Unity as a Component of the Development of National Identity of Ukrainians in the Second Half of the 19th – the First Third of the 20th Century: Modern Historiography

Keywords: unity, modern Ukrainian historiography, national and cultural revival, national identity, the Act Zluky 1919, mentality


Nowadays, the historical understanding of the problem of the unity of Ukraine is analyzed for obvious reasons and is explained by the wish to provide intellectual (scientific) protection of the territorial integrity, sovereignty, indivisibility and Ukraine borders inviolability. Moreover, the comprehension of the mental and ethnic dimension of the genesis of Ukrainian unity makes it possible to scientifically correctly consider the issues of value, ethnopsychological, and spiritual and cultural unanimity of Ukrainian modern nation.

All this significantly actualizes the mental dimension of Ukrainian unity, which, according to modern historiography, is much more civilizationally stronger than the territorial one.

Ukrainian unity was forming for a long time, and the postmodern transformations which the country is experiencing today are the verification of the strength of its political, spiritual, cultural, social, legal and other foundations. The Ukrainian national and cultural revival of the second half of the 19th – first third of the 20th century played an exceptional role in unity achieving.

The conceptual and theoretical value of Ukrainian unity genesis analysis in that period was determined by its gradual crystallization, from the proclamation of the slogan to the legal and political institutionalization.

The latest achievements of modern historical science on the mental dimension of Ukrainian unity in the second half of the 19th – the first third of the 20th century are analyzed in the paper. On the basis of problem-conceptual and comparative-historiographical methodology, it has been found out that in a considerable number of historical materials historical synthesis about the genesis of Ukrainian unity in general, the study of place and role of unity in the development of the ethnic identity of Ukrainians are of rather insufficient representation.

It has been exposed that historians consider the Ukrainian national and cultural revival as a period of active formation of the idea and institutional shaping of Ukrainian unity not only in the territorial but also in mental dimensions.

It has been found out that historians consider the meaning of «unity» through such components as natural-geographical landscape, human factor and Ukrainian ethnic, social and cultural, ideological, spiritual and cultural and mental factors, financial-economic unity and economic sovereignty, state and political factor, defense of the unity, its military-defense and information segments, geopolitical factor. It is noted that among the stages of the concept of unity at mental level development, historians name the politicization of the national movement in the second half of the 19th century, the meeting of Eastern and Western Ukrainians on the fronts of the Great War, the proclamation of the Act Zluky (Unification Act) of 1919, and the integration of Ukrainian lands in the policy of Ukrainianization in the 1920s. It is concluded that the comprehension of the development of the mental and ethnic dimensions of Ukrainian unity in the second half of the 19th – the first third of the 20th century in historiography has significant prospects. This is due to the fact that the mental and ethnic, value and spiritual issues belong to the methodological mainstream of the civilizational historiographical paradigm, which starts to gain its proper place in the modern Ukrainian historiographical discourse.


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How to Cite
Semerhei, N. (2019). Unity as a Component of the Development of National Identity of Ukrainians in the Second Half of the 19th – the First Third of the 20th Century: Modern Historiography. EMINAK: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (4(28), 197-206. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2019.4(28).358
Historiography, Source Study and Special Historical Disciplines