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Category: History

Whether the Russian Empire the Fatherland for Ukrainians was?

 © 2006 of A.V. Shcherbin


A.I. Radziyevsky's article formally continues the discussion lifted by V.A. Matveev, and to him - B.V. Vinogradov's school about Russia as "The fatherland not only Russians" (or special "rossiyskost" as a basis of the state). But also other purpose of article - to show that the Ukrainian people, as well as Belarusian, actually are a part of "the triune Russian people" is obvious and by that to prove need of integration processes in the former Soviet Union.

About unity of the east Slavic people the author attracts various literature to the proof of a thesis, including (and substantially) the Ukrainian. At the same time its economic education to some extent influenced selection and assessment of material. It was not familiar with a number of the works and concepts devoted to relationship of the Russian and Ukrainian people during the imperial period existing in a modern historiography. Below we will consider a number of the theses which are put forward in article.

Division or disintegration of the state into parts can be caused not only the reasons of national character. Such division in the history more than once led to emergence of various states inhabited by one people, but each part felt copresent to that Fatherland in what it appeared, and even after reintegration these parts isolated earlier could keep so essential specifics that with a big stretch formed the uniform nation. One of the examples, known for recent events, - East and Western Germany and the problems which arose after their association. Obviously, besides ethnicity, there are also other factors integrating or desintegrating people including political, and ideological character.

But the era of modernization considered in A.I. Radziyevsky's article received the name of "an era of nationalism and irredentism" in a historiography. "At the beginning of a modern era, in 1815, the nations, existed they or not (in fact they were not yet), were not taken into consideration at establishment of new political borders. Nevertheless already then the world ripened enough soon to listen to the sermons of nationalism claiming that only those political formations which have the base the nation are legitimate - what contents would not invest in this concept", - one of the leading western theorists in the field of nationalism E. Gellner writes [1, page 166]. It so describes essence occurring in Europe and the rest of the world of processes: "In the conditions of collision of various states... the only way which this culture can protect itself from other culture having the state patronizing it it to create own if it does not have that yet. As each woman has to have a husband, it is desirable own, also and at culture has to be gosudar-

the stvo, is the best of all the". So the principle of the national state is born: "one culture - one state; one state - one culture" [1, page 159-160].

But also are quite enough not really essential differences in language (and furthermore differences in the belief acting during the donatsionalny period as one of major factors of identity) to lay the foundation under future national movement, including separatist character. In this regard interesting to the analysis of national movements theoretical provisions in Eastern Europe are stated in M. Hrokh's work [2]. It enters a concept of "the conflict of interests in the national sphere" and defines it as "the social tension or a contradiction which could be imposed on language (and sometimes and religious) contradictions" [2, page 131]. Language, a symbol of national culture, became a stumbling block in continental empires. "In the 19th century the fight of national movements of an era against German-speaking bureaucracy of the empire of Gabsburgov, or the Russian bureaucracy in the royal empire, or officials of the Ottoman empire was generally developed around language problems. And today the dialect of any little nation battling for the independence automatically is considered as freedom language" [2, page 138].

Now we will look how problems of the status of language and religious differences of Ukrainians and Russians, i.e. those problems which potentially or really could result the related people in the ideas of nationalism are treated. (The nationalism is treated in its modern not ideologized sense as the ideology and the movement asserting the right of the people for identity and political measurement of this identity acting through autonomy or the state here).

A.I. Radziyevsky claims that "in tsarist Russia the belief orthodox, a cornerstone of consciousness of the Ukrainian people, remained inviolably". Without challenging the obvious fact that in considerable weight the Ukrainians were and remain Orthodox Christians, we cannot but note also existence of other faith in Ukraine (as well as in Belarus) - uniatsky. The Uniatsky church destroyed by the Polotsk cathedral of 1839 nevertheless lived in souls of the flock which is violently turned into orthodox Orthodoxy, and after declaration of toleration in 1905 these "Orthodox Christians", without having own church, began to register in Catholics. At the same time orthodox Ukrainians were actively used by the imperial power including at administrative positions and when they were designed "to Russify" non-russian provinces of the empire, in particular Poland [3, 4].

In a question of Ukrainian which as the literary language, was created in the main to the middle of the 19th century the imperial power the most part of time took an uncompromising stand absolutely. Let's remember,

that on May 18, 1876 Alexander II issued the so-called Emsky decree: "1. Not to allow import in borders of the empire without special permission of Head department for printing of any books and brochures published on a Little Russian adverb. 2. To forbid printing and the edition in the empire of original works and the translations... 3. To prohibit various scenic representations and readings in low-Russian, and also printing on that of texts to music notes is equal". Thereby Ukrainian, and so oppressed in the empire after the Polish revolt of 1863 was outlawed "". It had very sad consequences for relationship of two fraternal peoples. The great Russian thinker Mr. Fedotov noted: "Senseless prosecutions of the Ukrainian literature transferred the center of the national movement from Kiev to Lviv, to Galicia which was never connected neither with Moscow, nor with St. Petersburg. It had double consequences. First, the literary language was developed on the basis of a galitsiysky adverb, but not Poltava or Kiev, i.e. much farther from Great Russian dialects". Secondly, "that circumstance that the center of the movement was in Galicia isolated also politically new nation from the general fate of the people of Russia; facilitated for it transition from federal ideology of Kostomarov to the idea & #34; самостийности"" [5, page 116-117].

Denying ethnicity of Ukrainians, the power persistently believed their "Russians". At the beginning of the 1860th the efforts and the first Russian nationalists, such as M.N. Katkov, and the government form the idea of "the big Russian nation". The famous researcher of the Ukrainian question A.I. Miller writes: "Idea of Little Russia and Belarus as about "primordially Russian землях" about malorossa and Belarusians as about parts of the Russian people it is clearly traced in government documents and prevails in public opinion" [6, page 228]. And this idea was formed in conditions when it was resisted already openly by the Ukrainian nationalism when in the Austrian Galicia the Ukrainian people turned into the nation. The same Fedotov noted: "Before our eyes the new nation was born on light, but we closed eyes to it" [5, page 116117].

The Russian-speaking population in the territory of the cities of modern Ukraine during the imperial period was very insignificant and if it also spoke generally Russian, then for several reasons: first, because of the ban on Ukrainian stated above; secondly, owing to rather clear relation in Russia to Ukrainians as to "disabled" Russians and attempts of educated representatives of these people to hide the ethnicity; thirdly, thanks to that obvious circumstance that the education system was based on state, i.e. Russian, and the urban population was more educated rural, and, fourthly, because of the multiethnic nature of the Ukrainian cities in which as means of intercultural communication again served Russian. The rural population spoke the mass of dialects which then were called as "a Little Russian adverb" (and, obviously, in

this plan had neither complexes, nor the bans on own ethnicity).

We will note one more important aspect of the studied problem. Ukrainians made, according to a census of 1897, the most numerous ethnic group of the empire after Russians - about 22.4 million people therefore attempts of their identification as the independent nation for the empire were much more painful, than, for example, separatism of Poles. As A. Kappeler, despite all proximity of Ukrainians to members of the party Great Russia (it is equal also to Belarusians) in the language, cultural and religious relation and that circumstance that till 1917 their national movement did not become a little mass phenomenon (including thanks to prevalence of the peasantry among Ukrainians and to absence of a little considerable ethnic elite), "in Ukraine, unlike Belarus fairly notes, education of own nation was prepared so well that after the February revolution the national mobilization could take place there" [7, page 408-415]. This mobilization was prepared also by "Little Russian patriotism", i.e. memories of an autonomous getmanstvo as a part of the Russian Empire, and repressions concerning the Ukrainian dialects, and growth of interest in national history in the environment of the formed intellectuals and also the events of revolutions of the beginning of the 20th century which enhanced mobility of local community.

Whether there was the Russian Empire the Fatherland for the Ukrainians living in its borders? Possibly, was. Ukrainians on many indicators, including the index of life, felt more comfortably than the majestic people - Russians [8]. However the formed national movement (even kulturnichesky character) owing to the prohibitive policy of the power gained separatist character. This movement also "invented" the Ukrainian nation - at first in the Austrian Galicia, and then and in the Russian part of modern Ukraine. Besides various historical destinies great and maloross by the beginning of the 20th century did not allow to speak about them as about parts of the uniform "Russian people" any more.


1. E. Gellner. Coming of nationalism. Myths of the nation and class//Nations and nationalism: Transl. from English M., 2002.
2. M. Hrokh. From national movements to completely created nation: process of construction of the nations in Europe//In the same place.
3. M.D. Dolbilov. A cultural idiom of revival of Russia as a factor of imperial policy in the Northwest region in 1863 - 1865//Ab Imperio. 2001. No. 1-2.
4. Dolbilov of M.D. Polonofobiya and russification of Northwest edge (1860th): metamorphoses of ethnostereotypes//Internet. Website "Empires: comparative history" - http://www.saratov.i docs/dol-bilov-rusifikacija.doc
5. G. Fedotov Sudba empires//Free thought. 1992. No. 5.
6. A. Miller. "The Ukrainian question" in the policy of the authorities and the Russian public opinion. SPb., 2000.
7. A. Kappeler. Formation of ounces and national movements in the Russian Empire//the Russian Empire in

Rostov state university

foreign historiography. Works of the last years: Anthology. M, 2005. 8. B. Mironov. To whom in Russia was well//the Homeland. 2003. No. 7.

On September 28, 2005

Pini Carolina Barbara
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