliament (the Duma). In the chief Ukrainian towns Kiev, Kharkov, Poltava, Odessa, Katerinoslav and others as well as in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Ukrainian periodicals, daily papers and reviews made their appearance. Ukrainian political parties, secret up to now, openly entered political life such as the Radical-Democratic, the Socialist-Democratic, the Nationalist (Narodnia) and the "Selianska Spilka" (Peasants' Union). Ukrainian clubs and educational societies (Prosvita) were called to life and developed energetic activity especially in publishing Ukrainian books for the people.

All Ukrainian parties began to work for autonomy for their country. They all had radical or socialist programmes. Ukrainians freed by means of the revolution from the yoke of prohibitions and repressions were generally rather radical and extreme, and the tone of all their public utterances as well as of the Ukrainian press was rather sharply antidespotic. The very few conservative elements among them, Ukrainian nobles, mostly land­owners, made no attempt at organized political action and their voice was not heard. Most of them even saw no significance in the mena­cing events developing before their eyes and deeply shaking their economic and political position. Instead of joining the national Ukrainian movement for autonomy and by so doing counteracting extreme radicalism and socialism, most of the Ukrainian upper classes had thrown in their lot with the Russian reactionaries and centralization, thus  p598 undermining their own future existence as a social class.

The crushing defeat of the Japanese war once more showed up the incompetence of Russian absolutism with its centralization and bureaucratic government, the lack of organization, all weaknesses of an autocratic bureaucratic regime. The shock of the October revolution of 1905 was, however, not sufficient. The government, though forced to yield in many respects to the general liberal movement, soon recovered and resumed the stubborn struggle, having mobilized for this purpose all the reactionary and conservative elements in the Empire. The Ukrainian national movement was, in the eyes of government, only a part — and a most dangerous part — of the whole revolutionary movement which threatened the foundation of the autocratic and bureaucratic regime. After a short period of inaction the Russian authorities reopened the campaign of persecutions and prohibitions: Ukrainian periodicals were suspended, Ukrainian societies dissolved and Ukrainian politicians arrested. But the Ukrainian national movement was spreading with astonishing rapidity, touching ever widening circles of population. It was now welcomed not only by the liberal intelligentsia but by peasants and workmen, taking an ever sharper and sharper tone of irreconcilable opposition to the government as well as to the upper social classes of the population.

The first Russian Parliament, the Duma, met in the spring of 1906. The Socialist parties, both Russian and Ukrainian, refused to take part in the elections as a protest against the limited and curtailed electoral laws. But in spite of the elimination of the extreme left, the elections to the first Duma took place amidst a desperate struggle of the liberal parties against the proceedings of the authorities who prohibited electoral meetings, arrested and imprisoned the candidates and so on. Among Ukrainian parties only the Radical-Democrats stood for election and a few of their candidates here and there succeeded in being elected. Most of them, however, were  p599 either arrested and imprisoned for the period of the election or the election was cancelled by the authorities on some trivial ground. But when the Duma met, the handful of Ukrainian Radical-Democrats — among them Ilia Shrah, Volod. Shemet, Pavlo Chizhevsky — were at once joined by forty to fifty members from the Ukraine who had been elected without being members of a party. A fairly numerous Ukrainian group was thus formed in the Duma, in spite of all the efforts of the authorities to prevent it. This was a great triumph for the Ukrainian national movement; it considerably raised the spirit of Ukrainians and gave them hopes of the ultimate success of their cause. A special Ukrainian centre was at once created in St. Petersburg to help the work of the Ukrainian faction in the Duma. The Society of Ukrainians living in St. Petersburg, the "Hromada", at the head of which were very experienced leaders Petro Stebnitsky and Alexander Lototsky, together with Professor M. Hrushevsky who came purposely from Lvov, founded a review "Ukrainski Vestnik" with the object of creating an atmosphere favorable to the bill for Ukrainian autonomy which was being prepared and was to be proposed in the Duma. But almost on the eve of the presentation of the bill by the Ukrainian faction, the Duma was dissolved, having existed only seventy‑two days. Most of the members, including the Ukrainians, assembled in Viborg in Finland, and signed a protest against the dissolution. They were all accused of illegal proceedings, tried and imprisoned, thus losing the right to take part in the new elections. This was a great loss to the Ukrainians for though a Ukrainian faction of 47 members was formed in the Second Duma, most of them were country clergy and peasants lacking in the experience of those in the First Duma. In spite of that they introduced bills for the introduction of the Ukrainian language into elementary schools in the Ukraine and for creating chairs in Ukrainian language, literature and history in Ukrainian universities. They also drew up bills for the introduction of the Ukrainian language into  p600 the courts of justice and the church, and a bill for Ukrainian self-government, etc. But the Second Duma was very soon dissolved, having lived only one hundred and three days, and Russia was again plunged into the blackest reaction. The electoral laws were so modified that only candidates more or less favored by the government could be elected. In the Third and Fourth Dumas there were only one or two Ukrainian members so no Ukrainian group could be formed, and Ukrainian interests were not represented.

The government now began gradually to withdraw all the concessions which the revolution of 1905 had forced them to grant. Many Ukrainian periodicals were stopped, Ukrainian parties and societies were dissolved, many active Ukrainian patriots were exiled to Siberia and the extreme North of Russia. Some fled and took refuge abroad. The Ukrainian lectures and courses started in 1906‑07 in the Universities of Kharkov and Odessa were suspended and the authorities began with renewed energy to "sweep the Ukrainian influence out of the schools". Nevertheless a few achievements of the revolution remained: a few Ukrainian clubs and educational societies (Prosvita) continued to exist here and there in various Ukrainian towns, the "Ukrainian Scientific Society" in Kiev and a few Ukrainian periodicals. The only papers left were a daily paper, the "Rada" edited by Eugene Chikalenko in Kiev, and a weekly, the "Ridnyi Krai" edited by Olga Kossack in Poltava and a few others. But the chief achievement of the revolution was the expansion of the Ukrainian movement, which continued to recruit adherents among the intelligentsia, among them a number of political men of mark who, though Ukrainians by birth, were heretofore indifferent to the national movement. A still more important advance was the fact that the Ukrainian movement was now rooted deeply among the masses, especially among the peasants of Poltava and Katerinoslav provinces. The Russian political parties were now compelled to reckon with Ukrainians as an important political power. Ukrainian  p601 political parties having been dissolved, a new political organization called "The Progressive Party" was secretly formed in 1908, and took the lead of the Ukrainian national movement. From the standpoint of constitutional government and autonomy for the Ukraine, this Society entered into relations with the various Russian liberal political parties which were officially recognized and represented in the Duma, and through them succeeded to a certain point in defending Ukrainian interests in the Duma. The Russian government continued to consider the Ukrainian national movement as a stepping stone to the political separation of the Ukraine. All the Russian authorities were certain of it, from the Prime Minister Stolypin, who openly declared this as his reason for forbidding the use of the Ukrainian language in public life, down to the officials of the local administrations and political police or "gendarmes", as they were called in Russia. And they were not far from the truth. Though the representatives of the Ukrainian organizations officially continued to declare in their public announcements that their aspirations were limited by autonomy, the idea of Ukrainian political independence formulated at the threshold of the Twentieth century continued to grow and to find adherents, especially among the younger generation. The subsequent development of the Ukrainian national movement in Galicia and Bukovina gave considerable support to the idea of Ukrainian independence.

190. Successes of Ukrainian National Movement in Austria.

The "Narodovtsi" movement in Galicia, though steadily growing and developing throughout the seventies, was gradually losing its democratic character and purpose. As it was chiefly supported by the clergy and middle classes who were very conservative and very loyal to the Austrian authorities, it was ultimately reduced to a formal and superficial nationalism, completely out of touch with the real needs of the Ukrainian masses  p602 in Galicia. The very differences and conflicts of the "Narodovtsi" and "Moskvophils" were like family quarrels about grammar and spelling; no one tried to explain to the people the meaning and use of the political constitution or the elements of economic and social life. The Ukrainian people, though living under a constitutional regime in Austria, had no idea how to take advantage of their constitutional freedom. The Ukrainian peasants lived in the belief that the Emperor alone enjoyed supreme power in the country, that he was all-power­ful and that everything depended on his will. The Emperor Franz Joseph did not care in the least for his Ukrainian subjects and had no wish to do anything for them. A certain estrangement had taken place in the relations of the "Narodovtsi" with Ukrainians in Russia, owing to difference in their political and social outlook and consequently their interests became confined exclusively to local Galician affairs. The apathy and indifference of the masses to parliamentary policy had reached an extreme stage as is shown by the fact that only two Ukrainian candidates were elected in the Galician Seim in 1879.

The beginning of the eighties brought a revival. In 1880 the "Narodovtsi" founded an important political daily paper "Dilo", devoted exclusively to local Galician affairs, and for the first time held public meetings (viche) in order to discuss the political, economic and social needs of the population. Volodimir Barvinsky, a talented journalist, became the head of this active group of "Narodovtsi". At about the same time Dragomanov's influence on the younger generation in Galicia began to increase. Since the last half of the seventies Dragomanov, who was living in Geneva, had been in contact with some young Galician Ukrainians and was trying to turn their attention to the work of spreading radical and socialist ideas among the masses. A group of young men including Ivan Franko, a very talented poet and novelist, and Michailo Pavlik, started a literary and publishing enterprise inspired by Dragomanov, who thus  p603 became the spiritual leader of the whole generation. Most of Dragomanov's ideas were unsuited or even directly harmful to Galician conditions. His anticlericalism and negative attitude towards the church and clergy were nothing less than detrimental in a country which was deeply attached to the national church, and where both the church and clergy had rendered and were rendering invaluable services to the persecuted nation; his abstract socialism and pedantic political radicalism made no allowance for the peculiar conditions of life in Galicia; his propaganda of cosmopolitanism which actually was nothing else than Pan‑Russianism in disguise, took no heed of the national problems of a population which had to struggle for the most elementary national rights. But on the other hand Dragomanov's activity was permeated by a lofty disinterested idealism and a sincere love for the people. Dragomanov called to Galicians to abandon their barren discussions about spelling and devote themselves to practical activity for the good of the masses. He advised his followers to study the matter thoroughly before beginning public activity, and especially he insisted on the use of ethical methods in the struggle against political rivals. All this was extremely necessary in the circumstances, and was of great educational value to Galician Ukrainians.

Late in the eighties under the influence of Dragomanov a Ukrainian Radical Party was founded in Galicia, the object of which was to defend the interests of the Ukrainian peasants in Galicia. Dragomanov's adherents founded two papers, "Narod" and "Khliborob" with the funds they obtained from the Russian Ukraine and started electoral propaganda. The new party succeeded in obtaining several seats in the Seim in Lvov and in the Parliament in Vienna. The activity of the Radicals aroused the "Narodovtsi" and the Moskvophils also to start active work in the interests of the masses. The leaders of the "Narodovtsi", influenced by and in co‑operation with Ukrainians from Russia — chiefly Alexander Konisky and Professor Antonovich — and supported by the Galician  p604 Metropolitan Silvestre Sembratovich, entered into an understanding with the Viceroy of the Emperor in Galicia, Count Baden, backed by influential Polish circles. According to the agreement, Ukrainians were to break definitely with the Moskvophils and declare their loyalty to Austria and were to stop their tactics of opposition to the Poles. In return Ukrainians were to receive a series of concessions: financial subsidies from the Austrian government for Ukrainian cultural institutions, Ukrainian training colleges for teachers and a third new Ukrainian "High School" (Gymnasium), a chair of Ukrainian history in Lvov University, Ukrainian shields on all State institutions, in railways, streets, letter boxes. The authors of this agreement expected a "new era" in Galicia as a result, and the Ukrainian member of the Seim in Lvov Julian Romanchuk, made in the name of the "Narodovtsi", a suitable declaration at the end of 1890. The understanding (uhoda) was energetically opposed by the Radicals and Moskvophils and did not meet with the expected success but remained unpopular with the Ukrainian people. Politically it did not last long, and the members of the "Narodovtsi" party in the Seim soon returned to opposition. Among the leaders of the Party, Alexander Barvinsky, one of the authors of the understanding ("uhoda") and later Eugen Olesnitsky and Konstantine (Kost) Levitsky, rendered great services to the Ukrainians in Galicia as members of the Austrian Parliament in Vienna.

From the last half of the nineties, political life in Galicia made rapid progress. In 1899 the more moderate wing of the Radicals united with the "Narodovtsi", thus forming a National Democratic Party which took the lead in the political life of the Ukrainian people in Galicia. The ultimate aim of the party as expressed in their programme was "to achieve the ultimate unification of the whole Ukrainian nation into one single national organism". About the same time, the Ukrainian Socialist-Democratic Party in Galicia was founded and its delegate at the Socialist Congress in 1899 in Brünn,  p605 declared that their aim was: "a free Ukrainian State, a Ukrainian Republic". The Ukrainian Radical Party made a similar declaration as early as 1895, stating that political independence was the ideal of the Ukrainian territory: in Kharkov, at a secret meeting of Ukrainian students Nicholas (Mykola) Mikhnovsky, a young advocate of the town, proposed that Ukrainian political independence should be the watchword for young Ukrainians. This was adopted with enthusiasm. In Lvov at a public meeting of Ukrainian students, Longin Cehelsky, later a member of the Parliament in Vienna, proposed a resolution which was carried with great enthusiasm, stating that the building up of a Ukrainian sovereign State was the ideal of the younger generation of Ukrainians.

191. On the Threshold of Great Events.

The realities of life at that time were, however, far removed from this ideal. Everyday life necessitated a constant struggle often for quite insignificant and elementary trifles, but the high ideal of political independence was the torch that illuminated this everyday struggle and widened the narrow limits of the political horizon. During some fifteen years before the World War, the Ukrainian people in Galicia made great progress in the political arena. With every year the ranks of the Moskvophils thinned and the Ukrainians became more and more single­hearted in their political aspirations, thus rendering their efforts easier and their struggle more fruitful. The number of Ukrainian members both in the Seim in Lvov and in the Parliament in Vienna was steadily growing. When in 1907 the electoral laws of general and direct elections were applied for the first time, 30 Ukrainian members entered the Parliament in Vienna and formed an important political group which counted for something in the parliamentary work. In the spring of 1914 an understanding was arrived at with the Poles, according to which Ukrainians obtained 62 seats in the Seim in Lvov — more than one‑third —  p606 and a number of posts in most of the important administrative institutions of the country was given to Ukrainians. All East Galicia was covered with a network of sport and gymnastic organizations of the "Sich" and "Sokol". National economic organizations and banks such as the "Dniester", the "Credit Union" (Kraevi Soyuz Creditovi), the "Narodna Torhovlia", and the "Silski Hospodar" were developing splendidly. Co‑operative societies were spreading widely throughout the country and the Ukrainian population began to turn to self‑aid and economic organization in place of emigration as at the end of the Nineteenth century, or reliance on a benevolent Emperor. Ukrainians in Galicia were becoming a self-reliant coherent nation, conscious of its aims. The Uniate clergy under the lead of the Metropolitan, Andrew Count Sheptitsky, were becoming definitely nationalistic and together with the young intelligentsia played, as of old, an active part in national life.

Parallel with its political development, the cultural life of the Galician Ukrainians was making great progress. Ukrainian school education, gradually and slowly, step by step, was achieving considerable results compared with the immediate past. Shortly before the war Ukrainians had six State "High Schools" (Gymnasiums) and about 15 private secondary schools. The number of primary Ukrainian schools reached 3,000. At Lvov University Ukrainians had seven full Professor­ships and four lecture­ships. The "Shevchenko Society" (Tovaristvo imeni Shevchenka) was transformed in 1898 with the initiative and help of Russian Ukrainians into a scientific institution. The flourishing period of the Society began with the arrival of Professor M. Hrushevsky in Lvov, who became its President in 1897. In a short time Professor Hrushevsky succeeded in uniting about the society most of the important scholars from all the Ukraine and with the generous help of benefactors from the Russian Ukraine, he succeeded in developing great activity in scientific research and publishing. In a few years the "Scientific Shevchenko Society" was universally recognized  p607 as the Ukrainian Academy. It suffices to mention that up to the year 1914 the Society published about 300 volumes of works of scientific research in different branches, but mostly Ukrainian history, ethnography and folklore. Besides Professor Hrushevsky, Ivan Franko and Volodimir Hnatiuk, local Galician scholars, played an important part in the activities of the Society. The Metropolitan Andrew Count Sheptitsky rendered great services to the cultural development of Galicia by founding in 1913, the National Ukrainian Museum in Lvov. The end of the Nineteenth century also witnessed an important development of literature in Galicia where, besides Ivan Franko, talented authors such as Vassyl Stefanik and Olga Kobylianska in Bukovina, should be especially mentioned. The review "Literaturno-Naukovy Vistnik", founded in 1898 by Ivan Franko and M. Hrushevsky, became an all‑Ukrainian literary review in which the best Ukrainian authors from all parts of the Ukraine published their works. The most important Ukrainian author of the time was Ivan Franko, poet, novelist and scholar, the greatest poet Galicia produced.

The national revival in small Bukovina began early in the eighties and from that time the country was approximating ever more closely to Galician and general Ukrainian national life. A special era in the country's life began with Professor Stepan Smal Stotsky's nomination to the chair of Ukrainian language and literature in the University of Czernowitz; he was a Galician by birth and in time became member of the Austrian Parliament in Vienna and Vice-President of the Seim of Bukovina. Bukovina owes her national and cultural development entirely to his extraordinary energy and patriotic devotion. The first Ukrainian members were elected to the Seim of Bukovina early in the eighties and after the election of 1911 the Ukrainians had 17 members out of a total of 53 in the Bukovinian Seim; five members from Bukovina in the Austrian Parliament in Vienna belonged to the same faction as the Ukrainian  p608 members from Galicia. For the Ukrainian population of 300,000 in Bukovina there were three Ukrainian "High Schools" (Gymnasium) one Teacher's Training College and a primary school in every village. Libraries, reading-rooms, gymnastic societies ("Sich") and co‑operative societies were also numerous among the Ukrainian masses in Bukovina.

In comparing conditions of life and the development of the Ukrainian people in the last half of the Nineteenth century in Russia and in Austria we must admit that under the constitutional regime in Austria living conditions were far more favorable than those under the Tsarist autocratic regime. Though the Russian government insisted on the Ukraine being a "thoroughly Russian Land" and the Ukrainian population being "the same Russian Orthodox people" as the Muscovites, they nevertheless always treated Ukraine as a colony and exploited her natural riches exclusively in the interest of Great Russia and returned to the Ukraine infinitely less than they collected there by direct and indirect taxation. Shortly before the war the Ukraine contributed more than 26% of the total Russian State income of which only a small part was spent on Ukrainian needs, most going to other provinces of the Empire. The whole financial, commercial and industrial policy of the Russian Empire was conducted in a manner calculated to give overwhelming preponderance to the interests of the "centre" that is the Great Russian provinces. Railways, for instance, were built so as to connect Ukrainian territory not with Kiev, Kharkov and Odessa, but with Moscow. Railway tariffs were calculated so as to bring the products of the Ukrainian territories of Kharkov and Poltava less expensively to Moscow than to Kiev. Under the pretext of Polish danger, the government did not introduce Provincial Self-government ("Zemstvo") in the Ukraine of the Right Bank of the Dnieper until shortly before the war and administered the country by means of bureaucratic institutions. Fearing Ukrainian separatism, they deliberately kept the Ukrainian masses  p609 in ignorance and cultural neglect, withheld from them schools in the language they understood, prohibited Ukrainian literature and press and expelled Ukrainian from the church and from public life. The Russian authorities made a practice of sending teachers, priests and officials from Russia into the Ukraine in order to further the Russianization of the population, paying them a little more for this purpose; it was only natural that those who came were not of the best and did not at all care for the interests of the population. The result of this official policy towards Ukrainians was that compared with Great Russia, the average of illiterates was considerably higher in the Ukraine, although in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries she had been especially lauded for the great number of her well-kept popular schools. The Ukrainian people whose aptitude for learning and arts all foreigners who visited the Ukraine never forgot to mention, was reduced after a century under Russian rule to a state of cultural backwardness and neglect. General political conditions in Russia were, moreover, training the masses not to be self-reliant, free and conscious of their duties as citizens, but dull, embittered slaves, kept in subjection by the knout and flogging, bereft of the very notion of the meaning of patriotism and the importance of political independence. The tragic consequences of this were seen during the revolution of 1917 when the Ukrainian masses lent a willing ear to all sorts of destructive propaganda and were indifferent to constructive national ideals. The responsibility for this falls entirely on the Tsarist autocratic regime, which did almost nothing to satisfy the essential economic needs of the Ukrainian peasants, and embittered them by cruel repressions and deliberately kept them in ignorance.

It is interesting to compare the conditions in the Russian Ukraine with those in Austrian Galicia. In the latter the economic conditions were far worse; there was less protection in the matter of public health; there was a continuous and exhausting struggle against the  p610 Poles; and the intelligentsia were poor to the verge of indigence. Nevertheless, because of the freer political conditions in Galicia, it was possible there to improve the national position and educate the masses along political lines, giving them instruction in their own language. All this rendered the materially poorer Ukrainian peasants in Galicia considerably better educated and more self-reliant than their brothers, the Ukrainian peasants in Russia.

After the revolution of 1905 in Russia and in spite of the reaction that followed almost immediately the Ukrainian national movement began, as we have seen, to develop even more intensively. The intelligentsia were most receptive of the national revival and the numbers of those who joined the national movement were rapidly growing. The masses were far behind, but it was almost certain that with the removal of the most elementary hindrances to the education of the masses and the creation of popular schools with teaching in the mother tongue, the national revival would rapidly advance. Galicia and Bukovina gave proof of this by far outstripping Russian Ukraine, and having great possibilities for national development lying in store for them. It was in these conditions that the Ukrainian nation, divided politically between two belligerent powers, was surprised by the World War which once more opened to them the possibility of a recovery of political independence.


The Author's Notes:

1 In Ukrainian "Hromada" means society.

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2 A complete Ukrainian Bible had by that time appeared already in many editions abroad, also being published by the British & Foreign Bible Society.


Thayer's Note:

a Also transcribed as Yevhen ChykalenkoЄвген Харлампійович Чикаленко: the father of this book's translator.


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