The Polish-Ukrainian Agreement in 1890-1894

In thc late of the cighttecnth ccntury Polcs and Ukrainins were completely defeated in thc longstanding opposition to thc Russian Empire. In consequence during the nineteenth ccntury both nations wcrc frightened by the real prospect to bc submerged in the «single Russian seas·.

The national policy of Sankt-Pctcrsburg was especially dangerous for them after the failure of the Polish rebellion in 1863. Thcn thc Poles lost thc Iast remains of their autonomy in Russia. In the same year thc propaganda of thc Ukrainian national identity was prohibited.

Thc defeats of the rebellions compelled the Polish politicians to rethink their own faults. The revision of the past experience entailed transformation of the Polish national movement. Thereafter, thc Poles prcfered a passive rcsistencc and focuscd on thc qualitative renewal and inner perfection of thcir society (so called «organic action»).

Ukrainians chose the tactics of passive resistcnce too. The general task of their activity was creation of the intellectual basis for thc Ukrainian national identity.

Thc history developed in another way in Galicia than in Russian part. Since the 1860s the political power in this land went into thc hands of Poles. Galicia was transformed into the «Polish Piedmont»: it was here that Poles achieved outstanding successes in thc field of thc «organic action».

For a Iohg time a part of Galician Ruthenians were predisposed to identify themselves with Russians. Moreover, only a small group of intelligentsia considered themselves as «Ukrainians» or «Russians». Thc majority in general ignored 1 hat problem. In the 1880s the Moskvophiles had won over the Ukrainophiles. At that time, the Moskvophiles wcrc, as a rule, thc adherents of the idca of the so called «Galician-Ruthcnium tertium» (the idea of some distinctiveness of thc Galician Ruthenians as both to Russians and to Ukrainians as well).

At the same time, Eastern Ukrainians tried to turn Galicia into «Ukrainian Piedmont».

The controversy between thc Moskvophiles and Ukrainophiles was accompanied by actualization of thc Polish-Ukrainian agreement. Poles and Ukrainians had to try struggle against Russian imperialism together. The mutual need of thc opposition to the Moskvophilcs contributed to the agreement too. Both Poles and Ukrainians were troubled by thc problem of the «domestic Russians», especially in the air of thc worsening of the Austro-Russian relations.

At thc end of the 1880s four political bodies were concerned by the Polish-Ukrainian agreement: 1) Austro-Gcrman diplomacy,which followed Bismarck’s advicc,considered Ukrainians as a potcncial ally in future conflict with Russia; 2) the Polish politicians supposed that Ukraine had a potencial to hinder the aggressiveness of the Russian inner policy too; 3) thc Eastern Ukrainians hoped to transform Galicia into «Ukrainian Piedmont» and tried to gain support from Poles; 4) thc Galician Ukrainophiles wanted to win over the Moskvophilcs and obtain concessions in the fields of politics,culture,and education.

The decision of the Eastern Ukrainians to start negotiations with

Poles was caused by the murder of the Russian emperor Alexander II. After his death they lost their last hopes for the good will of the authorities: Ukrainian claims would not have been satisfied by the conservative new emperor Alexander III. At the same time the idea of the «Ukrainian Piedmont» was formed completely, and thc Eastern Ukrainians aspired to transform Lviv into the cultural and political center of all Ukraine. But thcir misunderstandings with thc Galician Ukrainophiless hampered thc implementation of thc idea. First of all the Eastern Ukrainians were disturbed by cooperation ofthe Galician Ukrainophiles withthe Moskvophiles, thcir refusal of phonetic alphabet, and reluctance to defend the interests of the Eastern Ukrainians. Thc Galician Ukrainophiles were discontent with the Kicvan as a concession for nationalism, which alienated Ukraine from thc progressive European culture and politics.

The group of thc «young radicals» supposed that the agreement with thc government harmed the idea of thc trahsformation of the Austro-Hungarian empire into a federal state. From thcir point of view it could be implemented only by the opposition towards Austrian centralism.

The Moskvophiles were very surprised by thc agreement. Supposing the Galician Ukrainophilcs as natural allies in thcir opposition towards the Polish politicians, thc Moskvophilcs did not expcct that anywhere the Galician Ukrainophilcs under the auspiccs of the Poles would begin the persistent struggle against them (from thcir point of view, they were the only one «solid» Ruthcnian party). So they Moskvophiles accused the promoters of the «new era» for thc initiating of «struggle between brothers» in formerly indivisible «allruthenian» community.

The inhabitants of the Galician province did not support the «new era» because they did not want to approve the conlict between the Ruthenian parties. The Galician Ukrainophilcs were confused by a charge of the «discord». As a result, already at thc end of 1891 a perspective of renewal of the solidarity between the Galician Ukrainophilcs and MoskvophiIes was real. That trend stcngthcncd, so in 1892 thc majority of the Galician Ukrainophilcs were inclined to opposition. The problem of break of thc agreement with Poles becamc actual in autumn of 1893 when the list of the concessions has bccn exhausted. At the same time a part of the Galician Ukrainophilcs under the rule of J.Romanchuk sympaphized with the idea of thc «Slavic anticoalition» in Rcichsrath and devoted a great consideration to the suffrage reform. In this situation J.Romanchuk tried to rcconciliatc with thc Moskvophilcs, but his activity was not successful. Thesuffrage reform was implemented three years later, and «Slavic anticoalition» did not become a parliamentary majority, as well it was already impossible to renew the former alliance with the Moskvophilcs. Four years of the «discord» was a very essential obstacle for the reconciliation.

It could bc implemented only in thc case of adoption of common national program that could satisfy both thc Moskvophilcs and Ukrainophiles. But it was impossible. As a result thc idea of thc «Galician- Ruthcnian tertium» suffered the ultimate defeat.

At thc meantime thc Galician Ukrainophiles split into two groups. Thc minority under the rule of O.Barvins’kyj sustained the politics of thc agreement with thc Polish politicians, while majority, which was led byJ.Romanchuk, opposed them. Thc split among the Galician Ukrainophiles came into thc final stage during thc congress of «Narodna Rada» in May of 189J. It was thc end of thc «new era» politics.

In consequcnce of thc Polish-Ukrainian agreement in Galicia or, in other words, of the political struggle between the Ukrainophiles and

Moskvophiles, a concept about some distinctiveness of the Galician Ruthcnians from the Eastern Ukrainian was undermined. Thc politics of the «new era» had been directed against the Moskvophiles, and this had a great success. In the I890s thc Ukrainofile movement was transformed into a respectable and utterly independent political movement.

Rcal concessions for thc Ukrainophilcs in Galicia during the politics of thc «new era» had significance for all Ukraine, not only for Galicia. From thc author's point of view, thc main concession was the introduction of the phonetic alphabet in thc Galician and Bukovinian schools that furthered the spreading of the Ukrainian national identity. Thc appointment of Mykhajlo Hrushevs'kyj on thc Chair of thc East-Europcan History in Lviv University had a great significance too. In Galicia M.Hrushcvs'kyj successfully propagated the idea of «Rus'-Ukraine» contra thc idea of thc «Galician-Ruthcnian tertium», and did it skillfully and insistingly. He took also an active part in thc activity of thc Shcvchcnko Society, which in result of the politics of the «new era» was transformed into the Shevchcnko ScicntiOfic Society. In future it had to be transformed into the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.

That idea was never implemented, but thc Shevchenko Scientific Society however achieved a great respect in the scientific world, first of all owing to M.Hrushcvs'kyj activity. Due to thc support of the Polish politicians it had gained sustained governmental dotation which helped to insure its financial basis. During the politics of thc «new era» Ukrainian gimnasium was opened in Kolomyja, and teacher's seminaries bccame bilingual institutions.

At the same time Roman Count Sheptyc’kyj began his church career. At the cnd of the 1880s the Austro-Hungarian and German governments decided to create thc Ukrainian monarchy. That idea was not implemented, but it furthered thc spreading of the idea of independent Ukraine among Ukrainian politicians.

Thc founding of thc Ukrainian Insurance Society «Dnistcr»,which in future would become a respectable enterprise and reliable sponsor of the national culture and politics,had a great significance for thc Galician Ukrainians. Duc to the agreement thc Galician Ukrainophilcs began to enter into higher power institutions. Thc return of thc Ukrainian officials from Polish Western Galicia to Ukrainian Eastern Galicia, and thc proclamation of official decrees that extended thc use of the Ukrainian language in the state institutions, were thc consequences of thc politics of thc «new era» too. Owing to thc PoIish-Ukrainian agreement, thc official Ukrainian newspaper «Narodna Chasopys'» appeared in print in Lviv.

Thc Polish-Ukrainian agreement coincided chronologically with the beginning of the «great emancipation» of Galicia. Politics absorbed numerous persons of thc lowest strata of socicty,so the future of Galicia generally depended whether or not thc Ruthcnian majority would adopt thc Ukrainian national identity. During the politics of the «new era» Ukrainian movement gained powerful support, which helped to win over the Moskvophiles. Galicia was transformed into thc «Ukrainian Piedmont»: just as in the 1890s Lviv was becoming the center of thc Ukrainian national movement that defined the significant role of Galicia in thc struggle for thc independent Ukraine in thc twentieth ccntury.

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Источник: Irop ЧОРНОВОЛ. Польсько-українська угода 1890-1894pp. Львів: Львівська академія мистецтв,2000. 217c.. 2000

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