The Cossack Hetmanate known as the Zaporizhian Host was a Ukrainian Cossack host in Central Ukraine between 1649 and 1764. The Hetmanate was founded by the Hetman of Zaporizhian Host Bohdan Khmelnytsky during the Uprising of 1648–57. Establishment of vassal relations with the Tsardom of Russia in the Treaty of Pereyaslav of 1654 is considered a benchmark of the Cossack Hetmanate in Soviet and Russian historiography; the second Pereyaslav Council in 1659 further restricted the independence of the Hetmanate, from the Moscow side there were attempts to declare agreements reached with Yuri Khmelnitsky in 1659 as nothing more than the "former Bohdan's agreements" of 1654. The 1667 Treaty of Andrusovo – conducted without any representation from the Cossack Hetmanate – established borders between the Polish and Russian states, dividing the Hetmanate in half along the Dnieper and putting the Zaporizhian Sich under a formal joint Russian-Polish administration. After a failed attempt to break the union with Russia by Ivan Mazepa in 1708, the whole area was included into the Government of Kiev and Cossack autonomy was restricted.
Catherine II of Russia abolished the institute of the Hetman in 1764, in 1764-1781 the Cossack Hetmanate was incorporated as the Little Russia Governorate headed by Pyotr Rumyantsev, with the last remnants of the Hetmanate's administrative system abolished in 1781. The official name of the Cossack Hetmanate was Zaporizhian Host; the historiographic term Hetmanate was coined in the late 19th century, deriving from the word hetman, the title of the general of the Zaporizhian Army. Zaporizhian Host means an "army of the Zaporizhia", where the Zaporizhia is a historical and geographic region in Southern Ukraine centered at the Zaporizhian Sich as well as a general name of Ukrainian Cossacks as a political and military organization. Inhabitants of the Cossack Hetmanate referred to the place in Ukrainian as "Ukraine" or "Vkraine". In Muscovite diplomatic correspondence it was called the Little Russia; the Cossack Hetmanate was called the country of Ukraine by the Ottoman Empire. The founder of the Hetmanate, Bohdan Khmelnytsky, declared himself as the ruler of the Ruthenian state to the Polish representative Adam Kysil in February 1649.
His contemporary Metropolitan Sylvestr Kosiv recognized him as "the leader and the commander of our land". In his letter to Constantin Șerban he referred to himself as Clementiae divinae Generalis Dux Exercituum Zaporoviensium. After many successful military campaigns against the Poles, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky made a triumphant entry into Kiev on Christmas 1648 where he was hailed liberator of the people from Polish captivity. In February 1649, during negotiations in Pereiaslav with a Polish delegation, Khmelnytsky had made it clear to the Poles that he wanted to be the Hetman of Ruthenia that could stretch all the way to Chelm and Halych, build with the Tatar's help, he warned them about his intention to resume his military campaign. When the returned delegation informed John II Casimir of Khmelnytsky's new campaign the king called for all szlachta volunteer army, while sending the regular troops against cossacks to southern Volhynia. However, after obtaining an intelligence report of the superior cossack forces, the Polish troops retreated to Zbarazh to set a defense.
The forces of Jeremi Wiśniowiecki reinforced the Zbarazh defenders while he took the lead of all Polish forces. Khmelnytsky besieged the city wearing down through series of random attacks and firing at it; the king while rushing to help Wiśniowiecki was ambushed with his newly gathered forces. Khmelnytsky leaving part of his army with Ivan Cherniata near Zbarazh moved together with İslâm III Giray to intercept the Polish reinforcements and block their way at a river crossing near Zboriv. Caught by some degree of surprise, John Casimir started negotiations with the Tatar's khan. With the khan on his side, they forced Khmelnytsky to start peace negotiations. Khmelnytsky signed the Treaty of Zboriv in August 1649, with a result somewhat less than the Cossack leader had anticipated from his campaign; as ruler of the Hetmanate, Khmelnytsky engaged in state-building across multiple spheres: in the military, finance and culture. He invested the Zaporozhian Host under the leadership of its hetman with supreme power in the new Ruthenian state, he unified all the spheres of Ukrainian society under his authority.
This would involve building a government system and a developed military and civilian administration out of Cossack officers and Ruthenian nobles, as well as the establishment of an elite within the Cossack Hetman state. The Hetmanate used Polish currency, Polish as an administrative language and a language of command. However, after the Truce of Andrusovo in 1667, the "simple language", or the spoken vernacular language of Ukraine, began to be written down and used in official documents of the Cossack Hetmanate; this is known as the modern Ukrainian language. After the Crimean Tatars betrayed the Cossacks for the third time in 1653, Khmelnytsky realized he could no longer rely on Ottoman support against Poland, he was forced to turn to Tsardom of Russia for help. Final attempts to negotiate took place in January 1654 in the town of Pereyaslav between Khmelnytsky with Cossack leaders and the ambassador from Tsar, Vasiliy Buturlin; the treaty was co
The Zaporozhian Sich was a semi-autonomous polity and proto-state of Cossacks in the 16th to 18th centuries, centred in the region around today's Kakhovka Reservoir and spanning the lower Dnieper river in Ukraine. In different periods the area came under the sovereignty of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Ottoman Empire, the Tsardom of Russia, the Russian Empire. In 1775, shortly after Russia annexed the territories ceded to it by the Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca, Catherine the Great disbanded the Sich, she incorporated its territory into the Russian province of Novorossiya. The term "Zaporozhian Sich" can refer metonymically and informally to the whole military-administrative organisation of the Zaporozhian Cossack Host; the name "Zaporizhia" refers to the military and political organization of the Cossacks and to the location of their autonomous territory'beyond the Rapids' of the Dnieper River. The Dnieper Rapids were a major portage on the north-south Dnieper trade route.
The term "sich" is a noun related to the Eastern Slavic verb sech′ – "to chop" or "cut". Zaporizhia was located in the region around Kakhovka Reservoir in today's south-eastern Ukraine; the area was known under the historical term, Wild Fields. A possible precursor of the Zaporozhian Sich was a fortification built on the Tomakivka island in the middle of the Dnieper River in the present-day Zaporizhia region of Ukraine; however there is no direct evidence about the exact time of the existence of Tomakivska Sich, whereas indirect data suggest that at the time of Tomakivska Sich there was no Zaporozhian Sich yet. The history of Zaporozhian Sich spans six time-periods: the emergence of the Sich as part of the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown by inclusion in the Kiev Voivodeship the struggle against the Rzeczpospolita, the Ottoman Empire, the Crimea Khanate for the independence of the Ukrainian part of the Rzeczpospolita the struggle with Crimea, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire for the unique identity of Cossacks the standoff with the Russian government during its attempts to cancel the self-governing of the Sich, its fall the formation of the Danubian Sich outside the Russian Empire and finding ways to return home The Zaporozhian Sich emerged as a method of defence by Slavic colonists against the frequent and devastating raids of Crimean Tatars, who captured and enslaved hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians and Poles in operations called "the harvesting of the steppe".
The Ukrainians created a self-defence force, the Cossacks, fierce enough to stop the Tatar hordes, built fortified camps that were united to form a central fortress, the Zaporozhian Sich. Prince Dmytro Vyshnevetsky established the first Zaporizhian Sich on the island of Small Khortytsia in 1552, building a fortress at Niz Dnieprovsky and placing a Cossack garrison there; the Tomakivka Sich was built on a now-inundated island to the south, near the modern city of Marhanets. A third sich soon followed, on Bazavluk island, which survived until 1638, when it was destroyed by a Polish expeditionary force suppressing a Cossack uprising; these settlements, founded during the 16th century, were complex enough to constitute an early proto-state. The Zaporozhian Cossacks became included in the Kiev Voivodeship from 1583 to 1657, part of the Lesser Poland Province of the Polish Crown, they resented Polish rule, one of the reasons being religious differences, as the cossacks were Orthodox Christians whereas the Poles were Catholics.
They thus engaged in a long struggle for independence from surrounding powers, the Rzeczpospolita, the Ottoman Empire, the Crimean Khanate, the Tsardom of Russia and Russian Empire. The Sich became the centre of Cossack life, governed by the Sich Rada alongside its Kosh Ataman. In 1648, Bohdan Khmelnytsky captured a sich near the present-day city of Nikopol. From there he began an uprising against the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that led to the establishment of the Cossack Hetmanate. After the Treaty of Pereyaslav in 1654, the Zaporozhian Host was split into the Hetmanate, with its capital at Chyhyryn, the more autonomous region of Zaporozhia, which continued to be centred on the Sich. During this period the Sich changed location several times; the Chortomlyk Sich was built at the mouth of the Chortomlyk River in 1652. In 1667 the Truce of Andrusovo made the Sich a condominium ruled jointly by Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the reign of Peter the Great, Cossacks were used for the construction of canals and fortification lines in northern Russia.
An estimated 20–30 thousands were sent each year. Hard labour led to a high mortality rate among builders, only an estimated 40% of Cossacks returned home. After the Battle of Poltava in 1709, the Chortomlyk Sich was destroyed and Baturyn, the capital of Hetman Ivan Mazepa, was razed. Another sich was built at the mouth of the Kamianets river but was destroyed in 1711 by the Russian government; the Cossacks fled to the Crimean Khanate to avoid persecution and founded the Oleshky Sich in 1711 (today the city of T
Registered Cossacks comprised special Cossack units of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth army in the 16th and 17th centuries. Registered Cossacks became a military formation of the Commonwealth army beginning in 1572 soon after the Union of Lublin, when most of the territory of modern Ukraine passed to the Crown of Poland. Registered Cossack formations were based on the Zaporozhian Cossacks who lived on the lower reaches of the Dnieper River amidst the Pontic steppes as well as on self-defense formations within settlements in the region of modern Central and Southern Ukraine; the first official plan for the creation of Cossack formations as a border service was brought to the State Council of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1524 by Semen Polozovic and Kristof Kmitic. However, due to the lack of funds, the idea was not realized; the starosta of Cherkasy, Ostap Dashkevych, revived the idea at the 1533 council in Piotrków Trybunalski. Dashkevych tried to show that in order to protect the borders beyond the Dnieper it would be necessary to maintain an army of 2,000 soldiers and several hundred cavalrymen.
He pointed out the importance of establishing forts on the river's islands to keep Tatar raids in check. On July 21, 1541 the King of Poland, Sigismund I the Old, issued an edict to the starosta of Cherkasy, Andrei Glebovich Pronsky, in which he warned Pronsky to control the Cossack raids against Tatar uluses. With the start of the Livonian War in the 16th century, the voivode of Kiev, Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski, the starosta of Cherkasy, Alexander Wisnowecki, recruited Cossacks to their armies, while in 1568 King Sigismund II Augustus sent a proposition to the Zaporizhian Sich to join his foreign campaign and sign up for royal service. Sigismund II Augustus decreed the formation of registered Cossacks on June 5, 1572 when the King confirmed the orders of Great Crown Hetman Jerzy Jazłowiecki, the voivode of Podole and Ruthenia, for state service; the first Hetman of the Registered Cossacks and court marshal was Jan Badowski. The registered Cossacks were the only military Cossack formation recognized by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The most well-known of the first recorded Cossack reforms came from King of Poland Stefan Batory. At first Batory tried to control Cossack forces that were waging wars in Moldavia and Wallachia as well as other parts of the Ottoman Empire. On 4 April 1578 he issued four universals to all local government officials, he asked them to support Jan Tarlo in an investigation of the coup-d'etat by Zaporozhian leader Ivan Pidkova. The coup overthrew the Ottoman-installed Hospodar of Moldavia, Peter the Lame, in 1577 under a pretense that Ivan was the brother of the previous voivode of Moldavia, John III the Terrible. Batory ordered the voivode of Kiev, Konstanty Wasyl Ostrogski, to send a punitive expedition against Pidkova and asked the mayors of Khmilnyk, Bratslav, Bila Tserkva and others to support him. At the same time Batory sent his ambassador Marcin Broniowski to the Khan of Crimea proposing cooperative actions against the Zaporizhian Sich. On July 27, 1578 Batory sent ambassador Jancsi Bereg to the Zaporozhian host proposing the Cossacks redirect their raids from Moldavia to Muscovy.
To further discuss the proposition, a delegation headed by Andriy Lykhansky arrived in Lviv on September 15, 1578. The next day it was agreed. Starosta of Cherkasy and Kaniv, Prince Michał Wiśniowiecki, was appointed hetman while his deputy was Jan Oryszowski; the Cossacks headquarters was established at Trakhtemyriv with its monastery, used as the Cossacks' hospital. The Cossacks were given a banner that denoted their relationship to the state army and were promised by Bereg to be paid in Cherkasky on Saint Nicolas Day; the Cossacks evidently were paid only after the Siege of Pskov in 1581. Though the official register consisted of only 500 names, in reality the contingent of registered Cossacks numbered around 4,000. Batory's military reform, was not effective; the Polish government promised to pay the Cossacks' salary, but did not do so. The Cossacks and proudly pledged their allegiance to serve the King of Poland and hoped for the same financial compensation at least as the regular army. Due to the hold ups in pay some Cossacks returned to raiding the Tatars and Moldavians.
In 1590 the Sejm issued a new declaration recreating the Cossack units. A king's edict was issued on July 25, 1590 through which 1,000 cossacks were registered for policing duty in order to prevent unauthorized raids into neighboring countries; the registered cossacks were paid from 5 to 12 zloty each quarter and the Zaporizhian Sich was selected to be their headquarters. As the Polish interests were aimed in securing the Swedish crown, the Cossack movement was allowed to grow out of control, leading to a series of local rebellions by polkovnyk Krzysztof Kosiński and Severyn Nalyvaiko, with assistance from kosh otaman of the Zaporozhian Cossacks Hryhoriy Loboda. Registered Cossacks formed an elite among the Cossacks, serving in the military under officers and generals, under the Grand Crown Hetman. A substantial minority of Cossacks formed skilled light cavalry units, excellent skirmishers trained in mounted archery, making lightning raids, harassing heavier, slower formations and disengaging.
Those units were used as support for heavy elite Commonwealth cavalry, the husaria, were much cheaper to form than a hussar unit. The main Cossack u
The Zaporozhian Cossacks, Zaporozhian Cossack Army, Zaporozhian Host or Zaporozhians were Cossacks who lived beyond the rapids of the Dnieper River, the land known under the historical term Wild Fields in today's Central Ukraine. Today much of its territory is flooded by the waters of Kakhovka Reservoir; the Zaporozhian Sich grew in the 15th century from serfs fleeing the more controlled parts of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It became established as a well-respected political entity with a parliamentary system of government. During the course of the 16th, 17th and well into the 18th century, the Zaporozhian Cossacks became a strong political and military force that challenged the authority of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Tsardom of Russia, the Crimean Khanate; the Host went through a series of conflicts and alliances involving the three powers, including supporting an uprising in the 18th century. Their leader signed a treaty with the Russians; this group was forcibly disbanded in the late 18th century by the Russian Empire, with most of the population relocated to the Kuban region in the South edge of the Russian Empire.
The Cossacks served a valuable role of conquering the Caucasian tribes and in return enjoyed considerable freedom granted by the Tsars. The name Zaporozhtsi comes from the location of their fortress, the Sich, in Zaporozhia, the ‘land beyond the rapids’, it is not clear. There are signs and stories of similar people living in the steppes as early as the 12th century AD. At that time they were not called Cossacks, since cossack is a Turkish word meaning a "free man." The steppes to the north of the Black Sea were inhabited by nomadic tribes such as the Cumans and Khazars. The role of these tribes in the ethnogenesis of the Cossacks is disputed, although Cossack sources claimed Khazar origin. There were groups of people who fled into these wild steppes from the cultivated lands of Kievan Rus' in order to escape oppression or criminal pursuit, their lifestyle resembled that of the people now called Cossacks. They raiding the Asiatic tribes for horses and food. In the 16th century, a great organizer, Dmytro Vyshnevetsky, a Ukrainian noble, united these different groups into a strong military organization.
Zaporozhian Cossacks had various social and ethnic origins but were predominantly made up of escaped serfs who preferred the dangerous freedom of the wild steppes, rather than life under the rule of Polish aristocrats. However, lesser noblemen and Tatars from Crimea became part of the Cossack host, they had to accept Orthodox Christianity as their religion, adopt its rituals and prayers. The nomadic hypothesis was that the Cossacks came from one or more nomadic peoples who at different times lived in the territory of the Northern Black Sea. According to this hypothesis the Cossacks' ancestors were the Scythians, Khazars, Circassians and others; the nomadic hypothesis of the origin of the Cossacks was formed under the influence of the Polish historical school of the 16th-17th centuries and was connected with the theory of the Sarmatian origin of the gentry. According to the tradition of deriving the origin of the state or people from a certain people of antiquity, the Cossack chroniclers of the 18th century advocated the Khazar origin of the Cossacks.
With the expansion of the source base and the formation of historical science, nomadic hypotheses were rejected by official historiography. For the first time, Alexander Rigelman pointed out the imperfection of the hypothesis. In the 20th century, the Russian scientist Gumilyov was an apologist for the Polovtsian origin of the Cossacks. In the XXI century; this hypothesis - concerning Cossacks and Kubans - has been refuted by a number of genetic studies. In the 16th century, with the dominance of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth extending south, the Zaporozhian Cossacks were if tentatively, regarded by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as their subjects. Registered Cossacks were a part of the Commonwealth army until 1699. Around the end of the 16th century, relations between the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire, which were not cordial to begin with, were further strained by increasing Cossack aggression. From the second part of the 16th century, the Cossacks started raiding Ottoman territories.
The Polish government could not control the fiercely independent Cossacks but, since they were nominally subjects of the Commonwealth, it was held responsible for raids by their victims. Reciprocally, the Tatars living under the Ottoman rule launched raids in the Commonwealth in the sparsely inhabited south-east territories of the Ukraine. Cossacks, were raiding wealthy merchant port cities in the heart of the Ottoman Empire, which were just two days away by boat from the mouth of the Dnieper River. By 1615 and 1625, Cossacks had managed to raze townships on the outskirts of Constantinople, forcing the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV to flee his palace, his nephew, Sultan Mehmed IV, fared little better as the recipient of the legendary Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, a ribald response to Mehmed's insistence that the Cossacks submit to his authority. Consecutive treaties between the Ottoman Empire and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth called for both parties to