Horodnyk

Horodnyk. A category of indentured peasants in Ukraine in the 14th–19th centuries. Horodnyky were first mentioned in documents at the end of the 14th century, although their number grew most quickly beginning in the 16th century. They owned plots that were too small to support subsistence agriculture—usually up to 2 ha in area—and little livestock. They performed corvée without draft animals. Horodnyky also hired themselves out temporarily to wealthy peasants, merchants, chumaks, artisans, and others. They were especially numerous in more densely settled regions, constituting approximately 25–35 percent of the peasant population of Right-Bank Ukraine in the 16th and 17th centuries. Horodnyky took part in numerous peasant uprisings. After the abolition of serfdom in 1861, the majority of horodnyky received free land allotments.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]




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