Part IV - Ukraine's Golden Age and Troubles
"The history of my life is a part of the history of my homeland." -Taras Shevchenko
After the signing of the Agreement of Pereiaslav in 1654, the slow but inexorable amalgamation of Ukrainian remnants of the Kyivan Rus' along the Dnepr River began. The Muscovites, now known as Russians, continued their push south and west where they clashed with the very powerful Tartars who had the backing of the Ottoman Empire. The center of culture, language and national identity of what was later to become the Ukrainian state now shifted west, back to Galicia-Volhynia. Eastern Galicia was mostly Ukrainian, but western Galicia was mostly Polish. This would bode ill for both future countries in the years to come.
The Landscape of Europe is Changed Forever
At the start of the 19th century, around 80% of the Ukrainian population was under Russian control, and the other 20% was under a completely different system, that of the Austrian Habsburgs. So while those in the east felt the firm hand of Russia those in the west felt the gentler hand of Austria. During the rule of the Habsburgs, cities like Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk), Kolomiya, and L'viv enjoyed their greatest age (all cities were mostly inhabited by Poles and Jews, Ukrainians remained mostly rural). The architecture of these cities best show the heavy influence of the Austrians. In L'viv, coffee shops similar to those in Vienna can be found frequently. The