Koliivshchina: problems of interpretation

Keywords: «Koliivshchyna», interpretation, spontaneous interest, the «Objectivists school», the «New Historians» school, uprising from the positions of rebels, oral history, epic works, history of concepts, stereotypes


The article is devoted to the 250th anniversary of the Ukrainian rebellion, known as the «Koliivshchyna». The most significant burst of this uprising took place in the late 60’s of the XVIII century. The reason for the dissatisfaction of the people was the merciless exploitation of the Ukrainian peasantry by the Polish invaders. The Polish exploitation was carried out on the basis of social origin, nationality and religious confession. The most significant events connected with the above rebellion took place in Uman and its surroundings in 1768. The fight of the rebels was tough and bloody, obviously this particular feature of the rebellion called «Koliivshchyna» (from the word «koloty» – to thrust). The author of the article notes that for 250 years, separating us from the apogee of the rebellion, the accumulation of primary historical materials had to be completed, on the basis of which historians would have to determine the way of interpretation and to conduct a moral and legal evaluation of the events associated with the uprising. But we must admit that this is not the case. The reasons for this situation are sought by the author in an inadequate application of the Western historians’ achievements.The author takes into account the spirit of the uncertainty of positions in the way of treating the events associated with the rebellion in many publications of contemporary media, and this gives the right to conclude that there exists a problem of unity in the way of interpreting the purpose of the uprising and the actions of the rebels. The author sees the reason for this situation in the fact that Ukrainian historical experts in the historical studies of the above mentioned events connected with the «Koliivshchyna» rebellion, do not sufficiently apply the intellectual achievements of the historic school «New Historians», well known in the West (this school is also called the «Annales» school, the founders the schools are Mark Bloch and Lucien Febvre). The researchers also ignore the contemporary critique of the paradigms of Leopold von Ranke «Objectivist School». The achievements of famous Western epistemologists, such as Allan Megill, also fail to achieve optimum effect. The author points out the advantages of the «New Historians» School in constructing the results of historical research, but, on the background of the advantages and achievements of Western historians, the author of the proposed article proves the benefits of studies of Ukrainian historians.The widespread use in Western historical research the works of the New Historians School supporters has had a significant positive impact on the development of the historical science of these countries. The application of the scientific development of the supporters of this school (the school «New Historians» arose in 1929) was the reason for a qualitative step in the process of historical research in the West. In Ukraine, the widespread use in studies related to historical science subjects such as oral history, history of concepts, bottom history, visual history and many other related subjects of great popularity have not yet gained popularity, although some successes can already be seen.In the article the author provides the achievements of Ukrainian historian, professor Vasyl Shevchuk, which he gained during the study of the history of Ukrainian statehood, as an example of the successful development of the latest approaches to the study of Ukrainian history. V. Shevchuk in the early 90’s of the twentieth century became the founder of the definition of the statehood characteristics, which become apparent after the first victories of the rebels. According to V. Shevchuk, there are eight such characteristics. The process of acquiring statehood characteristics during the uprising usually occurs in the process of achievement by the rebels the success in the fight against the oppressors. So, the expansion of the tools of the study of the Ukrainian history related to historical subjects, such as that introduced by the school «New Historians», will definitely expand the possibilities for interpreting the events that took place during the uprising in 1768. At the very least, the use of the latest methods of studying the history of Ukraine gives such an opportunity to the researcher.New methods of studying the history of Ukraine, successfully used by the Ukrainian historians, will surely lead to an understanding and tolerant attitude to the fact that the history of Ukraine will not be perceived by Ukrainian in the same way as by a Pole or Russian, or anyone else with a distinct national identity. National systems of traditions, customs, peculiarities of the mentality and many other factors are the obstacle that will never let the Pope and the German or the Pole and Ukrainian perceive the truth of the story with the same emotions. The text of the article proved the existence of a problem of interpretation of the purpose and issues of the «Koliivshchyna» rebellion. The solution to this problem will take place in any case. To do this, you only need to perceive historical events with a sense of mutual respect and avoid single-ended estimates and uncompromising attitude.


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How to Cite
Chornomaz, B. (2018). Koliivshchina: problems of interpretation. Grani, 21(11), 14-22. https://doi.org/10.15421/1718147