Between the society of Ukrainian progressists and the Ukrainian socialists-revolutionary party: Mykhailo Hrushevskyi’s political choice


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The present paper is focused on the issue of party affiliation change of a prominent Ukrainian historian Mykhailo Hrushevskyi in 1917, which still remains disputable. Modern researches in the field of Hrushevskyi studies both in and outside Ukraine believe that during the years of Ukrainian revolution the historian’s close cooperation with the Ukrainian Socialists-Revolutionary Party (the USRP), the biggest and the most influential in that period in Ukraine, was an important factor of influence upon the progress of the revolution. The paper highlights the tough choice the academician was facing, i.e. between the Society of Ukrainian Progressists (the SUP) and the Ukrainian Socialists-Revolutionary Party. The circumstances and conditions of his cooperation with Socialists-Revolutionaries are scantily studied. The paper briefly outlines the historiography of the issue; a reference is made to the fact that there are enough sources on the issue to understand the circumstances, reasons and aim of M. Hrushevskyi’s change of his party affiliation. The present paper offers analysis both of M. Hrushevskyi’s testimony on the matter and of recollections, memoirs and works of his contemporaries. It was found out that in March 1917 the famous historian came back to Kyiv as a member of the SUP, nevertheless, taking into consideration realia of revolutionary struggle, and the fact that the political ideas of the SUP did not correspond with the challenges of the time, he chose to support the USRP, their program mainly complied his own understanding of the future of Ukraine. M. Hrushevskyi preferred the party, which, as he believed, was the first to meet the challenges of the revolution due to radicalism of its social standards. The author concludes that the change of the party affiliation was a well-judged action, caused by a realistic assessment of the revolutionary transformations in Ukraine in 1917. The social studies researcher was influenced by the pro-peasant policy of the socialist-revolutionaries. The paper urges that as one of the leaders of the USRP, the historian was reluctant to formalize his membership, he wanted to remain a national leader, as well as to support the socialist-revolutionaries; it was much easier to do on the post of non-party lead of the Central Council. The paper asserts, the historian took the step serving the interest of the Ukrainian state he was loyal to all his life.[/restab]

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Ukrainian revolution, the Central Council, the SUP, the USRP, socialist-revolutionaries, party program, peasants ideology, M. Hrushevskyi studies.[/restab]

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