Pereyaslavskaya Rada

In the history of each nation there is a certain fateful time that determines its future way of existence for many years to come.

For Ukraine, no doubt, such a turning point was the Pereyaslav Rada, which became a great event that saved the Ukrainian people from spiritual, economic and national enslavement.

In 16-17 centuries the Ukrainian lands were in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. They were ruled by the Polish gentry, who cruelly exploited the indigenous population, calling them serfs.

Economic slavery was closely intertwined with the spiritual: in those years, Orthodoxy was in the underground, since Poland's plans included the Catholicization of all of Ukraine.

Not wishing to tolerate such a situation, Hetman Khmelnitsky in 1654 convened the Pereyaslav Rada, which became the final stage of the liberation movement of Ukrainians.

At that time in tsarist Russia on the Don and Yaik already existed territories that did not know serfdom and enjoyed a certain autonomy. In these Cossack regions the government settled the Cossacks and Ukrainian peasants, giving them the rights of free people.

Very soon, on the adjacent territory, Slobodskaya Ukraine was created - a region of immigrants, where the Cossack registry operated.

Literally before the meeting, the hetman met with Buturin, the head of the Russian embassy, then with the Rada of Staritsa, who unanimously spoke in favor of the treaty.

And already in the middle of the day they called an open one, which in history is known as the Pereyaslavl Rada. It was attended by citizens of the city, peasants from surrounding regions, regiments stationed on lands already free of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The hetman made a speech in which he once again recalled the numerous sacrifices his people had suffered in the wake of the liberation wars. He stressed that for Ukrainians the only way to consolidate their gains would be recognition of Russia.

Khmelnitsky's proposal was greeted with approval, the sergeant-major, the Cossacks and the petty bourgeoisie swore an oath to the Russian tsar. The Pereyaslavl Rada of 1654, practically reuniting the Ukrainian and Russian people, was of great importance in the further development of both states, which together reflected foreign attacks.

What did each side get from this union?

The Pereyaslav Treaty provided Ukrainian peasants with freedom and freedom from the national and religious oppression of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ukrainian elders and noblemen dreamed to strengthen their privileges with the help of the Russian throne, turning into the ruling class in Ukraine. And all this they could receive only after the adoption of political autonomy within Russia.

The tsarist government recognized the election of the Ukrainian hetman, but with subsequent approval. All states, except for Turkey and Rzeczpospolita, could have diplomatic relations with Ukraine.

The Pereyaslav Rada retained all the administrative and military apparatus formed during the anti-Polish war, as well as its electivity. The judicial system was supposed to work according to local traditions and customs.

At the same time, the tsarist government had to control the collection of taxes, some of which had to go to its treasury.

Many decisions were made not only by the commonality of religion, but also by the existence of political, cultural and economic ties, the centuries-old closeness of peoples and languages.

However, the Pereyaslav Agreement only in very general terms determined the relationship between Russia and Ukraine. Many of its provisions were interpreted differently by the parties, which created internal conflicts and conflicts with the Russian tsarist autocracy in the future.

The adoption of this agreement led to the war that began between Russia and Poland, and lasted three years.

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