history of Galicia
Medieval History: dates sketch
under Hungarian and Polish rules: Dates sketch
under Austrian rule (1772- 1918)
World War in Galicia and proclamation of Western Ukrainian National
in inter war Poland (1921 - 1939), German Reich (1941 - 1944), the
USSR (1939-1941 / 1944 - 1991) and independent Ukraine
Distribution around 1900 for Eastern Galicia
of Galician History
following history is excerpted from the website http://www.personal.ceu.hu/students/97/Roman_Zakharii/galicia.htm
Ukrainian] Galicia [in English], Gaszorszag [in Hungarian],
Galitsiya [in Russian], Galizia [in
Italian] or Galizien [in German] is Ruthenian (=Ukrainian) historic land
in West Ukraine (present day oblasts of Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil).
Name derives from the city of Halych (Latin name: Galic) which was the
first capital of Galician principality. And name Galic itself derives
from Ukrainian word "halka" meaning "crow" in English.
That is why we have a crow on coat of arms of this land. Though there
is other, version of the name (more truthful, on my opinion), that the
name Halych - Galic (and from it Halychyna - Galizia) derives from Greek
word "hals", which means "salt" in English. Byzantium
and the Greeks had strong influence on these lands and it was from the
Greeks that Galicia and Kyivan Rus were converted to the Greek Orthodoxy.
The thing was that Halych was rich in "hals" - salt and from
there salt being mined was exported to many faraway lands. Nowadays though
there is no more salt mining in Halych and salt mining and Halych itself
declined yet a long time ago. But during early medieval period salt was
the main export product coming from Halych.
Galicia was formerly
a crown land of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy (from 1772 until 1918)
and before 1370 it was an independent and powerful medieval Ruthenian
(Ukrainian) Kingdom with capital in Halych which was built by Prince
Volodymyrko in 1140. Since then the name Halychyna was applied to whole
land. Galician king Danylo took and ruled over Kyiv (Kiev) even. In 1264
Danylo's son king Lev moves capital to Lviv. In 1349 Poland won a battle
against Galicia and it stopped to exist as independent state for a long
time until 1918 when short lived West Ukrainian Republic with capital
in Lviv was proclaimed but quickly taken by Poles. Former territories
of Galicia are now shared between southern Poland and Western Ukraine,
with most of Galicia in Ukraine and small minor part in Poland. Other
names for the area are Galicja (in Polish. Adjective form: Galicyjski),
Gácsország (in Hungarian. Adj.: Gacsi) and Galizia (in
Italian. Adj.: Galiziano). In Ukrainian history this land was very often
referred as Red Rus' (Chervona Rus) or Red Ruthenia. During Austrian
times, Galicia extended from the Biala River (minor tributary of the
Vistula) in the west to the Zbrucz / Zbruch, (tributary of the Dniester
in the east). From the Carpathians in the south, the land drops off to
the north, passing over the Sarmatian Plain. At its largest during Austrian
period, Galicia comprised approximately 78,000 square kilometers.
shows the territory of former Austrian Kingdom of Galicia,
which was created artificially in 1772, with the partition of Poland.
The red line marks present day border between Poland and Ukraine / former
history of Galicia:
Ancient Galicia was populated by the Slavic tribes of Dulibes(Duliby/Duleby)
and White Croatians (White Croats / Bili Khorvaty), Ulyches (Ulychi), Tyverians
(Tivertsi/Tivertsy), Buzhanians with Derevlians (Derevlyany) and Vohlynians
(Volyniany) on the north. Before 980 (when these lands were incorporated
into Kyivan Rus) it was a loose tribal confedaration with political center
in Peremyshl (modern city Przemysl, at Ukrainian Polish border) under Polish
influence. During that period western christianity (in Roman Catholic form)
was partly rooted there from the west, what is witnessed by ruins of some
Roman style churches of pre-Orthodox christianization (988) period as in
village Bishche and Transcarpathia especially. In 10 th century (980) these
tribes were conqered by Kievan Rus Prince Volodymyr (Vladimir). He established
the town Volodymyr there and a few small principalities were formed in
Halych, Terebovlya and Volodymyr. The Galician territory was started to
be refferred as a Red Rus (or Red Ruthenia) then. The final formation of
united Galician principlity occured during the reign of Prince Volodymyr
of Galicia in 1124 -1152. Volodymyr united small Galician principalities
with its capital in Halych (first citation in 1140, Halych is the root
for the name Halychyna-Galicia).
In 1152-87 Galicia was ruled by prince Iaroslav Osmomysl (Yaroslav Os'momysl).
He expaneded the Galician principality to the Danube. Hungarian king Bela
III occupied Galicia in 1189 and became "King of Halychyna".
Galicia was ruled by Hungarians until Roman, prince of Volhynia managed
to take it back. Roman started his rule in 1170 in Vohlynia. Vohlynia (Volyn/Vohlyn)
was a principality north of Galicia. In 1199 Volyn (Volhynia) and Galicia
were united under the rule of Prince Roman (of Smolensk) . In 1205 Prince
Roman dies and the struggles for his legacy begin. In 1214, Boiaryn Volodyslav
Kormylchych became Prince of Galicia. The political situation during his
rule in Galicia was very unstable and Hungarians and Poles concluded Hungarian-Polish
treaty regarding the government of Galicia in town of Spish. It was a time
when firts Mongol invasion started and in 1223 Battle at the Kalko River,
th first conflict with the Mongol-Tatars.
Shortly Volyn was united
by the sons of Roman in 1227. Roman's son prince Danylo (Daniel / Danilo
/ Daniil) took Galician throne in 1238. The dominance of Halychyna by
Prince Danylo was the greatest page in Galician History. In 1239 Kyiv
(Kiev) was taken under the rule of Prince Danylo. 1239-42 Massive Mongol-Tatar
invasion of Batia (1240 fall of Kyiv). 1245 Battle at Iaroslav (Jaroslaw).
Danylo defeated Poles and Hungarian there and it was the end of the Hungarians-Polish
kings in the struggle for Prince Roman's Legacy. 1250s Settlement of
Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow) by Prince Danylo. Danylo named Lviv after his son
Lev (Leo). In I253 Prince Danylo was coronated by a Papal Delegate. Great
Danylo dies in 1264 and dark times start in Galician history. In 1259-60:
Tatar campaigns (Byrynday) against Halychyna and Volyn. 1264- c. 1301
reighn of Lev I, son of Danylo. Lev moves capital of Galicia from Halych
to Lviv/Lwow/Lvov/Lemberg (which was established by his father Danylo
in 1250 and named after Lev's name).
Medieval History: dates sketch:
After battles for Lublin between Galicia and Poland in 1300s Lublin was annexed
to Polish Kingdom. Galicia dominates Transcarpathia meanwhile.
1286 Devastation of Galicia and Volyn by the Tatars (Telebuha).
1292 Last of the Galicia-Volhynia Chronicles.
1300s: Yuriy I, "King of Rus', Prince of Volodymyr".
c. 1303: Beginnings of the Metropolitan in Halychyna (-1347).
1316: Union of Andrew and Lev, Princes "of all of Rus', Halychyna and
Volodymyr" with Teutonic Princes.
1320s: Last of the descendents of Prince Roman. Boleslav Iuriy, Prince "of
all Malo Rus'".
1330s: Marriage of Prince Yurij with the daughter of Gedymin (1331); campaign
on the territories of Lublin (1337).
1339: Prince Yuri deeds the town of Sianok to German rule.
1340: † Yuriy-Boleslav. Boyaryn Dmytro Dedko -- "steward of the
Rus' lands"; Liubart -- prince of Volyn.
under Hungarian and Polish rules: Dates sketch:
Polish king Kasimir
advances againts Galicia and wins the battle in 1349. This is was the
key turning point in the hisory of independent Galician Kingdom. It stopped
to exist forever.
1370-87: Galicia ruled by Hungary. Since Polish king was at the same time king
of Hungary for a while.
1372-78: Volodyslav Opolskiy, last Galician Prince.
1375: Organizations of the Roman Hierarchy in Galicia, final step to subjugate
local Orthodox population.
1387-1772: Galicia ruled by Poland
1425: First record of artisan guilds in Lviv.
1430-Western Podillia is annexed by Poland; establishment of Polish on Polish-Ukrainian
1463: First citation of the Church Brotherhood (Uspensky in Lviv).
1490-92: Uprising against Poland in Galicia led by Mukha.
1538: Final transfer of Bukovyna/Bukowin (former Galician Land) to Turkish
sovereingty, Moldovan commander Bohdan marches on Galicia.
1573: Ivan Fedorovych established a printing press in Lviv/Lwow, marking the
beginning of printing in Ukraine.
1586: Lviv brotherhood maintains Stavropehian Laws.
1596: Union of Brest. Beginning of Religious struggles.
1648: Beginning of the Ukraine's struggle for liberation from Poland by
Bohdan Khmelnytskiy (1648-57) and his failure.
Galicia was devasted by Khmelnytsky's Cossack Troops and Tatars.
1649 and 1651: Khmelnytsky's attempts at peace with Poland (Zboriv. and Bilotserk.
under Austrian rule (1772- 1918):
The negotiations between
the three powers, Russia, Prussia and Austria, over the first partition
of Poland were concluded on August 5, 1772. The cession treaty between
the last King of Poland and Empress Maria Theresia took effect on September
18, 1773. Austria received Galicia including the Zamosc (Zamosz) district,
but excluding Cracow. In the course of the later Napoleonic wars, Zamosc
was to be detached from Austria as a new duchy centered at Cracow was
established. It was to be subsquently annexed by Austria in 1846. In
1775 Bukovyna (Bukowin) was conqured by Austria and became another Austrian
province, separete from Galicia.
On the 1st of September
in 1774, the Empress issued the first settlement patent. The second settlement
patent was issued on September 17, 1781, by Emperor Josef II which also
allowed emigration of foreigners. This patent was supplemented by the
Toleranzpatent of October 13, 1781, which proclaimed religious toleration
for Protestants. In the years to come, thousands of German families emigrated
into Galicia, mostly out of the Palatinate (Pfalz) and settled in newly-founded
German communities or in the cities as craftsmen and artisans.
of St. George Cathedral in Lviv/Lwow/Lemberg (Rococo style).
1848: Annullment of Feudalism; Political Rebirth of Galicia.
1861: First railroad on Ukrainian territory in Galicia (Peremyshyl - Lviv).
1890: First Ukrainian Galician political party (1900 - Naddniapranska).
When serfdom was abolished
in the Austrian Empire in 1848, Ukrainians launched their struggle for
political representation and national autonomy. The political and social
climate of succeeding decades was aptly reflected by the great reformer
and writer Ivan Franko, who wrote, "I am a son of the people, the
son of a nation on the rise." By the 1880's, significant changes
had taken place in parliamentary practices, in local government, and
the public school system. Newspapers were established and various self-help
organizations were formed to promote political awareness, improve agricultural
practices and facilitate Ukrainian cultural expression. This dynamic
organization and political life was transported to the New World and
has been a hallmark of Ukrainian Canadian communities ever since.
World War in Galicia and proclamation of Western Ukrainian National
At the outbreak of First World War in 1914, hostilities between Russia and
Austria brought on persecution of Ukrainians by both sides. Russians suppressed
all Ukrainian cultural and political activities and exiled many prominent
persons to Siberia. Retreating Austrians executed many Ukrainians, who
were suspected to sympathize with Russia.
Russian troops entered Austrian Galicia in September 1914 and immediately started
to subdue all Ukrainian life. They arrested and exiled to Siberia many
leading personalities mainly politicians, lawyers, writers, teachers and
In spring of 1915 Austrians recaptured western Ukraine but, things did not
go very well for them on other fronts. In an attempt to save the Habsburg Monarchy,
social and political reforms were promised. However these did not satisfy subject
nationalities, including Ukrainians, who strived for complete independence.
In Russia, following the revolution in March 1917, a Provisional Government
was formed headed by Alexander Kerensky. It introduced some democratic
freedoms and lifted restrictions on Ukrainian cultural and political life.
All political exiles, were allowed to return home. Ukraine gained the autonomy
in April 1917 through formation of Central Rada (Council) headed by the
historian Mykhaylo Hrushevskyi.
In March the German - Austrian offensive dislodged Bolsheviks from Kyiv and
Central Rada returned to the Ukrainian capital. In compliance with the terms
of Brest - Litovsk Peace Treaty, Red Army left Ukrainian territory in April.
Disintegration of Habsburg Empire started in 1918. In October 1918 Ukrainian
political leaders formed a state called Western Ukrainian National Republic
consisting of eastern Galicia western Wolhynia and northern Bukovyna. Defending
this new state were Ukrainian Galician Army, consisting of Ukrainins from
former Austrian army and volunteer force called "Sichovi Striltsi" (Sich
Riflemen).On November 1, Ukrainian forces occupied Lviv, which triggered
war with Poles, who wanted Galicia to be part of the Polish Republic. The
Polish forces captured Lviv on November 21 while Romanian army occupied
Bukovyna. Nevertheless for some time to come, most of Galicia remained
under control of Ukrainian government headed by Evhen Petrushevych in Stanyslaviv.
On January 22, 1919
an act of Union of western and eastern Ukrainian states was proclaimed,
however ongoing hostilities prevented realization of this plan. By late
July, Poles gained control over the whole Galicia. But soon Polish -
Russian War started, as the leader of Eastern Ukraine (Ukraine National
Republic) Symon Petlura signed the Treaty of Warsaw with Poles in April
1920 whereby he abandoned claim to Galicia and western Wolhynia for Polish
military help against the Soviet Bolsheviks.
Polish and Ukrainian
forces captured Kyiv on May 6, but Bolsheviks mounted a counteroffensive
and progressed as far as the outskirts of Warsaw (Russians were stopped
at severe Warsaw battle of 1920) before being driven back to the Right
Bank Ukraine. At that occupation moment short-lived the Galician Socialist
Soviet Republic (1920) was procalimed by Bolsheviks. But after Warsaw
battle, in October 1920, Poles made a truce with the Soviets and in March
1921 Polish and Soviet governments signed the Treaty of Riga whereby
Poland recognized the Soviet jurisdiction over Right Bank but retained
Galicia and western Volhynia.
Thus after the World War I and unsuccessful struggles for independence, Galicia
ended up being in Poland again. Ukrainian Galicians underwent polonization
and discrimination durind these years. One could not get a state employment
if he would not become Polish Roman Catholic.
in inter war Poland (1921 - 1939), German Reich (1941 - 1944), the
USSR (1939-1941 / 1944 - 1991) and independent Ukraine:
Western Ukrainian Republic fell and Eastern Galicia was annexed to Poland being
divided into Lwow, Tarnopol and Stanislawow voivodships (area known as
Malopolska in Polish, or Kleinpolen in German/ Little Poland in English)
and this was confirmed by the Treaty of Riga of 1921, between the USSR
and Poland, followed a truce concluded late in 1920. In these agreements
Poland promised vast autonomy and rights for local Ukrainian population
but in reality it came out to be the opposite. Ukrainians were trated as
second class people in Polish state, being banned from state employment
After the partition
of spheres of influences in Poland and East Europe signed between Nazi
Germany and the USSR (so called Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact), East Galicia
(including Przemysl /Peremyshl) was occupied by Soviet troops on 17 th
of September, 1939 (the date of "Unification of West and east Ukraine" according
to Soviet historiography) and became part of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist
Republic (in the USSR then, now independent Ukraine) while minor part
of West Galicia (Jaroslaw area) was a part of the provisional government
of Warsaw. This division has remained to this day. Only Peremyshl area
was given back to Poland the treaty was replaced in 1945 by a new Soviet-Polish
border agreement. A large part of the Polish and German population of
East Galicia was, following negotiations, resettled out of the Soviet
area and into Poland.
1945 saw the end of
the history of the settlement of Galicia by the so-called "Pfälzer
Schwaben". Only a few remained, most of them having married into
Polish or Ukrainian families and hoping to escape repression. Many who
fled went to Germany and emigrated to the USA and Canada where their
relatives had already begun to emigrate since the beginning of the 20th
Poles populating Eastern
Galicia were moved primarily to former Germany's Western Poland, in partucular
to Wroclaw and all the Ukrainians living in their native lands in Poland
were moved to Ukraine (primarily ethnic Ukrainian group Lemky) and to
the North of Poland (where they were not allowed to settle more than
one family in the same village, in order to polonize them). This was
a tragedy for Lemky people. The resettlememt operation was called "Vistula".
During the II World War Galicia was place of fighting of UPA (Ukrainian
Insurgent Army, which faught aginst Soviets/Germans and Poles for Ukrainian
Independence) formed in 1942. "Galicia" (Galizien) German SS
division was formed in 1943 out of local Ukrainian Galician population.
With the start of German
Nazi occupation of Soviet Galicia in 1941, it was included into the Reich's
General Gouvernement (under the Nazi-era occupation goverment of Poland),
unlike Eastern Ukraine which was formed into a separate Reichskommisariat
Ukraine. Hitler thought Ukrainians should get no preferential treatment
and personally appointed Erich Koch to rule Reichskommissariat Ukraine
(eastern Ukraine) with an iron fist.
Koch, as a member of
the superior German Herrenvolk master race, started a reign
of terror and oppression in East Ukraine. Koch often said that the Ukrainian
were inferior to the Germans, that Ukrainians were half-monkeys, and that Ukrainians "must
be handled with the whip like the negroes." He once said that "no
German soldiers would die for these niggers [Ukrainians]." Unlike Eeastern
Ukrainians, Hitler palnned to germanize the Galicians. That is why Galicia
was included into Reich itself, unlike Eastern Ukraine.
1943-44: Red Army fights
ro regain Eastern Galicia. Emmigration starts. Eastern Galicia regained
by Red Army and agan incorporated in the USSR's Soviet Ukraine. Western
Galicia remained part of Poland.
8/24/1991: Verkhovna Rada adopts a resolution proclaiming Ukraine's independence.
Ukraine becomes an independent nation
First President Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk (who comes from
Volhynia, former Galician Kingdom Lands) elected (1991-1994). Eastern Galicia
becomes part of the independent Ukraine. Meanwhile minor parts of Western Galicia
(Chelm - Jaroslav - Przemysl areas) remain in Poland, forming newly created
Polish provinces Podkarapckie and Malopolskie Wjowodstwos, since Polish authorities
did not find it proper to give a true Ukrainian name of "Galicja" to
those Ukrainian areas in Poland, which they found as "non historic" and
forcefully applied by Austrians to that territory of Poland.
Excerpted from website:http://www.personal.ceu.hu/students/97/Roman_Zakharii/galicia.htm
Distribution around 1900 for Eastern Galicia
landholding in hectares
|Up to 2
2 --- 5
5 -- 10
10 - 100
Ukrainian Block Settlement in East Central Alberta, 1890 - 1930: A History.
A report by Orest T. Martynowych.
OF GALICIAN HISTORY
||Spread of Lusation culture
500 A D
|Development of the Wiskabue
||Domination by Croats
||Expansion of the Wislanian
||Overlordship by Moravia
||Poland founded and converted
to Christianity by Mieszko I
||The Wislanie annexed to
the new Polish State
||Regionalism, as the Kingdom
of Little Poland, and Palatinate of Sandomir. The Polish capital
moved to Krakow.
||Three Mongolian invasions
by the armies of the Ghengis Khan and his successors
||Galicia as the Polish
frontier and main area for eastward expansion
||The reign of King Casimir
the Great. The annexation of Halychyna and Volhynia. Border rivalry
||Jagiellonian Poland. Establishment
of Galician towns and the spread of Magdeburgian town law.
||Invasion by the Turks
from the East
||The imposition of serfdom
||The Swedish Deluge
||The Northern War
||The dissolution of the
||Confederation of Bar
||Occupation by the Austro-Hungarian
Empire, the First Partition
||The struggle against serfdom
||The land Katester
||The Kosciuszko War for
||Impact of Napoleonic hegemony
||Asiatic Cholera epidemic
||The Galician Peasant Uprising
||Typhus and Cholera outbreaks
||The emancipation of the
||The great famine. The "Great
Cholera", 1854, "Little Cholera", 1873
||The struggle for democracy
and overpopulation effects
||The breaking up of the
||Year of Strikes
||World War I. The passing
of the Eastern Front through Galicia several times. The collapse
of Austria. The Polish - Russian War.