Cossack Rebellion, 1648-1654

Russia : Early Romanovs, 1613-1689 Poland : Era of Liberty, 1652-1772

Russo-Polish War, 1654-1667

A.) Prehistory

In 1648 the Cossacks rebelled against Polish rule (deterioration of the social status of Ukrainian peasants, pressure by Jesuit priests so that they turn from Orthodox faith to Catholic faith). After initial military successes under Hetman Daniel Chmielnicki, a stalemate developed, with Western Ukraine in Polish hands, the eastern Zaporozhe Cossacks maintaining their independence. In 1654, Daniel Chmielnicki accepted Russian sovereignty; the Cossack Rebellion thus turned into another Russo-Polish War.

B.) The War

Poland allied herself with the Tatars. A Polish army was victorious at Ochmatow (Jan. 1655); a Russian army sacked Vilnius (summer 1655). Czar Alexey assumed the title of Grand Duke of Lithuania. Then the appearance of an even more dangerous enemy - the Swedes - distracted Polish attention from the war in her eastern border regions; the Russians were left in control of the regions they held occupied. The PEACE OF OLIVA in 1660 ended the Swedish threat. Operations against Russia were resumed, Vilnius liberated, Russian-held Cudnow surrendered Nov. 1st 1660. A Russian force was defeated at Polonka June 28th 1660; the Russian forces from then on avoided open battles. King John II. Casimir Vasa now attempted a political reform which would strengthen the royal position at the expense of Sejm and magnates; a group of magnates lead by Lubomirski rose in revolt and defeated the royal forces. Then, on Jan. 31st 1667, the TREATY OF ANDRUSSOVO (in Polish : Andruszow; near Smolensk) was concluded, in which Poland ceded Smolensk, Severia and Chernigov, and, on paper only for a period of two years, the city of Kiev to Russia. The Zaporozhe Cossacks formally came under a joint Polish-Russian protectorate; Poland-Lithuania even recognized the right of the Patriarch of Moscow to interfere in the affairs of the Orthodox Community within Poland-Lithuania.

C.) The Legacy

Poland signed the Treaty of Andrussovo because it had faced too many enemies simultaneously, because the continuous warfare over several decades required considerable investments and the situation required concessions on the side of the Polish magnates, concessions many were unwilling to make; Poland was not defeated by the Russians alone, but rather gave in under the burden caused by the combined foreign invasions.

The Muscovite Wars, from Polish Renaissance Warfare, and subsequent files
Polish-Russian War 1654-1655; Polish-Russian War 1658-1667, from The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795), scroll down
Russisch-Polnischer Krieg 1654-1656, Russisch-Polnischer Krieg 1658-1667, from Kriege der Neuzeit (Wars of the Modern Era), in German
Treaty of Andrusovo, from Encyclopedia of Ukraine
Russian recapture of Smolensk in the Russo-Polish war of 1654-67, posted by Smolensk - Russia, Summary of Early History by John Sloan; scroll down

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on May 26th 2003, last revised on November 18th 2004

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