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State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine

State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine: A Comparative Study of Governments and Bureaucrats, 1917-1922

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 416
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  • Book Info
    State Building in Revolutionary Ukraine
    Book Description:

    Pointing out that Bolshevik administrations at the time were no more effective in implementing policies than their rivals, Velychenko argues that more effective governance was not one of the reasons for the Russian Bolshevik victory in Ukraine.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8684-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Maps
    (pp. xi-2)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-14)

    During the four years following the October 1917 collapse of the Russian Provisional Government seven major groups and/or governments claimed political authority in some or all of the Ukrainian provinces of the former tsarist empire. These were the Whites; the Bolshevik Council of People’s Commissars; the Ukrainian Central Rada (March 1917 to April 1918); the Ukrainian State (April to December 1918); the Directory (December 1918 to November 1919); the anarchists; and the Ukrainian Communists, former left-wing members (Borotbists) of the Ukrainian Party of Socialist Revolutionaries (UPSR) and the Ukrainian Social Democratic Labour Party (USDLP), who sought an independent communist Ukraine.¹...

  5. CHAPTER ONE Ukrainians and Government Bureaucracy before 1917
    (pp. 15-47)

    At the beginning of the twentieth century Ukrainians were still often called ‘Little Russians,’ an eighteenth-century term for the inhabitants of Cossack Ukraine. Russian extremists advocated continued use of this term because in their view Ukrainians did not exist. Declared Ukrainians, however, considered the term anachronistic and demeaning and used it to refer to ethnic Ukrainians who did not consider themselves Ukrainian. Overwhelmingly rural and tending to Russify linguistically if they moved to cities, where strong anti-Ukrainian prejudices existed, Ukrainians at the time have often been described by historians as an ‘incomplete’ or ‘underdeveloped’ nation. When, however, available figures are...

  6. CHAPTER TWO Bureaucracy, Law, and Political Parties in Ukrainian Thought
    (pp. 48-65)

    At the beginning of the twentieth century Ukrainians with practical administrative experience subscribed to a variety of prevailing ideas about administration and bureaucracy, ranging from traditional or classical theories advocating hierarchy and centralized control to radical theories calling for local self-government or no government at all. To better understand how men who found themselves claiming power after 1917 reacted to and tried to deal with the government bureaucracies that they inherited this chapter reviews those theories and ideas.

    In the eighteenth century cameralism taught that officials had to rationally use central state power to actively provide for the well-being of...

  7. CHAPTER THREE The Central Rada, March 1917 to April 1918
    (pp. 66-104)

    After the abdication of the tsar in March 1917 Ukrainian leaders in Kyiv created the Central Rada and that November proclaimed the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR). The Rada, composed of socialists, claimed authority over the Ukrainian provinces of the Russian Empire – including the Crimea (see Map 1). From the summer of 1917 the Rada was one of six organizations nominally responsible for administering the empire alongside commissars appointed by the Provisional Government, the central government ministries, the army general staff, the newly elected city dumas, and provincial rural government councils (zemstvos), which the Provisional Government had begun to extend to...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR The Ukrainian State, April to December 1918
    (pp. 105-119)

    With the backing of German generals and Ukraine’s financiers, industrialists, and landowners, on 29 April 1918 the Ukrainian-born former tsarist general Pavlo Skoropadsky overthrew the Central Rada. He established a neo-monarchist regime called the Ukrainian State (Ukrainska Derzhava) with himself, as Hetman, at its head. A major issue of contention surrounding the Ukrainian State from the point of view of administration was the national composition and loyalty of its bureaucrats. The Hetman’s opponents refused to recognize his government as a national state and rejected the idea of an officially Russian-Ukrainian bilingual country. They condemned the many Russians and Russian-speakers in...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE The Directory, December 1918 to November 1919
    (pp. 120-150)

    Pavlo Skoropadsky abdicated one month after Germany’s surrender in November 1918. In his place Volodymyr Vynnychenko and Symon Petliura re-established the Ukrainian National Republic and declared themselves as heads of its temporary government – called the Directory. Whereas the Ukrainian State and the Central Rada had controlled a core territory of five tsarist provinces for at least six months each, the borders of the Directory-ruled UNR fluctuated with the fortunes of war. The new republic fought against the Bolsheviks, the Whites, and the anarchist Nestor Makhno (see Chapter 7). The Directory’s core territory was limited to an area of land measuring...

  10. CHAPTER SIX Bureaucrats and Bolsheviks in Russia
    (pp. 151-166)

    Historians of France, like those of Russia, have focused on political party organizations and militants in revolutionary government organization. Both have failed to illustrate how the success of the new government depended on a host of minor but full-time technical and administrative employees. These were the people who saw to it that services, of which the most important were those linked to the military, continued and they had their thousands of subordinates doing at least something of what they were supposed to be doing. Like many Jacobins in 1791 many Bolsheviks in 1917 imagined that their just social order would...

  11. CHAPTER SEVEN Bureaucrats, Bolsheviks, and Whites in Ukraine
    (pp. 167-207)

    Representing between ninety and ninety-five of Ukraine’s 300 soviets Ukraine’s Bolsheviks seized power in a coup d’état in Kharkiv on 12 (25) December 1917. They set up a government with the help of some 4,500 troops and Red Guards – of whom approximately 2,100 had arrived from Moscow the previous week. Of the twelve members of the newly formed People’s Secretariat, four were Ukrainians and four were Ukrainian-born. Evgeniia Bosh, a Ukrainian-born German, was the de facto head of the Secretariat, but she was not publically proclaimed as such for fear that because she was a woman ‘the masses would not...

  12. CHAPTER EIGHT The Western Ukrainian National Republic, November 1918 to October 1920
    (pp. 208-223)

    With the collapse of Austria-Hungary the Polish Liquidation Commission in Cracow claimed authority over the entire province of Galicia. On 29 October 1918 it ordered officials there not to obey the orders of any ‘foreign authority if they were contrary to the national interest.’ In its last offi cial act, however, the Habsburg monarchy on 31 October denied the Liquidation Commission any authority over the predominantly Ukrainian eastern Galicia (western Ukraine) and instructed its governor to appoint Ukrainians to all government posts there as soon as possible. The instruction was telegraphed to Cracow that evening, but the Liquidation Commission did...

  13. CHAPTER NINE Bureaucrats in Other New European Governments
    (pp. 224-245)

    Acting in the name of direct democracy and the oppressed, the Bolsheviks, like the Jacobins, ended up creating a bureaucracy of unprecedented size around a core of pre-revolutionary functionaries. But since neither group represented a national minority or a national liberation movement within an empire their experiences with bureaucrats might sooner be contrasted with than compared to events in Ukrainian lands. Better comparative insight into the relationship between new governments and bureaucrats in Ukraine should be sought among other stateless nations whose leaders sought independence between 1914 and 1922. What events in Czechoslovakia, Ireland, and Poland suggest is that except...

  14. Conclusion
    (pp. 246-270)

    Mykhailo Hrushevsky wrote in 1918 that he had cried when he reflected on how his nation’s abilities in the arts contrasted with its inabilities in social and political affairs, and he claimed that it could not produce enough practical people able to organize and administer.¹ This idea also figures in other accounts of the revolutionary years. Yet, throughout the period, reports from all sides complained as often, if not more, about too many people of the wrong kind than of too few people in government offices. National leaders complained of Bolsheviks, Russian extremists, and Jews. Bolsheviks complained of ‘Petliurites,’ the...

  15. APPENDIX 1: Tables
    (pp. 271-279)
  16. APPENDIX 2: Provisional List of Administrators’ Unions and Organizations (1917)
    (pp. 280-282)
  17. APPENDIX 3: Daily Life
    (pp. 283-304)
  18. APPENDIX 4: Prices and Wages
    (pp. 305-316)
  19. Notes
    (pp. 317-388)
  20. Bibliography
    (pp. 389-414)
  21. Index
    (pp. 415-434)