Головна Головна -> Реферати українською -> Іноземні мови -> PERIOD OF LITHUANIAN AND POLISH RULE


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The Lithuanian princes were reasonable rulers; in some cases they

assimilated - adopted local customs, language and religion. People did

not resist them and appreciated their protection from Poland, Moscow and

Tatars. However, under Polish rule, western Ukraine was subjected to

exploitation and colonization by influx of people from Poland and

Germany, who were taking over property and offices from local boyars.

There was a period of wars between Poland and Lithuania, but on

15th August 1385 they agreed to unite their kingdoms. In 1386 Polish

queen Yadwiga was forced to marry Lithuanian prince Yahaylo, who thus

became King of Poland and Lithuania.

In 1400 Lithuania, together with its Ukrainian principalities,

separated under king Vitowt - Yahaylo's cousin. This arrangement was

opposed by Yahaylo's younger brother, Svytryhaylo. Ukrainian

principalities under Vitowt were loosing their national character and

independence to Polish influences. In 1413 a decision was made to allow

only Catholics to occupy important government positions ("Horodlo

Privilege"); wide spread discrimination against Orthodox population

followed. Nearly all Ukrainians in those days were Orthodox, therefore

Ukrainian princes and boyars were helping Svytryhaylo in his fight with

Vitowt. After Vitowt died in 1430, Svytryhaylo defended himself from

Poles, but by the year 1440 his sphere of influence was reduced to

Volynj principality.

There was a period of hostilities between Lithuania and Moscow,

when about 1480 several principalities in eastern Ukraine were annexed

by Moscow. Also several popular uprising took place. The rebellion

under Mukha in 1490, in western Ukraine, was seeking help from

neighboring Moldova; uprising under prince Mykhaylo Hlynskiy in 1500 in

eastern Ukraine expected help from Moscow and Tatars. However Poland

and Lithuania, at that time, were very strong, therefore all uprisings

were squashed.

Meanwhile, in the South, marauding Tatar hordes converted large

area of the country into wilderness, without any law or order. It was

very rich part of Ukraine with productive soil, wild animals and rivers

full of fish. It attracted many adventurous people, who although had to

fight Tatars there, could be free from suppression by Polish and

Lithuanian overlords. They began to organize under hetmans, thus

originating Cossack society. To defend themselves from Tatars, they

were constructing forts called "sitch" and amalgamated into sort of

union, with Zaporizhia, downstream of river Dnipro cascades, as a


In 1552, one of Ukrainian princes, Dmytro Wyshnevetskyi, being

among Cossacks, built a castle on island Khortytsya. From there,

Cossacks conducted raids on Crimean towns sometimes with help from

Moscow. Dmytro wanted to develop Zaporizhia, with help from Lithuania

and Moscow, into a powerful fortress against Tatars and Turks. Being

unable to achieve this goal, he left Zaporizhia in 1561, became involved

in a war in Moldova, was captured and executed by Turks in 1563.

In 1569, by the Union of Lublin, the dynastic link between Poland

and Lithuania was transformed into a constitutional union of the two

states as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Most of Ukraine became

part of Poland, settlement of Polish nationals followed, Polish laws and

customs became dominant. Most of Ukrainian princes and boyars, except

for few - notably Ostrozkyis and Wyshnevetskyis -, were replaced by

Polish nobles. Peasants lost land ownership and civil rights and

gradually became serfs, exploited as manpower in agriculture and

forestry, by landowners. Suppression of Orthodox Church retarded

development of Ukrainian literature, arts and education; preferential

treatment of Catholics inhibited economic and political advancement of


In spite of that there was a modest revival of Ukrainian culture

later in 16th century. Church schools and seminaries were set up, based

at first on properties of Ukrainian magnate Hryhoriy Khodkovych and

later on holdings of Ostrozkyi princes. Printing industry began,

culminating in publication of Bible in print shop ran by Ivan

Fedorovych. Trade and church brotherhoods sprang up; they established

schools and hospitals and became centers of defense of Orthodox Church

and fight for justice and equality.

Such situation also multiplied influx of people to Cossack

territory thus increasing Cossacks strength. Tatars were pushed out

into Crimea; Cossacks became more daring in their raids on Turkish


Although Ukrainian Cossacks defended not only Ukraine, but also

whole eastern Europe from Turks and Tatar hordes, they were causing

diplomatic problems for Poland because Turkey used Cossacks as an excuse

for wars against Poland. When Cossack leader, Ivan Pidkova, conquered

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