Phenomenon of Cossack republic, Cossack wars and Bogdan Khmelnitsky's Getmanschina, as the new form of the management of Ukraine

By time of full polonisation the former earths of Kiev Russia and strengthening of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on its territories, Ukrainian peasantry oppressed as by Polish, so by szlyachta, after fulfilment of "punishment actions" against them, left far away from the borders of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on the south and southeast, on the earths of former Podneprovye. The poem of the national Croatian poet Krizhanic was devoted to the idea of slavic unity of southern and east Slavs (Ukraine-Russia and Moskovia), and also to their struggle against Catholicism and polonisation. And they were written in ... 1653.
Poland is a new Babylonia,
The colony of Germans, Scots, Gipsy and Armenians
Paradise - for Jews, and hell - for peasants,
Treasure for strangers and tramps from all countries.
Its land - is a shelter for people of the whole world,
For prodigals - tavern and apartment.
Seyms are gather incessantly,
People worry constantly,
Strangers operate it,
And all people despise it
 
I would rather not make comments on this prognostic verse, something connects it and with a modern epoch.

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Therefore, coming back to the previous section, I would like to notice again, that not only wars against Sweden and Russia loosened foundations of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but the way of life of «most illustrious sirs» and szlachta nobility led to the hatred from peasantry, and, first of all, Ukrainian peasantry. And with it, the creation of counteraction in the form of Zaporozhian Host.
Zaporozhian Host appeared on the open spaces of modern Ukraine in Podneprovye area, instead of that place, around modern Zaporizhzhia which is considered now as the birthplace of Zaporozhian Host. The word Host in the literal translation means - «protected place», i.e. both cut, and frame mean abatis, and outpost, which were arranged by Cossacks («free people»), during the first period, mainly on woody islands of Dnepro, and, then, below its thresholds. For today places of the first Hosts creation around modern Kanev and Kremenchug are already known. The first annalistic mention of Zaporozhian Host cossacks relates to 1340 in the Lithuanian historiography. But it is not casual, as for that time «free people» both before and behind thresholds nominally depended on the Lithuanian princes who occupied empty lands after Tataro-Mongolian massacre of Podneprovye, i.e. the earths of former Kyiv, Chernigov and Pereyaslavsky princedoms.
Zaporozhian Host became on the boundary of the fifteenth - sixteenth centuries when Cossack outlaws «seriously and for a long time» located on the island Hortitsa that was convenient (by the distance) and more safe (flooded areas, woods, and island location was very convenient). Escaped Ukrainian peasants became the basis of «free Zaporozhian people», but soon peasants of Moskovia, different peole of Poland and Lithuania, and in due course, Tatars, and even Turks began to join them. The cossack kosh which origin is connected with the Turkish word, meaning «camp», «outpost» and «the dwelling place» was formed. One more reason of Zaporozhian Host location behind thresholds was that Cossacks went «on the Bottom», as for the sake of hunting and the fishery, giving them plentiful means for livelihood in sparsely populated places, so against Tatars and Turk, «for getting of homespun coats», i.e. noble robberies. Fair liberation of Christians-slaves from Turkish and Tatar slavery, irrespective whether Catholics, or orthodox they were, served as a noble cover of those attacks . Karamzin, the great historian testifies, that «Neither secular, nor the church power and public initiative weren't involved in formation of such colonies, as Zaporizhzhia. Any attempt to attribute the mission of Orthodoxy defenders against Islam and Catholicism breaks about historical sources. Presence of considerable quantity of Poles, Tatars, Turks, Armenians, Circassians, Magyar and other natives of non-orthodox countries in Zaporozhian Host does not testify about Zaporozhian people as adherents of Orthodoxy».
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First engraving image of Zaporozhian Host Rada
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This is a reproduction copy retouched and assumed as a basis ...
In the process of Cossacks number growth, and, in due course, its fighting stability, independent campaigns of Cossacks on Tatar and Turkish possession were carried out even more often, as by land counterpart so across Dnepro on seagulls (boats). Considering, that the anarchical nature of society does not promote system strengthening as an institute, and does not reach certain discipline of management, the Cossacks went by leader selectivity, having defined him the title of Ataman. The designation of the word "ataman" has Turkic roots. "Ata", translating from it, means "senior", "oldest", and "man", accordingly, means "me". I.e. I am the senior. But, under the reports of some historians-researchers when the amount of atamans annually varying as on Rada, so because of many other reasons, including fighting losses, began to increase, there was a situation which can be characterised by the concept, «and who is the most senior». For the first time, on the annalistic field, there appeared such official, as the foreman, who smoothly passed to szlachta. Hetman, or the army ataman, who also selected on Rada was appealed to supervise the Host. Earlier selected atamans, for the merits before «free people», automatically became Koshevoy ataman, i.e., everyone on its camp-kosh. The rumour about Zaporozhian Host, with the speed of the hearings defined by possibilities of those years, was spread on the lands of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Moscow (Russian) state and Great Magyaria. And already in the middle of sixteenth century there was a historical definition «to go in Cossacks».
«To go in Cossacks» meant, to come not only to the Host, but to troop away to the steppe across the line of eternally conflicting border zone and to live there as the Tatar Cossacks, i.e. depending on circumstances either to catch fishes, or to grow up bread, graze sheep, or ... to plunder. But, as soon as the Host got the importance and respect the foremen drew attention to «free people», which were not attached to the Host. Expansion of Host territories began, and with it grew the necessity of body creation that would be capable to operate it.
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Schematical image of Hosts and Kosheys during the different periods
During that period at Khortitsa cossacks some Hosts were formed among which, the main were Hortitskaya, Bazavlutskaya, Tomakovskaya, Nikitinskaya and Chertomlytskaya. That was the period, considered to be named as the time of "Cossack republic» creation. But that term was thought up not by the Cossacks, but it was received from the founder and classic, i.e. Charles Marx, thanks to Giyomom de Biplan's "inventories". Today, somehow, it is unadopted to refer to complete works by V.I.Lenin, authorial complete works by K.Marx and F.Engelsa, but, considering, that terminology «Cossack republic» was their child - I would rather refer. «Ukrainian people under the guidance of Nalivayko, Bohdan Khmelnitsky conducted liberation struggle against serf and national-religious oppression of sirs' Poland. The shock force in that struggle were Cossacks of Zaporozhian Hosts, arisen in XVI century behind the Dneprovsky thresholds; there came the fluent peasants who couldn't stand the serf of oppression, and other oppressed levels of population. «Many of them, -said Marx, - not wishing to obey neither to Mongols, nor Lithuanians, lodged on protected by bogs and canes Dveprovsky islands; and Russian fugitives were coming to them..."
«... Presence of elective self-government institutions in Zaporozhian Host, its transformation into the centre and base of the Ukrainian people opposing to serf and national-religious oppression, conducted by szlyachta-Catholic Poland, allowed Marx to name Zaporozhian Host as the «Cossack republic». Marx's and Engels' archive, vol. VIII, p. 154.
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From that saying or as it was earlier suggest, citations, the phenomenon of "Cossack republic» went to the public.
According to the researches of the leading expert in Ukrainian Cossacks of «all times» Dmitry Ivanovich Javornitsky (sometimes there is a writing of his surname as Evarnitsky, that is also true), the access to numbers of Host associations were absolutely free: from again entering person the recognition of orthodox belief (irrespective of beliefs they had belonged to earlier), the obligation to protect it and submission by the rules, general for all army was required only. The people of all nationalities were admitted in the Host, but the majorities were Ruthenians. All life of the Host associations was constructed on the formal equality of its members and self-management.

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Zaporozhian Host on the scheme developed by modern Ukrainian historians.
The army of Zaporozhian Host was devided on kurens, arisen originally, from territorial groups of fellow countrymen, and every kuren chose the kuren ataman, who knew its economy and all internal affairs, the chief-hetman over all army was selected on general meeting (Rada) was Koshevoy ataman with his assistants - the army judge, the general clerk and the army captain. All those officials were selected for one year, but could be replaced before that term if the army was dissatisfied with them. Koshevoy had almost unlimited power in the campaign, but in the peace-time he couldn't undertake anything without Rada and its consent. Each Cossack had the right of participation in Rada, each one could be also selected on any post. The life of Cossacks differed by extreme simplicity. The celibacy was its most outstanding feature. Cossacks looked at the family, as on the direct hindrance of their activity. For woman's introduction in the Host and fornication (within its walls) the death penalty threatened. The army consisted of single, widowed or Cossacks, who abandoned their wives. But, together with it, it is necessary to admit, that there were, as though, two Zaporozhian Hosts. One, as purely military, and another - as territorial formation. Not only soldiers went in Cossacks, but also the whole families which lodged on new places and conducted a settled way of life, married, and raised children there. Therefore, speaking about Zaporozhian Host, as a phenomenon of "Cossack republic» (not casually taken in inverted commas) it is necessary to remember that initial primitive forms of the Cossacks' hostel of the early epoch considerably changed with the course of time. Even if to recollect «Taras Bulba» of Nikolay Vasilevich Gogol a question logically comes up, whence Taras's children appeared?
Slyness won't be, that until quite recently Everyman's representation about Zaporozhean Cossacks was formed in the same way, namely: in the best case- under the influence of Gogol and opera «Zaporozhean Cossacks beyond the Danube», in the worst case - under the «not best textbooks» and "legends" about moustached, scalplocked fellows liking during old kind time after the glass of gorilka to go out on dashing horses and to do some shooting on Tatars and Poles. Alas, everything is not so simple, especially, when you fall into the «history chasm». Getting in the Host, to be exact, in Hortitsa, the person was digested and melted, as in the copper, from Ruthenians, Pole, Magyar or Tatar, he became the Cossack, who changed his ethnography and soul, for that reason I would like to address to the classic once again who made definition of «Cossack republic» not only as Zaporozhean Army, but as Zaporozhian Host as a whole so, to every Cossack, living in it. In due course, with the concept Ruthenia, the life of the whole Host changed on two poles. The figure of Zaporozhean Cossack - the grain-grower was identified with the type of radical Ruthenian, with culture, way of life, skills and the traditions inherited of Kyiv times. A figure of soldier-Zaporozhean Cossacks was accordingly, fighting, living under the influence of a way of life «all life in fights». Those figures represented two different worlds, two different ways of life, but one «Cossack republic». And it is important; because if some modern historians further insist on «Cossack republic» in «purely military-koshevoy execution» it will be not the republic any more, but a usual gang (may the reader forgive me).
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Even the well-known Ilia Repin's picture is not an identification of Zaporozhian Host with the «Cossack republic»
Summing up the given historical direction, I would say, that Zaporozhian Host had no basic feature of political-state system and outwardly-political vector as socioeconomic structure. Throughout three centuries of its existence, the Host as the force, in its political interests, searched for a mainstream in benefit of the existence (and that's quite explainable). For that reason, Cossack's allies were, consistently, Poland, and Lithuania, Russia, and Crimean with Nogaisky and Tatar khanates. But, the main thing that, carrying out historical mission of Cossack land protection and rescue of Ukrainian people, Zaporozhian Host , incurred the defence of Ukraine against Turkish-Tatar aggression. Cossacks strengthened cities and towns by fortifications, they created multilateral system of borders defence of Ukraine, existed throughout three centuries. Posts, outposts, beckets with sentry groups (prototypes of modern frontier posts) which observed of steppe roads and crossings through the rivers constantly operated, by means of the original alarm system they warned the population about advancement, first of all, of Tatar hordes and tried to organize repulse the enemy's approach.
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Sentry post of Zaporozhean Cossacks.
On the boundary, forestalling Cossack wars with Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Zaporozhian Host acted as sovereign, independent national military-political force of Ukraine and played a huge role in the life and national-liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people. In Zaporozhian Host there was Zaporozhian Army which became the organizational form of armed forces, at first of the Left-bank, and in due course, Right-bank Ukraine. Zaporozhian Army had the fleet, artillery, cavalry and infantry. It developed the brilliant Cossack military art surpassing strategy and tactics of feudal European armies. Not casually, that the glory about sea campaigns and steppe attacks of Cossacks was known far outside the Host. Even such fact as arrival of the known geographer and an ethnologist of that time Giyom-de-Boplan, testified to genuine interest of the Western Europe to that terrible force which Zaporozhian Host was.
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Zaporozhian Host: yesterday, today and the island of Hortitsa
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On the map prepared on the basis of Bonplan's description Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Crimean and Nogai khanates, both Russia, and Zaporozhian Host are visible.
The period of the French scientist's stay in the Host - 1630-1648th is rather interesting, i.e. in the period of Cossack revolts against Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth when Ukraine entered a new phase of struggle for the independence. It entered when its name "Ukraine" received not only territorial, but also political sense. In spite of the fact that in that still transition period, the old name of "Russia" is met for a designation of all Russian earths of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth , the concept "Ukraine" was coming into an orbit. One historians connect the name of our country with territorial understanding as «At the edge», others connect it with the Polish analogue «the lost earths, from our edge», the third ones, connect it with the term «At edge of Ruthenia» as the part of Ruthenia, which was in the «temporary Polish using», the fourth ones - as «the suburb», the boundary district of Ruthenia, the fifth ones- as nonsense, something like Ukraine and Ukrainians occurred from Ukrs (but it is two thousand kilometers`` on the northeast), the sixth -well, that's enough theories without a science. A unique source which gives more less correct perception of our country's name is, Brockhaus and Efron's ancient and ageless old Encyclopedic Dictionary in which it is defined, that: «Ukraine - so the southeast Russian lands of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth were called. That name was never official; it was used only in private use and became usual in the national poetry. Borders of the lands which were known under the name «ukrainnye», are difficult to define, as the name wasn't steady and at various times embraced the unequal space».
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Anyway, on the maps of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth of 1668, Ukraine was put, as the territory, instead of volost or voivodeship.
Cossack wars began for that Russia-Ukraine, for the earths of ancient Kyiv, under the orthodox banners and kleinods, for sacred Russia and Orthodoxy. That very period of struggle for independence is closely connected with the name of Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky.

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The Image of Bogdan Khmelnitsky, as viewed by contemporaries, the monument to him in Kyiv and on Ukrainian banknotes.
Smoothly passing to theme of Getmanschina, it is necessary to missay at once, that the concept «Hetman» who was spoken in the story about Zaporozhian Host, and Getmanschina, are absolutely nonidentical. Getmanschina as the form of the Ukrainian statehood arose together with the name and board time of Zaporozhian Army Hetman Bogdan Zinoviy Mikhaylovich Khmelnitskiy. But Getmanschina had been preceded by the Cossack wars skilfully conducted by Khmelnitsky during the period from 1648 till 1654. As the military science testifies, wars, military conflicts and collisions, don't occur without any reason. They are preceded by original causes, to which various«impulses of opposition's history» relate to. Numerous revolts of the foremen of Right-bank Ukraine (basically) against oppressions from Polish szlyachta were an original cause of Cossack wars. However, in the view of separation and small number of arisen people, all of them suffered defeats and for ten years, from 1638 till 1648 (that was a lot for that time) the so-called period of "gold rest» when Cossack revolts had stopped was established. But, there came January of 1648, to be more exact it was the third day (and on other data, the seventh) when the next oppression of Ukrainian szlyachta from the Polish led to wars, not to that, which had been earlier successfully won by Poles, but to bloody, with devastating defeats. The next display of magnate lawlessness became an occasion to the beginning of revolt which outgrew in Cossack wars. Colleagues of Chigirin headman led by Pole Chaplitsky took away Bogdan Khmelnitsky's family manor, ruined his household, flogged to death his ten years' old son and took his wife away. Khmelnitsky started to search for justice on that riotous behaviour, but the Polish judges found, that he hadn't been married to his wife-Pole properly (i.e. not by Catholic ritually, but by orthodox traditions), and he didn't have necessary documents on possession of Subbotin (though the manor was granted by his father Mikhaill). Then Khmelnitskiy as "instigator" and "rebel", found himself in the castle-prison from which he was released by his friends under huge pledge. The result, wasn't slow to wait long, Khmelnitsky from the thrifty owner turned to the leader of the revolt. Already on January, 24th Bogdan Khmelnitsky was selected as the Hetman of Zaporozhian Army. And already on May, 6th, 1648 Khmelnitsky broke the Polish army under Zheltye Vody totally (again Kirovordad region, a smithy of our victories). This fight became the first essential achievement of revolt. On May, 15th 1648 Polish army led by Nikolay Pototsky was ambushed near Korsun (nowadays Korsun-Shevchenkovsky) and suffered devastating defeat. During Korsunsky fight almost 20 thousand royal army was destroyed by the Cossack-Tatar army; the Polish military leaders, including Pototsky, were taken to prisone and given Tatars as the gratitude for their help.

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Further, i.e. in the same victorious 1648, not less impressing events followed. Bogdan Khmelnitsky on December, 23rd solemnly entered Kyiv. Understanding, that then insurgents had huge force and could threaten territorial integrity of the Poland, Bogdan Khmelnitsky sent an ultimatum to the new king. It represented a number of requirements among which the cores were: liquidation of Brest union; restriction of Polish armies to move (not further than Starokonstantinov); the interdiction to the Polish magnates to appear to the east and to the south of Belaya Tserkva; to leave the Left bank for Cossacks. A certain part of historians, including me, consider the date of December, 23rd 1648, as day of Getmanschina creation. Another my companions on search and researches, consider August, 8th, 1649, when Zborovsky peace agreement was signed as the date of Getmanschina creation. Possibly they are right,because exactly in such fact, that Poland recognised Ukraine as an autonomy in the structure, accepting its new name -Getmanschina was fixed, with the unique governor in its territory - the elective hetman. Chigirin became the capital of Getmanschina. But, if to judge from their logic we should stop celebrating the Day of nation unity or «Act of Zluka» as that event had been declared of (at first in Fastov, and then, in Kyiv), but it didn't succeeded.
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Nevertheless, the Zborovsky peace treaty didn't stop bloodshed as the main question about confession and allegiancy hadn't been solved. Throughout all next year as Poland, so Getmanschina prepared for a new stage of war. And it didn't keep waiting. In January, 1651 the Polish army moved on the right-bank of Ukrainian earths. Berestetsky fight known for military art, which took place on June, 18th, 1651, led to the defeat of Cossack army on which basis, Khmelnitsky was compelled to conclude peace treaty with Poland the Belotserkovsky cancelling conditions of the peace in Zborov and entered additional conditions, including an interdiction of international negotiations for Khmelnitsky. But in April 1652, Ukrainian Cossacks gained a large victory under Batog. But that victory didn't besoted Khmelnitsky and gave him the matter for reflexion. Having understood that Getmanschina won't manage to hold again found positions and success alone, in autumn of 1653 Bogdan Khmelnitsky appealed to Russian kingdom for protectorate.

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Photocopy of Khmelnitsky's appeal to Moscow tsar and the answer of Zemsky cathedral
On December, 19th (31) in Ukraine the Russian ambassador Vasily Buturlin came with the decision of Zemsky Cathedral on acceptance of hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky and all Zaporozhean Army «with citiesand lands» in Russia citizenship. On January, 8th (21) Pereyaslav Rada was created, after which Cossacks, led by Hetman Khmelnitsky, took an oath to the tsar. On behalf of the tsar the reading and writing and signs of new Ukrainian hetman power were handeled to the hetman: the banner, the mace and shapka. Pereyaslav Rada and the contract which received the name «March articles» confirming expanded autonomy of Getmanschina as a part of the Russian State, finished the period of Cossack wars.
Today, a number of Ukrainian historians (but, not far all of them) try to reconsider the value of Pereyaslav Rada and to "present" it as usual ordinary event of the middle of seventeenth century. There are even the "unique persons" equalling value of Zborov and Pereyaslav, but, as they say, the God will judge them. Such events can be estimated only by the people and draw the conclusion about it, as in the cultural and community, so in the historical plan. Ukrainian people, throughout more than three and a half centuries, have been making such definition. As the example to that there is a largest and authoritative soviet historian, academician Peter Petrovich Tolochko, with deep arguments confirms, that «the feeling of the uniform country» remained in national consciousness and dissociation. Memory of the uniform historical, cultural and ethnically-religious generality of Old Russian people, of the former territorial unity pushed the Ukrainian hetmen to infinite embassies to Moscow, especially becoming more active in the seventeenth century, when a number of powerful Cossack-peasant's revolts against szlachta Poland testified the a birth of the new Ukrainian nation, with the national consciousness, cultural and economic identity. But in the unity with the brothers on belief and blood. And the draught on the east, desire to pass «under the hand of the great orthodox sovereign of Moscow tsar» were the integral organic part of that consciousness from the very beginning.
But, at the same time it is necessary to agree with the same historians, concerning an essence of Pereyaslav agreement. Alas, the reality of second half of seventeenth century, far not always coincided with the written (how not to recollect great Tolstoy: «They have written on the paper, but forgotten about ravines to go down»). During the favorable for Khmelnitsky moments, hetmen rather "originally" appealed with the items of «March articles». On the level with attempts of certain foremen to take the power only in their hand, there were also the movements directed, speaking the modern language «on situation destabilization», including the use of Cossacks, «something like, they were promised the liberty, and there they were accustom to the discipline accustom -that's a mess». From the moment of adherents exit from the obedience of the so-called « Zaporozhean liberty», constantly varying applicants for a mace had to secure with the strong external support both from the West, and from the south for realisation of their plans,. The stage of Ruins began, but it is already absolutely another history, being for consideration in other section.
But ispite of all written today the Hetman of Zaporozhean Army Bogdan Khmelnitsky as a result initiating the union of fraternal people and doing much for unity, entered the history as the great consolidator not casually. Without his decisions based on sincere desire of the blessing for the native land, Ukraine never would never establish itself as the state. Stated in Pereyaslavl Bogdan Khmelnitsky's substantiation of the union with Russia remains actual till now: Ukraine hadn't any other geopolitical choice, as wars of Poland against Ukraine, only «picked up steam of the unwound military vehicle».
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