Ladies & Gentlemen,
Below is a new article from a brand new project of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine entitled “Cartographic Propaganda” by Ukrainian historian Kyrylo Halushko on the Map that Entered the Ukrainian Constitution
Last time we mentioned that the creation of ethnographic maps in mid-19th century allowed drawing of a map of ethnic limits of Malorussians (Little Russians) – Ukrainians. However, we mostly referred to the lands that were parts of the Russian Empire. There was also Austria, however. Almost three million Ukrainians lived there under the official name of “Ruthenen”.
The national question in Austria demanded identification of areas occupied by each nationality, and, decades earlier than in Russia, local censuses included not only language, but also confessions, of the Habsburgs’ subjects. All further studies of the ethnic composition of the state were based on Karl Czernig’s work The Ethnography of the Austrian Monarchy (1855-1857). Czernig’s monograph included a masterful Ethnographic Map of the Austrian Monarchy, published separately in 1857. The profound map will see a remarkable fate of being mentioned in the temporary constitution of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic.
The dissolution of the Monarchy over the Danube led to armed fighting among the emerging states over the new territories. Territorial claims, however, could be substantiated not only by bayonets, but also by the factor of national dispersal, which was known back in the times of Austria-Hungary. That principle looked “more objective”. Therefore, “The Temporary Basic Law on State Independence of Ukrainian Lands of the Former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy” approved on November 13, 1918, determined the borders of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic as follows: “BORDERS. The area of the West Ukrainian People’s Republic shall cover the Ukrainian communal ethnographic area within the limits of former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, i.e. Austrian Crown territories of Galicia with Volodymyriya and Bukovyna, and Ukrainian parts of former Hungarian capitals (Komitats): Spysh, Sharysh, Zemlyany, Ug. Bereg, Ugocha and Marmorosh, as indicated at the ethnographic map of the Austrian Empire by Baron Karl Czernig (Etnographische Karte der osterreichischen Monarchie, enlworfen von Karl Freiherrn Czernig, herausgegeben von der k.k. Direktion der administrativen Statistik, Wien 1855, Masstab 1:864.000)”.
Quite probably, this was the only precedent of reference to a map in a basic law of a state.