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Galicia (Czech: Halič; German: Galizien; Hungarian: Galícia/Kaliz/Gácsország/Halics; Polish: Galicja; Romanian: Galiția/Halici; Galitsiya/Galichina; Russian: Галиция/Галичина, Rusyn: Галичина, Halychyna; Slovak: Halič; Ukrainian: Галичина, Halychyna; Yiddish: גאַליציע, Galytsye) is a historical and geographic region in Central Europe, once a small kingdom that currently straddles the border between Poland and Ukraine. The area, which is named after the medieval city of Halych, was first mentioned in Hungarian historic chronicles in the year 1206 as Galiciæ.
The nucleus of Galicia lies within the modern regions of western Ukraine: Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk near the contemporary Ukrainian city of Halych. In the 18th century, territories that later became part of the modern Polish regions of Lesser Poland Voivodeship and Subcarpathian Voivodeship were added to Galicia.
There is considerable overlap between Galicia and Ruthenia (Rusyn Rusynы, Rusyny; Ukrainian: Русь Rus' ; Slovakian Rusyna), a cross-border region inhabited by various nationalities, including the Rusyn minority, especially Zakarpattia Oblast (the Transcarpathian Region) of southwestern Ukraine. In this modern sense, "Ruthenia" straddles western Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia.
In the 13th century, King Andrew II of Hungary used the style Galicia et Lodomeria - a Latinized version of the Slavic names Halych and Volodymyr, the major cities of the principality of Halych-Volhynia, which the Hungarians ruled from 1214 to 1221. Halych-Volhynia cut a swathe as a mighty principality under the reign of Roman the Great in 1170–1205. After the expulsion of the Hungarians in 1221, Ruthenians took back rule of the area. Roman's son Daniel of Galicia was crowned king of Halych-Volhynia. He founded Lviv (Leopolis), named in honour of his son Leo I, who later moved the capital from Halych to Lviv.
The Ukrainian name Halych (Галич) (Halicz in Polish, Галич in Russian, Galic in Latin) comes from the Khwalis or Kaliz who occupied the area from the time of the Magyars. They were also called Khalisioi in Greek, and Khvalis (Хваліс) in Ukrainian. Some historians[who?] speculated it had to do with a group of people of Celtic origin that may have settled nearby, being related to many similar place names found across Europe and Asia Minor, such as ancient Gallia or Gaul (modern France, Belgium, and northern Italy) and Galatia (modern Turkey), the Iberian Peninsula, Galicia, and Romanian Galaţi. Others[who?] assert that the name has Slavic origins – from halytsa (galitsa), meaning "a naked (unwooded) hill", or from halka (galka) which means "a jackdaw". The jackdaw was used as a charge in the city's coat of arms and later also in the coat of arms of Galicia. The name, however, predates the coat of arms, which may represent canting or simply folk etymology.
Although the Hungarians were driven out from Halych-Volhynia by 1221, Hungarian kings continued to add Galicia et Lodomeria to their official titles. In 1527, the Habsburgs inherited those titles, together with the Hungarian crown. In 1772, Empress Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, decided to use those historical claims to justify her participation in the first partition of Poland. In fact, the territories acquired by Austria did not correspond exactly to those of former Halych-Volhynia. Volhynia, including the city of Volodymyr-Volynskyi (Włodzimierz Wołyński) – after which Lodomeria was named – was taken by Russia, not Austria. On the other hand, much of Lesser Poland – Nowy Sącz and Przemyśl (1772–1918), Zamość (1772–1809), Lublin (1795–1809), Kraków (1846–1918) – did become part of Austrian Galicia. Moreover, despite the fact that the claim derived from the historical Hungarian crown, Galicia and Lodomeria was not officially assigned to Hungary, and after the Ausgleich of 1867, it found itself in Cisleithania, or the Austrian-administered part of Austria-Hungary.
The full official name of the new Austrian province was Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator. After the incorporation of the Free City of Kraków in 1846, it was extended to Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, and the Grand Duchy of Kraków with the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator (German: Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien mit dem Großherzogtum Krakau und den Herzogtümern Auschwitz und Zator).
Each of those entities was formally separate; they were listed as such in the Austrian emperor's titles, each had its distinct coat-of-arms and flag. For administrative purposes, however, they formed a single province. The duchies of Auschwitz (Oświęcim) and Zator were small historical principalities west of Kraków, on the border with Prussian Silesia. Lodomeria, under the name Volhynia, was not ruled by Austria but by the Russian Empire.
The territory was settled by the East Slavs in the early middle ages and, in the 12th century, a Rurikid Principality of Halych (Halicz, Halics, Galich, Galic) formed there, merged in the end of the century with the neighboring Volhynia into the Principality of Halych Volhynia, that existed for a century and a half. By 1352, when the principality was partitioned between the Polish Kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, most of Galicia belonged to the Polish Crown, where it still remained after the 1569 union between Poland and Lithuania. Upon the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, or simply Galicia, became the largest, most populous, and northernmost province of the Austrian Empire, where it remained until the dissolution of Austria-Hungary at the end of World War I in 1918.
In 1773, Galicia had about 2.6 million inhabitants in 280 cities and market towns and approx. 5,500 villages. There were nearly 19,000 noble families, with 95,000 members (about 3% of the population). The serfs accounted for 1.86 million, more than 70% of the population. A small number were full-time farmers, but by far the overwhelming number (84%) had only smallholdings or no possessions.
Galicia had arguably the most ethnically diverse population of all the countries in the Austrian monarchy, consisting of Poles, Ruthenians, Jews, Germans, Armenians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Roma, etc. The Poles were mainly in the west, with the Ruthenians predominant in the eastern region ("Ruthenia"). At the turn of the twentieth century, Poles constituted 78.7% of the whole population of Western Galicia, Ukrainians 13.2%, Jews 7.6%, Germans 0.3%, and others 0.2%. The respective data for Eastern Galicia show the following numbers: Ruthenians 64.5%, Poles 21.0%, Jews 13.7%, Germans 0.3%, and others 0.5%.
The Jews of Galicia had immigrated in the Middle Ages from Germany. German-speaking people were more commonly referred to by the region of Germany where they originated (such as Saxony or Swabia). For inhabitants who spoke different native languages, e.g. Poles and Ruthenians, identification was less problematic, but widespread multilingualness blurred the borders again.
It is, however, possible to make a clear distinction in religious denominations: Poles were Roman Catholic, the Ruthenians belonged to the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church (now split into several sui juris Catholic churches, the largest of which is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church). The Jews represented the third largest religious group. Galicia was the center of the branch of Orthodox Judaism known as Hasidism.
The new state borders had cut Galicia off from many of its traditional trade routes and markets of the Polish sphere, resulting in stagnation of economic life and decline of Galician towns. Lviv lost its status as a significant trade center. After a short period of limited investments, the Austrian government started a fiscal exploitation of Galicia and drained the region of manpower through conscription to imperial army. The Austrians decided that Galicia should not develop industrially but remain an agricultural area that would serve as a supplier of food products and raw materials to other Habsburg provinces. New taxes were instituted, investments were discouraged, and cities and towns were neglected.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Galicia (Eastern Europe).|
|Timeline of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria|
|Zamosch area||New Galicia|
|Krakau area||Neu Sandez area||Galicia|
|before 1769||part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth||part of Moldavia|
|1769–1772||to Austria, ca. 1769|
|1772–1775||First Partition of Poland, 1772||First Partition of Poland, 1772|
|1775–1789||Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria|
including the duchies of Auschwitz and Zator;
part of the Habsburg Empire, 1772–1804; of the Austrian Empire, 1804–1867; of Cisleithania, Austria–Hungary, 1867–1918
|Bukovina Military District, 1775–1789|
|1789–1795||Bukovina District, 1789–1849|
|1795–1803||Third Partition of Poland, 1795|
New Galicia (or West Galicia)
|1803–1809||New Galicia merged into Galicia, 1803|
|1809–1815||to the Duchy of Warsaw, 1809–1815||to Russia, 1809–1815|
|1815–1846||to the "Congress" Kingdom of Poland, 1815–1918||Free City of Cracow, 1815–1846|
|1846–1849||Grand Duchy of Cracow, 1846–1918|
|1849–1918||Duchy of Bukovina, 1849–1918|
|1918–1919||to Poland, 1918||West Ukrainian National Republic, 1918–1919||to Romania, 1918|