March Articles of 1654

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

March Articles of 1654


(Articles of the Zaporozhye Host, Articles of Bogdan Khmel’nitskii), the act that gave juridical form to the autonomous position of the Ukraine in the Russian state after its reunification with Russia.

In the name of the Zaporozh’e Host, Bogdan Khmel’nitskii sent to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich a letter containing a number of points or articles and asked that they be approved. The approval took place on Mar. 21, 1654. The March Articles reaffirmed the elected status of the hetman and the social estate rights of the Ukrainian starshiny (dominant people), cossacks, clergy, and townspeople; they defined the amount of pay to be received by the top level of the host starshiny. The hetman and the starshiny had the right to receive and dismiss foreign emissaries (except for those of Poland and Turkey) on the condition that the emissaries arrived “to do good deeds” and that the course of any such negotiations was reported to the Russian government. The March Articles provided for Russia’s entrance into the war against Poland and also for the organization of a joint defense against attacks of the Crimean Tatars. The March Articles were supplemented by the Russian government on Mar. 27, 1654, with charters on the rights and freedoms of the Zaporozh’e Host and on the rights of the Orthodox Ukrainian gentry.

The March Articles remained in force until the middle of the 18th century.


Akty luzhnoi i Zapadnoi Rossii, vol. 10. St. Petersburg, 1878. Number 8, XI, pp. 445-52; no. 8, XXI, pp. 489-502.
Vossoedinenie Ukrainy s Rossiei: Dokumenty i materialy, vol. 3. Moscow, 1954. Number 245.
Golobutskii, V. Diplomaticheskaia istoriia osvoboditeVnoi winy ukrainskogo naroda 1648-1654 gg. Kiev, 1962.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.