The hromada movement, which originated in the Russian Empire in the late 1850s, played a decisive role in the Ukrainian national revival and the development of Ukrainian national consciousness in the 19th century. Because of police persecution and the mobility of their members, most hromadas existed for only a few years. Members differed in political conviction; what united them was a love for the Ukrainian language and traditions and the desire to serve the people. The general aims of the hromadas were to instill through self-education a sense of national identity in their members and to improve through popular education the living standard of the peasant masses. Members were encouraged to use Ukrainian and to study Ukrainian history, folklore, and language. Each hromada maintained a small library of illegal books and journals from abroad for the use of its members. The larger hromadas organized drama groups and choirs, and staged Ukrainian plays and concerts for the public. The hromadas were active in the Sunday-school movement: they financed and staffed schools and prepared textbooks. Avoiding contacts with revolutionary circles, the hromadas regarded their own activities as strictly cultural and educational. However, in the 1880s, under pressure from younger members, these societies gradually became involved in some political activity as well. The Polish Insurrection of 1863-4 led to a strong anti-Ukrainian campaign in the Russian press and to repressive measures by the government. Petr Valuev's secret circular prohibited the publication of Ukrainian books for the peasants. Ukrainian Sunday schools were closed down, and some leading hromada activists were subjected to persecution and administrative banishment. These measures disrupted the activities of the hromadas for a number of years. However, at the end of the 19th century efforts were made to co-ordinate the activities of the widely dispersed hromadas. At the initiative of Volodymyr Antonovych and Oleksander Konysky, a conference of members of various hromadas was held in Kyiv in 1897, and the General Ukrainian Non-Party Democratic Organization was established... Learn more about the hromada movement and its legacy by visiting the following entries:

HROMADAS. Clandestine societies of Ukrainian intelligentsia that in the second half of the 19th century were the principal agents for the growth of Ukrainian national consciousness within the Russian Empire. They began to appear after the Crimean War, in the late 1850s, as part of the broad reform movement. Being illegal associations they lacked a definite organizational form, a well-defined structure and program, and a clearly delimited membership. The first hromada, established in Saint Petersburg, was active by the fall of 1858. It consisted of some former members of the Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, including Mykola Kostomarov, Panteleimon Kulish, and Taras Shevchenko. With financial support from the landowners Vasyl Tarnovsky and Hryhorii Galagan, works of Ukrainian writers began to be published and the journal Osnova appeared in Saint Petersburg. Another hromada outside Ukraine sprang up at the University of Moscow in 1858-9. In Ukraine the most important hromada, the Hromada of Kyiv, was organized in 1859 by students who were active in the Sunday-school movement and by the khlopomany ('lovers of the peasantry'). In Kharkiv a student circle that collected ethnographic material formed around Oleksander Potebnia at the end of the 1850s, but the hromada arose in 1861-2. In Poltava a hromada arose in 1858. By 1879 (when it was crippled with a wave of arrests), the hromada in Odesa had over 100 members...


KHLOPOMAN. Adherent of a populist movement of Ukrainian students and intelligentsia in Right-Bank Ukraine in the 1850s-1860s. The derogatory Polish term 'chlopoman,' meaning lover of the peasantry, was adopted eventually by those who propagated the notion of 'love for the simple Ukrainian people.' The movement, which was greatly influenced by French socialists (P-J. Proudhon, L-A. Blanqui) and democratic populism, originated among students of Kyiv University who belonged to the Polonized nobility. Recognizing the duty to serve 'the people among whom one lives,' they turned away from Polish student organizations and established a Ukrainian society. The khlopoman movement also had an impact on young people in Left-Bank Ukraine and Southern Ukraine, particularly in Kharkiv, Poltava, Chernihiv, and Odesa. The movement's founders included Volodymyr Antonovych, Tadei Rylsky, Borys Poznansky, Pavlo Zhytetsky, and Pavlo Chubynsky. Antonovych articulated its ideological principles and basic program. A cautious attitude towards the authorities and the conviction that educational and cultural progress must precede political action prompted the khlopomany to emphasize the apolitical nature of the movement. From 1859 they were active in the Hromada of Kyiv...


HROMADA OF KYIV. The most active and enduring hromada in Russian-ruled Ukraine. It was not only the chief cultural, and to some extent political, society of Ukrainian intelligentsia in Kyiv but also, through its contacts with similar societies in other cities, the most important catalyst of the Ukrainian national revival of the second half of the 19th century. Founded in 1859 mostly by students who felt morally obligated to improve the condition of the people through education, the hromada initially focused on teaching at Sunday schools. A khlopoman group led by Volodymyr Antonovych joined the work of the hromada in 1859. In 1862, at the height of its activity, the hromada's membership reached 200, and included representatives from various social strata and from different nationalities--Jews and Poles as well as Ukrainians. After closing down the Sunday schools in August 1862, the authorities officially banned the hromada at the beginning of 1863. The hromada renewed its activity in 1869. Under the close surveillance of the authorities, it reduced its activities and limited itself to cultural, apolitical goals. In the 1880s the hromada, led by Volodymyr Antonovych, again became more active. Its energies were focused on publishing the journal Kievskaia starina (1882-1906) devoted to Ukrainian studies. Thanks to the hromada's initiative the General Ukrainian Non-Party Democratic Organization was founded in 1897...

Hromada of Kyiv

ANTONOVYCH, VOLODYMYR, b 18 January 1834 in Makhnivka, Kyiv gubernia, d 21 March 1908 in Kyiv. Historian, archeographer, archeologist, professor of history at Kyiv University from 1878, editor in chief of the publications of the Kyiv Archeographic Commission, patron and head (from 1881) of the Historical Society of Nestor the Chronicler in Kyiv. As a leading member of the khlopoman movement, Antonovych published a reply to the Polish journalist Z. Fisz (pseud T. Padalica), entitled 'Moia ispoved' (My Confession), in Osnova (Saint Petersburg), in which he defended the ideology of the 'lovers of the peasantry.' Antonovych was a major representative of the populist school in Ukrainian historiography. He founded the so-called Kyivan school of historians, which consisted of his students at Kyiv University (among them, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Dmytro Bahalii, and others). These historians laid the foundations of modern Ukrainian historiography. Antonovych was head of the Old Hromada of Kyiv. For almost half a century he played a leading role in Ukrainian civic and political life. Through his initiative the Poles and Ukrainians in the Galician Diet reached an agreement in 1890. He wrote over 300 scholarly studies. Among others, he collected, edited with introductions, and published the voluminous Arkhiv Iugo-Zapadnoi Rossii (in 8 series, 1859-1914), which deals with the history of Right-Bank Ukraine in the 16th-18th century...

Volodymyr Antonovych

KIEVSKAIA STARINA. A learned monthly for Ukrainian studies printed in Russian and published in Kyiv from 1882 to 1906. In 1907 it was renamed Ukraina and appeared in Ukrainian. The journal was founded by Teofan Lebedyntsev, Volodymyr Antonovych, Oleksander Lazarevsky, and Pavlo Zhytetsky, and was financed mostly by Vasyl Symyrenko. It was the unofficial organ of the Hromada of Kyiv, which in 1893 became its real owner. For over 25 years Kievskaia starina was the only printed medium of Ukrainian scholarship in Russian-ruled Ukraine. It published a wealth of research and documentary materials in history, archeology, ethnography, philology, and bibliography. In 1890 it began to publish belles-lettres, which from 1897 appeared in Ukrainian. The leading Ukrainian scientific minds and cultural figures of the time were grouped around the journal, forming something like a learned society. At the turn of the century Kievskia starina became a sort of encyclopedia of Ukrainian studies. Among its contributors were such scholars as Mykola Kostomarov, Volodymyr Antonovych, Mykhailo Drahomanov, Dmytro Bahalii, Ivan Franko, Orest Levytsky, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, Ahatanhel Krymsky, Mykola Biliashivsky, Volodymyr Hnatiuk, and many others. The journal made an enormous contribution to the development of Ukrainian learning and culture. A systematic index to the journal was published in 1911...

Kievskaia starina

GENERAL UKRAINIAN NON-PARTY DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION. A clandestine cultural organization founded in Kyiv in the fall of 1897 on the initiative of Oleksander Konysky and Volodymyr Antonovych. Many of its first members also belonged to the Hromada of Kyiv (or other hromadas) or the Brotherhood of Taras. With about 150 members in 1901, it was enlarged and reorganized into an association of 3-10-member autonomous groups that held congresses every three years to elect the executive. Most of its energy was devoted to publishing: it maintained the Vik publishing house and the Kyivskaia Starina bookstore. It encouraged the student, zemstvo, and co-operative movement, helped persecuted Ukrainian activists, and agitated for the use of the Ukrainian language in the schools. In 1904 the organization adopted a full political program and changed its name to the Ukrainian Democratic party, demanding national autonomy for Ukrainians and other nationalities within a federated Russia and radical economic and social reforms. In the following year it merged with the Ukrainian Radical party to form the Ukrainian Democratic Radical party (UDRP), which lasted to 1907. In 1908 the groups which previously had belonged to the General Ukrainian Non-Party Democratic Organization and the UDRP established a secret association, the Society of Ukrainian Progressives, which in 1917 became the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Federalists...

General Ukrainian Organization

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