RUTHENIANS IN THE ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA
ancient province of south central France, corresponding to much of the modern départements of Aveyron and Tarn-et-Garonne. It was bounded on the north by Auvergne, on the south and southwest by Languedoc, on the east by Gévaudan and the Cévennes mountains, and on the west by Quercy. It derived its name from the Gallic tribe of Rutheni. Administratively it formed first a sénéchaussée, dependent on Languedoc (capital Villefranche), and later it was attached to the military governments of Guyenne and Gascony. It disappeared as a separate entity when départements were established in the French Revolution (1790).
also called RUTHENE, any of those Ukrainians who were formerly Polish or Austrian and
Austro-Hungarian subjects. The name is a Latinized form of Russian, but the Ruthenians are
Ukrainians who, by accidents of history in the late Middle Ages, were absorbed into the territory of Lithuania, which in turn was united with Poland. The term Little Russians has also been applied to them. The upper-class Ruthenians in Galicia, Bukovina, and the Carpathian Mountains were assimilated into the conquering nations, whose language and Roman Catholic faith they adopted. The peasants sank into a state of great poverty; their Orthodox priests sought the protection of Rome. The pope accepted, and the Union of Brest-Litovsk (Oct. 6-10, 1596) established a new "uniate church," whereby the Ruthenians retained their Slavonic liturgy and most of the outward forms of the Greek Orthodox church while acknowledging the spiritual supremacy of the pope.
On the partition of Poland in the late 18th century, a number of Ruthenians passed back under
Russian rule. Many of them were quickly reconverted to the Orthodox faith, and every effort
was made to Russify them. The Russian government systematically discouraged Ruthenian
nationalism until after the Revolution of 1905, when some relaxation was made in the
oppressive regulations. Similar efforts were made by the Poles of Galicia and winked at by the
Austrian government, but here something was done for the Ruthenians. A metropolitan
bishopric was founded at Lemberg (now Lviv, Ukraine) in 1806 and suffragans added at
Przemyshl and Stanislawów (now Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine).
After World War I the largest body of Ruthenians, those in East Galicia, claimed the right of
self-determination, but their short-lived state was soon absorbed in Poland. The Ruthenians in
the northeastern Carpathians were given to Czechoslovakia, special guarantees being laid down for their national autonomy. They were formed into the province of sub-Carpathian Russia. The Ruthenians of Bessarabia and Bukovina came under Romanian rule with the protection of the Romanian Minorities Treaty.
After Czechoslovakia was weakened by its loss of territory (Munich Agreement), it appointed an
autonomous government in what was now called Ruthenia (Oct. 9, 1938). But on November 2,
Germany and Italy forced this Ruthenia to cede its southern districts, including its capital,
Uzhorod, to Hungary. A few months later, when Germany destroyed the remainder of the state
of Czechoslovakia (March 1939), Ruthenia declared itself the independent Carpatho-Ukraine. A
day later, however, it was annexed by Hungary.
Liberated by Soviet armies at the end of World War II, Ruthenia was ceded by the restored
state of Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union, which transformed it into the Zakarpatskaya (or
Transcarpathian) oblast of the Ukrainian S.S.R. (now Zakarpattya oblast, Ukraine). Since the
Soviet Union had already acquired most of Bukovina and Galicia, the great majority of
Ruthenians were now reunited with other Ukrainians.
Czechoslovak region, history of
From Munich to the disruption of the republic
Benes resigned the presidency rather than agree to the German annexation. After several
weeks he left Prague, first for London and then for Chicago. The leaders who took over had to
face mounting difficulties. The annexations completed according to the Munich timetable were
not Czechoslovakia's only territorial losses. Poland obtained the Duchy of Teschen as a reward
for its menacing attitude during the Munich crisis. By the Vienna Award (November 2), Hungary
was granted large portions of Slovak and Ruthenian territories. By all these amputations
Czechoslovakia lost about one-third of its population, and the country was rendered
The chances of recuperation were greatly reduced by the rapid growth of centrifugal
tendencies. The Slovak Populists, headed since Hlinka's death by Tiso, presented Prague with
urgent demands for autonomy, which the government accepted. A similar request came from
Carpathian Ruthenia. A cumbersome system composed of three autonomous units (the Czech
Lands, Slovakia, and Ruthenia) united by allegiance to the Prague government was introduced
late in the fall. On November 30 Emil Hácha was elected president; an Agrarian leader, Rudolf
Beran, formed the federal cabinet. Under German pressure the complicated party system was
changed drastically. The right and centre parties in the Czech Lands formed the Party of
National Unity, while the Socialists organized the Party of Labour. In Slovakia the Populists
absorbed all the other political groups. Despite all efforts of the loyal elements, stabilization of
political and economic life made little progress. Moreover, the public knew little of the
confidential negotiations being conducted in Vienna and Berlin by Tiso's aides, who went along with Hitler's preparation for the final takeover. In early 1939 Tiso's group prepared for the
secession of Slovakia, and, on March 14, 1939, the Slovak National Assembly voted for
independence. On the following day, Bohemia and Moravia were occupied and proclaimed a
protectorate of the Third Reich.
Russian ZAKARPATSKAYA, also spelled ZAKARPATSKAIA, OR ZAKARPATSKAJA, oblast (province), western Ukraine. It is bounded by Slovakia and Hungary on the west, Poland on the
northwest, and Romania on the south. The oblast extends from the orthwest-southeast-trending Carpathian Mountain crestline (the Verkhovyna and Gorgany ranges, respectively), across the successive parallel Polonina and Vulhanichnyy ranges, and southwestward down to the Great Hungarian Plain, which is drained by the Tisza (Tysa) River and its tributaries. Deep, longitudinal troughs separate these mountain ranges, while a number of important and fairly easy passes across the Carpathians long have given the area considerable strategic significance. The highest point of the oblast is Mount Hoverla (6,762 feet [2,061 m]) in the Polonina Range. Most of the oblast is densely forested, but the highest mountainous areas are in Alpine meadows.
The area, part of Hungary before World War I, was incorporated into Czechoslovakia in 1920 as
the province of Ruthenia. In 1945 Ruthenia was ceded to the Soviet Union, and the present
oblast was formed. Most of the population are Ukrainians (including the Hutsul), with some
Magyars, Russians, Romanians, Jews, and Slovaks.
The modern economy is dominated by highly developed lumbering and timber-working
industries; some coal (lignite) is mined near Mukacheve. Agriculture is confined to the valleys
and plain, but in the latter it is intensive, with about four-fifths of the land under the plow. Corn
(maize), wheat, oats, rye, potatoes, and tobacco are the main crops. There are many orchards
and vineyards in the Tisza valley and on the lower surrounding slopes. Cattle use the mountain
meadows for summer pasture, and pig raising is important in the valleys. Some three-fifths of
the oblast's population live in rural areas. Cities, including the administrative centre, Uzhhorod, are small; Chop, in the southwestern corner of the oblast, is the chief point of entry to Ukraine from Slovakia and Hungary. Area 4,900 square miles (12,800 square km). Pop. (1991 est.) 1,271,600.
Wladyslaw II Jagiello
Rule of Poland and Lithuania.
In foreign policy Wladyslaw had four major problems to be solved: restoring Lithuania's and Poland's position vis-à-vis the Teutonic Order; halting aggression by the Tatars; regaining Ruthenia, occupied by Hungary; and expanding Poland's influence in the southeast against its Hungarian rival. In all areas Wladyslaw was successful--thanks, in regard to the first two
problems, to the military help of the energetic Vytautas. In a series of wars (1409-11, 1414, 1422, 1431-32)--the first of which included the Battle of Tannenberg (Polish Grunwald; July 15, 1410)--the Teutonic Order was defeated and lost its leading position in northeastern Europe. The territorial losses of the order were small (Samogitia to Lithuania and a little territory on the Vistula River to Poland), but its military and financial power was weakened once and for all.
As for the Tatars, they defeated Vytautas in 1399 at the Battle on the River Vorskla, at the cost
of a decisive check on their own territorial expansion. For Wladyslaw this was a double victory: the Tatars were weakened, and Vytautas' endeavours to become a fully independent ruler of a more powerful Lithuania were brought to an end by the defeat.
Ruthenia was recovered from Hungary as early as 1387, and Poland grew strong enough to
make the prince of Moldavia its vassal. In 1412 Wladyslaw even came to terms with Hungary,
formerly an ally of the Teutonic Order, in exchange for a loan. Continually, he played his hand
cautiously: although he supported the Hussites in their struggle against King Sigismund of
Bohemia and Hungary, for example, he refrained from intervention. Wladyslaw ended his reign with good relations between Poland and Hungary.
In domestic policies Wladyslaw was less successful. He energetically Christianized those parts
of Lithuania still pagan, but he was unable to incorporate Lithuania into Poland as he had
promised and was forced to let Vytautas act virtually as a sovereign. After Vytautas' death in
1430, Wladyslaw was still unable to restore his authority in Lithuania, and, after a period of civil war, Vytautas' brother became governor in Lithuania. In Poland the nobility strengthened its position, especially during the latter part of Wladyslaw's reign, and Wladyslaw was unable to win the burghers to his side and use them politically as a counterweight to the nobles. In questions of national religion the king showed resoluteness, particularly in his attempt to suppress the Polish followers of Jan Hus.
Wladyslaw died in 1434. Subsequent to his marriage to Jadwiga he had married three times. His fourth wife became the mother of the future kings Wladyslaw III and Casimir IV.