The Attitude of Ruthenian magnates and nobles toward the Union of Lublin (1569) and the problem of the autonomy of Ukrainian lands within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

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Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
The Attitude of Ruthenian magnates and nobles toward the Union of Lublin (1569) and the problem of the autonomy of Ukrainian lands within the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
In the Journal:
Zapiski historyczne. 2019, t. 84, z. 4, p. 41-72
16 amžius; 17 amžius; 18 amžius; Lenkija (Poland); Ukraina (Ukraine); Lietuva (Lithuania); Kultūrinė asimiliacija / Cultural assimilation; Bažnyčios istorija / Church history; Bažnyčios istorija / Church history; Bajorai. Didikai. Valdovai / Gentry. Nobles. Kings.
Summary / Abstract:

LTReikšminiai žodžiai: Liublino unija; Didikai; Bajorai; Rusėnų didikai; Rusėnų bajorai; Ukraina; Teisė; Stačiatikiai; Lenkinimas; Katalikybės plėtra. Keywords: Union of Lublin; Magnates; Nobles; Ruthenian magnates; Ruthenian nobles; Ruthenia; Ukraine; Law; Orthodoxy; Polonization; Catholicization.Reikšminiai žodžiai: Abiejų Tautų Respublika (ATR; Rzeczpospolita Obojga Narodów; Žečpospolita; Sandrauga; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth); Liublino unija, 1569 (Union of Lublin); 16 amžius; Rutenija (Ruthenia); Ukraina (Ukraine); Magnatai; Didikai; Teisė; Stačiatikybė; Polonizacija; Katalikybė; Magnates; Nobles; Law; Orthodoxy; Polonization; Catholicism; 16th century.

ENFor a long time, historiography was dominated by a dualistic view on what had happened at the Sejm of Lublin in 1569. Thus, when describing the conclusion of the Union of Lublin, scholars focused on the Polish-Lithuanian dispute and the decisive role of King Sigismund Augustus in signing the agreement in Lublin. Recently, however, there have appeared publications highlighting the important role in the conclusion of the Lublin Union played by the Ruthenian nobility and noble representatives of the lands incorporated into the Polish Crown in 1569, that is Volhynia, eastern Podolia (Bracław Land) and the region of Kiev. The article sums up the existing knowledge on this subject, stressing the fact of the separate interests of the Ruthenian magnates, especially from Volhynia – where many well-known princely families had their family nests – in comparison to the Lithuanian magnates on the eve of the conclusion of the Union of Lublin. It facilitated the decision of the Ruthenian nobles to support not only the union itself, but also the incorporation of the above-mentioned provinces into the Polish Crown. Also thanks to this attitude of the princes and noblemen of Volhynia, Bracław Land and the region of Kiev, these areas gained relatively broad autonomy allowing them to preserve their cultural identity. There is no doubt, however, that the Union of Lublin accelerated the process of Polonization of these lands to some extent, although the process had begun well before 1569.Another important event from the point of view of maintaining the cultural identity of these provinces was the conclusion of the Union of Brest (1595 –1596), as a result of which – upon the decision of most Orthodox bishops of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – the Kiev metropolitanate became subordinated to the Holy See. On the one hand, the majority of Ruthenian nobility from the aforementioned provinces reacted in defense of the Orthodox faith, and to some extent also of the Ruthenian region, which stimulated them to strengthen their identity. In this context, noble tribunes of Ruthenian origin, such as Adam Kisiel, and Orthodox polemic writers, such as Melecjusz Smotrycki (who later became a member of the Uniate Church), began to indicate the existence of a separate Ruthenian nation, also pointing to its different features and de facto forming the foundations of its historical tradition. Zaporizhian Cossacks, who consistently defended the Orthodox faith, also joined the process to some extent. On the other hand, in the long run, the Union of Brest led to the Catholicization of local noblemen. Most of Ruthenian nobles eventually converted to the Roman Catholic denomination. However, the fact that the Uniate Church existed might have led to the situation that at least some of the Ruthenian nobles remained in the Ruthenian cultural circle even in the 18th and 19th centuries. Meanwhile, in the 17th century the role of the Ruthenian language tended to decrease in the above-mentioned territories, as it was the case in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the second half of the 17th century the Ruthenian language ceased to be the official language for the benefit of the Polish language. [From the publication]

0044-1791; 2449-8637
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2022-09-11 15:48:02
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