Rival Cultural Strategies in Ukrainian Culture of the late XVIII - mid-XIX Centuries 1 page
1. Enlightenment and Classicism in Ukrainian culture.
2. Romanticism in Ukrainian culture.
3. The Humanities in Ukrainian lands.
4. Development of arts.
1. Since the XVIII century Europe was embraced by the Enlightenment, i.e. cultural movement that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. The "Enlightenment" was not a single movement or school of thought, for these philosophies were often mutually contradictory or divergent. The Enlightenment was less a set of ideas than it was a set of values. At its core was a critical questioning of traditional institutions, customs, and morals, and a strong belief in rationality and science. Thus, there was still a considerable degree of similarity between competing philosophies. Some historians also include the late 17th century, which is typically known as the Age of Reason or Age of Rationalism, as part of the Enlightenment; however, most historians consider the Age of Reason to be a prelude to the ideas of the Enlightenment. Modernity, by contrast, is used to refer to the period after The Enlightenment; albeit generally emphasizing social conditions rather than specific philosophies.
In opposition to the intellectual historiographical approach of the Enlightenment, which examines the various currents, or discourses of intellectual thought within the European context during the 17th and 18th centuries, the cultural (or social) approach examines the changes that occurred in European society and culture. Under this approach, the Enlightenment is less a collection of thought than a process of changing sociabilities and cultural practices – both the “content” and the processes by which this content was spread are now important.
One of the primary elements of the cultural interpretation of the Enlightenment is the rise of the public sphere in Europe. Civil society as an arena for voluntary collective actions of free citizens and their associations around shared interests, purposes and values was an inevitable part of Enlightenment. Public sphere of civil society was the spiritual space where citizens could get together and freely discuss political, social, and cultural problems of their life and influence on their resolving.
Values of this bourgeois public sphere were: its members held reason to be supreme; everything was open to criticism (the public sphere is critical); and its participants opposed secrecy of all sorts. The creation of the bourgeois public sphere was connected with two long-term historical trends: the rise of the modern nation state and the rise of capitalism. The modern nation state in its consolidation of public power created by counterpoint a private realm of society independent of the state – allowing for the public sphere. Capitalism likewise increased society’s autonomy and self-awareness, along with creating an increasing need for the exchange of information. As the nascent public sphere expanded, it embraced a large variety of institutions; the most commonly cited being coffee houses and cafés, salons and the literary public sphere. The context of the rise of the public sphere was the economic and social change commonly grouped under the effects of the Industrial Revolution: "economic expansion, increasing urbanisation, rising population and improving communications in comparison to the stagnation of the previous century". Rising efficiency in production techniques and communication lowered the prices of consumer goods at the same time as it increased the amount and variety of goods available to consumers (including the literature essential to the public sphere). Meanwhile, the colonial experience (most European states had colonial Empires in the 18th century) began to expose European society to extremely heterogeneous cultures. Outram writes that the end result was the breaking down of "barriers between cultural systems, religious divides, gender differences and geographical areas". In short, the social context was set for the public sphere to come into existence.
There were two main tendencies of Enlightenment – moderate and radical. The former adhered to the way of reforms, the latter exposed the idea of revolution. Amongst representatives of moderate Enlightenment were Voltaire, Ch.-L. Montesquieu, D. Diderot in France, D. Hume, A. Smith in Scotland, B. Franklin in the USA. J.-J. Rousseau was a French intellectual of radical Enlightenment.
Till that period the majority of Ukrainian lands were under the rule of Russian Empire. Galicia, the Northern Bukovina, and Transcarpathia were the parts of Habsburg Empire. Russian Empress Catherine II was considered to be an adherent of the Enlightenment, she corresponded with Voltaire and invited Diderot to visit Russia. St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, established in 1724, was intended to support modernization of Russia. But Catherine could not implement the process of the Enlightenment there. There were neither bourgeoisie, nor civil society in Russian Empire of that period.
Russia was engaged actively in Classicism movement as the most relevant to imperial claims. Classicism referred generally to a high regard for classical antiquity, which inspired European culture from the mid-XVIII to the 1st half of the XIX centuries. Classicism meant good familiarity of an artist with “classical” examples, to resynthesize and extend which was its agenda. While avoiding mere reproduction of classical themes, artists intended to place their works in the context of classical tradition and demonstrate their mastery of the genre rules.
In Ukrainian culture Classicism is represented by I. Kotlyarevsky, a poet and a playwright. Poet and playwright; the ‘founder’ of modern Ukrainian literature. After studying at the Poltava Theological Seminary (1780–9), he worked as a tutor at rural gentry estates, where he became acquainted with folk life and the peasant vernacular, and then served in the Russian army (1796–1808). In 1810 he became the trustee of an institution for the education of children of impoverished nobles. In 1812 he organized a Cossack cavalry regiment to fight Napoleon Bonaparte and served in it as a major (see Ukrainian regiments in 1812). He helped stage theatrical productions at the Poltava governor-general's residence and was the artistic director of the Poltava Free Theater (1812–21). From 1827 to 1835 he directed several philanthropic agencies.
Kotliarevsky's greatest literary work is his travesty of Virgil's Aeneid, Eneïda, which he began writing in 1794. Publication of its first three parts in Saint Petersburg in 1798 was funded by Maksym Parpura. Part four appeared in 1809. Kotliarevsky finished parts five and six around 1820, but the first full edition of the work (with a glossary) was published only after his death, in Kharkiv in 1842. Eneïda was written in the tradition of several existing parodies of Virgil's epic, including those by P. Scarron, A. Blumauer, and N. Osipov and A. Kotelnitsky. Although the Osipov-Kotelnitsky travesty served as a model for Kotliarevsky's mock-heroic poem, the latter is, unlike the former, a completely original work and much better from an artistic point of view. In addition to the innovation of writing it in the Ukrainian vernacular, Kotliarevsky used a new verse form—a 10-line strophe of four-foot iambs with regular rhymes—instead of the then-popular syllabic verse.
Eneïda was written at a time when popular memory of the Cossack Hetmanate was still alive and the oppression of tsarist serfdom in Ukraine was at its height. Kotliarevsky's broad satire of the mores of the social estates during these two distinct ages, combined with the in-vogue use of ethnographic detail and with racy, colorful, colloquial Ukrainian, ensured his work's great popularity among his contemporaries. It spawned several imitations (by Petro Hulak-Artemovsky, Kostiantyn Dumytrashko, Pavlo Biletsky-Nosenko, and others) and began the process by which the Ukrainian vernacular acquired the status of a literary language, thereby supplanting the use of older, bookish linguistic forms.
Kotliarevsky's operetta Natalka Poltavka (Natalka from Poltava) and vaudeville Moskal’-charivnyk (The Muscovite-Sorcerer) were landmarks in the development of Ukrainian theater. Written ca 1819, they were first published in vols 1 (1838) and 2 (1841) of the almanac Ukrainskii sbornik edited by Izmail Sreznevsky. Both were written for and performed at the Poltava Free Theater; both, particularly the first, were responses to the caricatures of Ukrainian life in Prince Aleksandr Shakhovskoi's comedy Kazak-stikhotvorets (The Cossack Poetaster), which was also staged at the Poltava Theater. As a playwright, Kotliarevsky combined the intermede tradition with his knowledge of Ukrainian folkways and folklore.
G. Kvitka-Osnovyanenko was also a prominent promoter of Ukrainian literary language, which he developed in his prose. His humorous novelettes (1831–1841) were the first prose in Ukrainian. At the age of 23 he entered the Kuriazh Monastery, but after serving as a novice for 10 months he returned to secular life. His religiosity remained a constant throughout his life and is evident in his writings. On his initiative the Kharkiv Theater was established in 1812, and he served as its first director. That year he also helped found and headed the Society of Benevolence, which provided aid to indigent children. He was a benefactor of an institute for girls and served as a county marshal of the nobility (1816–28), president of the Kharkiv chamber of the criminal court (1840–3), and curator of the first public book collection in Kharkiv.
Kvitka began writing rather late in his life, first in Russian and then in Ukrainian. His Little Russian Anecdotes was written in 1820–2 and published in 1822. Being a member of the provincial nobility, which accepted the existing social and political order as unchangeable, Kvitka never raised in his writings the issue of social or national injustice. At first he wrote in the tradition of literary travesty represented by Ivan Kotliarevsky, which viewed writing in Ukrainian merely as a pleasant pastime. His first Ukrainian short story, and the first story in modern Ukrainian literature—‘A Soldier's Portrait: A Latin Tall Tale Told in Our Tongue’(1833)—is written à la Kotliarevsky. To some extent his other humorous novelettes— “Parkhym's Breakfast” (1841), Pidbrekhach (The Second Matchmaker, 1843), and Kupovanyi rozum (Purchased Intelligence, 1842)—belong to the same genre.
Much more important was his collection “Little Russian Novelettes”, 2 vols, (1834, 1837), which included ‘Marusia,’ ‘Poor Oksana’, ‘True Love’, ‘God's Children’, and other stories. In them he moved beyond anecdote and travesty and showed that the Ukrainian language can also be used for serious subjects. These tales had a great influence on the subsequent development of Ukrainian literature and won their author the honorary title of the ‘father of Ukrainian prose.’ Having plots without any social conflict, and characters who are paragons of chastity and piety, Kvitka's serious tales are typical examples of Ukrainian sentimentalism, based on both the literary and the oral tradition. Kvitka's predilection for ethnographic detail left a mark on Ukrainian prose of the 19th and even 20th century. His simple style is attributable to the generally accepted belief that to write in Ukrainian one had to view the subject through the eyes of simple folk.
Kvitka's enduring popularity as a playwright rests on the comedies Svatannia na Honcharivtsi (Matchmaking at Honcharivka, 1836), Shel’menko-denshchyk (Shelmenko the Orderly, (1837). He also wrote several comedies in Russian, including ‘The Newcomer from the Capital, or the Hubbub in the County Town’ (1840), which some critics consider the precursor of Nikolai Gogol's Revizor (The Inspector-General). His most popular work in Russian was the novel Pan Khaliavskii (Master Khaliavsky, 1839). Kvitka's works have appeared in numerous editions. They belong to the Classicist period and are quite free of Romanticism, which was then coming into vogue. His major contribution was to extend the use of the Ukrainian language to ‘serious’ prose and to promote an interest in ethnography among his literary successors. He also wrote several historical studies of Slobidska Ukraine; most of them were published in the journal Sovremennik.
2. Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement which appeared in Germany at the boundary of the centuries. It was originated as a reaction to the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment – excessive believe in rationalization and progress of humankind.
It was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution. In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education and natural history.
The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe—especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, made of spontaneity a desirable character (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage.
In a basic sense, the term "Romanticism" has been used to refer to certain artists, poets, writers, musicians, as well as political, philosophical and social thinkers of the late 18th and early to mid 19th centuries. It has equally been used to refer to various artistic, intellectual, and social trends of that era. Despite this general usage of the term, a precise characterization and specific definition of Romanticism have been the subject of debate in the fields of intellectual history and literary history throughout the 20th century, without any great measure of consensus emerging.
The movement of Romanticism was inspired by national history and glorious past of the country. Lord Byron and W. Scott were the most popular Romantic authors of Europe. In Ukraine Romanticism became very popular cultural trend because it provoked appeal to the history of Ukraine, its traditions and glorious past. P. Gulak-Artemovky with his verses and romantic ballads was a representative of Ukrainian Romanticism, S. Rudansky also wrote in Romantic manner.
Rudansky, Stepan , b 6 January 1834 in Khomutyntsi, Vinnytsia county, Podilia gubernia, d 3 May 1873 in Yalta. Poet. He studied at the Saint Petersburg Academy of Medicine and Surgery, and after graduation (1861) he worked for the rest of his life as a doctor in Yalta. Rudansky began to write poetry in his pre–Saint Petersburg days, while still a student at the Kamianets-Podilskyi Theological Seminary, and that poetry shows the influence of Taras Shevchenko's work and of folklore. He began to publish his work in 1859 in Saint Petersburg, where he became friendly with a group of Ukrainian writers working on the journal Osnova (Saint Petersburg). Having begun in the genre of the Romantic ballad, Rudansky then turned to poetry on social issues, using that of Shevchenko as a model. That later poetry featured a condemnation of serfdom, a rallying call to work in the field of Ukrainian culture, and a reliving of the glorious history of the Ukrainian people. Rudansky achieved long-lasting fame as author of Spivomovky (Singing Rhymes, 1880), which consisted of poems of various length, jokes, proverbs, and short anecdotes about landlords, clerics, Gypsies, Muscovites, Poles, Jews, Germans, devils, Cossacks, peasants, and so forth, derived mainly from folk oral literature and written in a jaunty tone with pointed humor and many witticisms. Apart from those light-hearted spivomovky, Rudansky wrote lyric poetry filled with an aching sadness, which reflected not only the poet's personal life but also the sufferings of all his people. Some of those poems are autobiographical, and some became popular songs (such as ‘Povii vitre, na Vkraïnu’ [Blow, Wind, on Ukraine]). Rudansky's works also include translations, such as of The Tale of Ihor's Campaign, of Homer's Iliad, of Virgil's Aeneid, of a part of Mikhail Lermontov's Demon, and of individual poems by Heinrich Heine, Teofil Lenartowicz, and Branko Radičević. Most of his significant works were published only posthumously. Rudansky's style straddles the Romantic and the realist. His imagery and the poetics of his ballads and lyric poems are clearly of folkloric derivation.
Development of history and ethnography (i.e. learning the cultural phenomena of the definite ethnic group) was closely connected with Romanticism. “History of the Rus’ People”, a Romantically oriented book of unknown authorship, circulated in that time. It was a political exposition in a historical form that provided moral and political right of Ukraine to sovereignty.
Kotlyarevsky’s “The Aeneid” and “History of the Rus’ People” became arguments in polemics about the status of Ukrainian language, and wider – of Ukrainians to be an independent nation. These works proved the existence of Ukrainian literary language but not the Little Russian dialect, and Ukrainian cultural culture as a unique phenomenon.
In late 1830s, when Ukrainian lands were under the rule of Habsburg Empire, a Galician literary group “Ruthenian Triad” was inspired by Romanticism. M. Shashkevich, Y. Golovatsky, I. Vagilevich collected folk oral literature, studied history, wrote verses and treatises. Like Kotlyarevsky, they published the collection “The Dniester Nymph” (1836) in spoken Ukrainian and promoted the use of vernacular Ukrainian language in literature.
Simultaneously, there was so called Ukrainian school in Russian literature, in which N. Gogol was the first figure. (1809 -1852 ). The most famous Russian writer of Ukrainian origin. Having graduated from the Nizhyn gymnasium, he left for Saint Petersburg in 1828 armed with a manuscript and hope for a successful literary career. His aspirations were abruptly arrested by extremely negative criticism of his sentimentally Romantic narrative poem Hans Kuechelgarten, which he published at his own expense in 1829 and copies of which he subsequently bought out and destroyed. He tried to survive economically by working as a bureaucrat, a teacher at a boarding school for daughters of the nobility, and very briefly as a lecturer of history at Saint Petersburg University. In 1836 he left Russia and, except for two brief eight-month intervals (1838–9, 1841–2), he lived abroad, mostly in Rome, until 1849, when he returned via Palestine to Russia.
While working as a minor civil servant, Gogol spent his free time composing short stories based on his observations and memories of life in Ukraine. The first two volumes of these stories, ‘Evenings on a Farm near Dykanka’ (1831–2), brought him immediate fame. Hiding behind the authorial mask of Rudy Panko the beekeeper, Gogol managed to portray a world where fantasy and reality intermingle in the prism of the worldly-wise but unsophisticated narrator, and thus Ukraine becomes at once fanciful, humorous, nostalgic, and somewhat poignant in its quaintness.
In his second two-volume collection of Ukrainian stories, ‘Myrhorod’ (1835), containing the first version of his famous historical novelette Taras Bul’ba, Gogol's nostalgic tone gives way to a more satiric view of his native land. In the same year he also published ‘Arabesques’ (1835), in which his stories dealing with the world of the Saint Petersburg civil servant first appeared. Simultaneously he turned to writing drama and published his great “The Inspector-General” (1835), which needed the approval of the emperor to be staged in 1836. This was followed by his second completed play, “The Marriage” (1835), and the famous satirical story “The Nose” (1835). His other plays remained unfinished.
The staging of The Inspector-General did not produce the result Gogol intended. Shattered by the fact that his idea of the moral influence of true art did not have the desired effect, he left Russia. The years abroad were less productive. Gogol devoted himself to his epic work, “Dead Souls” (1842), but managed to finish successfully only the first of three intended parts. He also wrote his famous story Shinel’ (The Overcoat, 1841), and revised Taras Bul’ba and ‘Portret.’ In 1845 he wrote his didactic essays, “Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends” (1847). Disillusioned by the attacks that followed this publication, Gogol blamed himself for being incapable of producing morally ennobling art. His attempt at preparing himself morally for his task of ‘serving God and humanity’ sent him first on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem; finally, under the influence of a religious fanatic, Rev M. Konstantinovsky, who demanded that he enter a monastery and destroy his ‘evil’ art, Gogol burned the second part of Dead Souls, refused all food, and stayed in bed until his death.
Gogol's works display different variations of the Romantic style and a masterly use of metaphor, hyperbole, and ironic grotesque. His language is exceptionally rhythmic and euphonic. He was the first writer of the so-called Ukrainian school in Russian literature to employ a host of lexical and syntactic Ukrainianisms, primarily to play with various stylistic levels from the vulgar to the pathetic. Some of his Ukrainian stories are the earliest examples of the Russian naturalist school, which combined Romantic ideology with a negative, ‘low’ depiction of everyday life. Gogol's writings were frequently imitated by such Ukrainian writers as Hryhorii Kvitka-Osnovianenko, Panteleimon Kulish, and Oleksa Storozhenko, and by such writers of the Ukrainian school in Russian literature as Yevhen Hrebinka; Gogol's influence was felt in the early writings of Ivan Turgenev, F. Dostoevsky, V. Sollogub, and by the Russian Symbolists F. Sologub, A. Remizov, and A. Bely.
3. Till the time of reforms in education at the first decades of the XIX century, Kiev Mohyla academy was reduced to a seminary, primary schools were destroyed at all. Reform assigned a definite school level as the extreme and ultimate to every estate. Only the children of nobility could study at universities of St. Petersburg and Moscow. But the new wave of educational reforms provoked a question about universities in Ukraine. In circumstances of Russification (i.e. acquisition of Russian language and culture by Ukrainians), universities were possible only as Russian-speaking institutions. So, the first university was founded in Slobodskaya Ukraine, in Kharkov in 1804. In Kiev the University was established in 1834. Famous botanist M. Maksimovich became the first rector of the university. In 1845 he left the post and devoted himself to ethnographic researches.
M. Maksimovich (1804 -1873). Historian, philologist, ethnographer, botanist, and poet. In 1832 he concluded his studies at Moscow University, and remained at the university for further academic work. He lectured in botany. In 1833 he received his PH D and was named professor for the chair of botany in Moscow University. In 1834 he was appointed professor of Russian folk literature at Kyiv University, and that year he became the university's first rector, a post he held until 1835. Owing to ill health he retired in 1845, and he devoted the rest of his life exclusively to scientific and literary work, which he engaged in on his estate, Mykhailova Hora. Notwithstanding his authority as an academic (he was an honorary member of numerous Ukrainian and Russian universities and many scientific societies) he was made a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences only toward the end of his life, in 1871. Maksymovych's learning was of encyclopedic dimensions and covered an unusually wide range, from botany to history. His scientific work in the field of the natural sciences was published in the 1820s and 1830s. That work, such as “On Systems of the Plant Kingdom” (1827), “The Foundations of Botany”, vols 1–2, (1828–31), “Reflections on Nature” (1833), not only met the standards of contemporary science but proposed a new methodology.
As a folklorist Maksymovych published collections of Ukrainian folk songs “Little Russian Songs” in Moscow in 1827 and “Ukrainian Folk Songs” in 1834. A third anthology, “A Collection of Ukrainian Songs”, pt 1, was published in Kyiv in 1849. Maksymovych's publications on folklore had a major influence on Ukrainian folklore studies, even in Galicia. In the field of philology Maksymovych published many papers on the classification of Slavic languages (1838, 1845, and 1850), in which he extensively used examples from Ukrainian. As a literary scholar Maksymovych studied “The Tale of Ihor's Campaign” and transcribed it into contemporary Ukrainian. He wrote “The History of Old Rus’ Literature”, vol 1, (1839). In addition he translated the Psalms into Ukrainian and wrote several poems (of note is the one dedicated to Taras Shevchenko “O, How Ukraine Has Longed after You”). Maksymovych published the anthologies and almanacs Dennitsa (1830–4), Kievlianin (1840–1, 1850), and Ukrainets (1859, 1864).
Maksymovych adhered to the then-popular idea of romanticism and identification with the peasant ethnos. He defended the theory of the organic link between the Princely era and Cossack era in Ukrainian history, to which he devoted much research and many articles, critical notes on sources, and other writings. In his article “On the Imaginary Desolation of Ukraine” (1857) and in letters to Mikhail Pogodin, Maksymovych exposed the faulty basis of Pogodin's hypothesis of the ‘Great Russian’ population of the Kyiv principality during the Princely era. The works of Maksymovych on the history of Rus’, on Kyiv, and its historic monuments are numerous; among them are “Essay on Kyiv” (1847) and “Letters about Kyiv to M. Pogodin” (1871). He wrote many articles on the history of the Cossack period, the Hetman state, and the haidamaka uprisings. His research in those areas was significant for the development of Ukrainian historiography.
Maksymovych also worked in the field of Ukrainian archeology and was the author of the first archeological report using the typological method in Ukraine. His work in the natural sciences and history found common ground in his philosophical work. Following Schelling's philosophy of nature, Maksymovych claimed that the study of nature and society should be based on scientifically researched facts. Research should be ‘rigorously analytical and carefully synthetic, and thus positive’ because ‘philosophy can be found in every work of the mind,’ and ‘all learned disciplines should be philosophy.’ ‘Regarding the various sciences, or various branches of knowledge, one all-encompassing philosophy ought to be used, right down to fine details.’
Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood, a secret civil association, was established at the initiative of N. Kostomarov and had links with the Kiev University. Its program documents were “The Book of the Genesis of the Ukrainian People” and “The Statute of the Slavic Society of St. Cyril and Methodius”, both by Kostomarov
The aim of the society was to transform the social order according to the Christian principles of justice, freedom, equality, and brotherhood. It proposed a series of reforms: (1) abolition of serfdom and equality of rights for all estates, (2) equal opportunity for all Slavic nations to develop their national language and culture, (3) education for the broad masses of the people, and (4) unification of all Slavs in the spirit of the Slavophilism of the time in a federated state in which Ukraine would play a leading role. Kyiv was to be the capital of the federation and the seat of the all-Slavic diet. Among others, the following individuals belonged to the brotherhood: M. Kostomarov, Vasyl Bilozersky, Oleksander Navrotsky, Mykola Hulak, Dmytro Pylchykov, O. Petrov, Panteleimon Kulish, Opanas Markovych, and Taras Shevchenko. Since the brotherhood never reached an organizational stage requiring a clear criterion of membership, its composition cannot be determined exactly. For a long time the membership in the society of Shevchenko and Kulish was questioned, but research finally confirmed that they were members. There is but one testimony on the general size of the society—D. Pylchykov's as noted down by Oleksander Konysky—and it gives the figure of about 100 members.
The organizational looseness of the society permitted members who shared the same aims to differ markedly on the means of realizing them. Kostomarov, Bilozersky, and others stood for liberal moderate reform, while Shevchenko came out with revolutionary slogans. Somewhere between these two poles stood Mykola Hulak and Oleksander Navrotsky. Before the society could become fully active, it was denounced by O. Petrov, and its members were arrested in March 1847. After a police investigation held in Saint Petersburg, the arrested members were punished without trial by exile or imprisonment. The relatively mild punishment meted out to the society's members (Shevchenko and Kulish were punished for crimes other than membership in the society), considering the antidespotic character of the society, can be explained, on the one hand, by the government's desire to conceal from the public any antigovernment tendencies and, on the other, by its reluctance to antagonize the Slavic movement in the West, which had ties through some of its representatives with members of the brotherhood. In spite of its brief existence the society made some impact on its contemporaries, as is evident from the propagation of anti-Russian proclamations during the detention of its members, and had an even more important influence on the development of the Ukrainian movement later on.