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Children of Rus'Right-Bank Ukraine and the Invention of a Russian Nation$
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Faith Hillis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452192

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452192.001.0001

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The Little Russian Idea and the Invention of a Rus′ Nation

The Little Russian Idea and the Invention of a Rus′ Nation

(p.21) 1 The Little Russian Idea and the Invention of a Rus′ Nation
Children of Rus'

Faith Hillis

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how residents of the Dnieper region came to envision alternatives to the local estate system. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Little Russian nobles descended from the early modern Cossack generals came to see the Orthodox East Slavs as the “native” inhabitants of the lands surrounding the Dnieper and chronicled their efforts to protect the traditions that they had inherited from Rus´. Presenting their native region as a citadel that had preserved authentic East Slavic values as well as a battlefield on which local residents struggled to defend their traditions, the Little Russian gentry thus insisted that the future of the East Slavs and the Russian empire would be decided on the banks of the Dnieper.

Keywords:   Dnieper river, East Slavs, East Slavic values, Little Russian gentry, estate system, Russian empire

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