L. Mohylnyi, Dr. habil. (History), Professor

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2640.2021.150.7


In the late 19th – at the beginning of the 20th century the Ukrainian intelligentsia formed an idea of the importance of personal intellectual contribution to the national development in such fields as of education, science and culture. This concept emerged due to the negative impact of the Valuev Circular and the Ems Decree on Ukrainian education and science. Leading figures of Ukrainian communities and parties called on Ukrainians to contribute to the development of education and science. Most of them were Ukrainians with liberal views, but this position was also shared by their political opponents, namely the Social Democrats. Mykhailo Yeliseyovych Slabchenko became one of those who responded to the call. The purpose of the work is to analyse the social and political beliefs of M. Slabchenko as one of the active representatives of the Ukrainian intelligentsia of the first third of the twentieth century. As for the methodology used to cover the topic, the methods of historicism, objectivity and science have been applied in the article. The scientific novelty of the research lies in the fact that social and political views of M. Slabchenko, the famous scientist of the 1920s, are considered on the basis of both published and unpublished archival materials.

Social and political priorities of the scientist determined his interest to Ukrainian studies, which began immediately after graduating from the Faculty of History and Philology of Odessa University, when he joined the local community of Ukrainians. He put a lot of efforts into organizing various educational activities of the Odessa "Prosvita", the Odessa Scientific Society, contributed to the research work on the history of the Hetmanate, the economy of Ukraine in the 19th century, etc. The study of social and political views of M. Slabchenko allowed us to define four main stages in the evolution of his beliefs: 1) 1903-1917 – formation of the priorities in the field of Ukrainian studies; 2) 1917–1920 – the dominance of the social and political factor; 3) 1920–1930 – combination of both pedagogical and scientific activities; 4) 1930–1952 – a complete refusal to deal with any political topics.

Keywords: Mykhailo Slabchenko, Prosvita, Odessa Institute of Public Education, Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers' Party, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Union for the Liberation of Ukraine.

Submitted: 23.09.2021

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