National issue in the West Ukrainian People's Republic. The 100th Anniversary of the achievements of Ukrainian state-building

Lviv Polytechnic National University, Ukraine

Problem setting. In different epochs, the state-building processes in Ukraine had characteristic features that should be taken into account today. The achievements of the Central Rada, the Hetmanate, the Directory, and the Soviet government in Ukraine reveal the complex external and internal circumstances of state-building. Political leaders of this period pursued their own principles of governance, often ignoring the lessons of the past. Under each government, there were different views among the political electorate on this issue, which did not always reflect the interests of the people of Ukraine, and important decisions were generally made to please Western Europe.

Recent research and publications analysis. Historical events of the early XXth century in Eastern Galicia are interesting for researchers of various specialities. In particular, V. Velykochyi, L. Volosianko, Yu. Zaitsev, S. Kobuta, O. Krasivskyi, M. Lytvyn, K. Mytsan, I. Pater, H. Poslavska, O. Rublov, O. Reient, Yu. Slyvka, V. Soldatenko, I. Soliar and others.

Highlighting previously unsettled parts of the general problem.  Modern problems of state-building in Ukraine and the participation of representatives of national minorities in them need a thorough scientific substantiation. In this regard, the direction of previously unresolved issues concerning the current state-building practices of the past years is singled out.

Taking into account the lessons of national history, identifying the relationship between historical experience and modern problems, ensuring certain heredity, combining Ukrainian achievements with the achievements of world practice of state-building determines the topicality of the problem.

Paper main bodyMeaningful experience of state-building must be taken into account when reforming modern state structures and, in particular, regarding the definition of powers, tasks, cooperation of various branches of government. Nevertheless, the events of 1917 – 1920ies haven’t been studied enough, because the understanding of the achievements and miscalculations of Ukrainian state-building of the revolutionary era would help to outline the strategic understanding of Ukraine’s tasks at the present stage.

In October 1918 after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ukrainians of Western Ukraine began preparations to create their own independent state. In the western Ukrainian lands, although the state revival took place under the significant influence of the events in the Dnieper region, in almost all aspects the desire of Western Ukrainians to gain state independence was radically different from the attempts of Eastern Ukrainians.

In a short time, the West Ukrainian People's Republic managed to create a fairly effective system of public administration, based on the constitutional practice of Austria.

Already in the first months in Western Ukraine, central and local public administration bodies were formed: the Ukrainian National Council, the State Secretariat, State Secretaries, County National Councils, County Commissioners, Public and City Councils, and Public and City Commissioners.

The courts were independent of other branches of government, according to the law of November 21, 1918, and the Highest State Court in Lviv, following the Austrian model, was the Supreme court institution.

The West Ukrainian People's Republic managed to ensure stability and order on its territory, despite the war, and it was even passed the Law on Land (April 14, 1919) and introduced its own currency – hryvnia and karbovantsi. Prompt and effective creation of public administration is a unique achievement in the whole of Eastern Europe. It was an ideal model of a modern European democratic state governed by the rule of law – the result of the propensity of Galicians to social organization, which developed significantly in the pre-war decade.

The Act of Unity became a powerful manifestation of the will of Ukrainians to ethnic and territorial consolidation, evidence of their dynamic self-identification, and the formation of a political nation.

Conclusions of the research and prospects for further studies. The experience of Ukrainian state-building is important for today, as it makes it possible to anticipate similar situations and avoid mistakes. The West Ukrainian People's Republic has left a noticeable mark in the development of Ukrainian national statehood. For the first time since the Galician-Volyn era, Western Ukrainians gained national independence. Important reforms have been carried out in many spheres of public life. An effective system of central and local authorities and administration, health care, education, publishing, and a capable Ukrainian Galician Army was created.

The main achievement of the events of 1917 – 1920 was the revival of the idea of Ukrainian statehood and national-state consciousness of the population of Ukraine, and a new generation of Ukrainian intellectuals picked up the concept of the national-state building.

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