History of Belarus

By | April 28, 2022

The first traces of human existence on the territory of modern Belarus date back to the period of the Middle Paleolithic, to the Mousterian era. In the era of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic, the main occupations of people were gathering, hunting and fishing; in the Neolithic era, agriculture and cattle breeding arose, which became the main occupations in the Bronze Age (3-2 thousand BC).

According to historyaah, Belarusian Dnieper and Polissia from the 7th century BC occupied by the tribes of the Milograd culture, from the 1st century BC. – Zarubintsy culture. Central and Northern Belarus in the early Iron Age was occupied by the tribes of the Baltic language group. In the 2nd-5th centuries. AD Slavs began to penetrate into this territory, which by the 9th century. assimilated the Baltic tribes.

At the end of the 9th-10th centuries, the East Slavic tribes living on the territory of Belarus became part of Kievan Rus. In the 10th – early 12th centuries. in the process of fragmentation of the ancient Russian state, Polotsk, Turov-Pinsk and other principalities were formed. The most powerful of them was the Principality of Polotsk, which reached its peak under Prince Vseslav Charodei in the second half of the 11th century. In the 13th-14th centuries. Western Russian lands became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, in which they occupied most of the territory. As a result of isolation from the rest of the lands of the Old Russian state, the population of the Western Russian lands intensified its characteristic features of language, culture, and customs. The formation of the Belarusian nationality began, which ended in the 16th century.

Later, the name “Belaya Rus” spread to all Western Russian lands. In 1569 the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland united into a single state, the Commonwealth, in which the Polish feudal lords played the dominant role. The ensuing strengthening of feudal and national oppression, as well as attempts to plant Catholicism among Belarusians, who mostly professed Orthodoxy, provoked resistance from the Belarusian population, popular uprisings, the largest of which took place in 1595 under the leadership of S. Nalivaiko. In 1648, the liberation war against Polish domination that began in the Ukraine spread to the territory of Belarus, most of which was engulfed in revolt; in 1651 this uprising was crushed, but the struggle against Polish domination continued in the subsequent period. See ehistorylib for more about Belarus history.

As a result of the three divisions of the Commonwealth (1772, 1793, 1795), Belarusian lands were ceded to Russia. Reunification with Russia had a progressive meaning for Belarus; its economy was drawn into the vast all-Russian market, the people were attached to Russian culture. At the same time, the policy of Russian tsarism towards Belarus had a great-power orientation; in 1840 the use of the word “Belarus” was even prohibited.

During the Patriotic War of 1812 Belarus suffered greatly from the French occupation.

The abolition of serfdom in 1861 accelerated the development of the economy; however, the conditions of the reform, as a result of which the peasants received only 35% of the land, and 65% remained with the landowners, the treasury and the church, caused discontent among the Belarusian peasantry. In 1863–64, a powerful uprising took place under the leadership of Kastus Kalinovsky, which forced the tsarist government to make certain concessions—to eliminate the temporarily obligated position of the peasants in the western provinces, to reduce the amount of redemption payments, and so on.

In the 2nd floor. 19th century the Belarusian people consolidated into a nation. Since the end of the 19th century, a working-class movement has developed in Belarus, social democratic circles and groups have arisen; In March 1898, the First Congress of the RSDLP was held in Minsk, which laid the foundation for the Social Democratic Party of Russia. The working people of Byelorussia took an active part in the revolution of 1905–07 and the February and October revolutions of 1917.

In November 1917 Soviet power was established. In February-November 1918, most of the Belarusian territory was under German occupation. On January 1, 1919, the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (BSSR) was formed. In February 1919 Belarus was attacked by Polish troops; In order to fight against the interventionists, Byelorussia and Lithuania united to form the Lithuanian-Belarusian SSR, which lasted until August 1919, when a bourgeois republic was formed in Lithuania. In July 1920, the independent BSSR was restored; Western Belorussia, according to the Riga Peace Treaty of 1921, was ceded to Poland. On December 30, 1922, the BSSR became part of the USSR. In 1924, by agreement with the RSFSR, 8 counties of Vitebsk, 6 counties of Gomel, and one county of Smolensk province were transferred to the BSSR, and in 1926 the Gomel and Rechitsa counties of the RSFSR, populated mainly by Belarusians, were transferred to the BSSR.

In June 1941 Belarus was occupied by the troops of Nazi Germany. The population of the republic offered fierce resistance to the invaders. There were 1108 partisan detachments and groups, which included St. 374 thousand people During the years of occupation, Belarus suffered great damage; 2 million 225 thousand people were killed on its territory, about 380 thousand people. was taken to hard labor in Germany. 209 cities and regional centers were destroyed, 9200 villages were burned, 10 thousand industrial enterprises, 7 thousand schools, 2.2 thousand hospitals were destroyed and destroyed. In a number of the most important industries of Belarus, it was thrown back to the level of 1913.

In July 1944 the territory of the republic was liberated from occupation. In the post-war period, the national economy of Belarus was restored; already in 1950, the volume of industrial and agricultural output surpassed the level of 1940 in terms of basic indicators. In subsequent years, significant successes were achieved in the development of the economy and culture. At the same time, negative phenomena connected with the dominance of the administrative-command system in the former USSR were growing in public life.

In the late 1980s – during the period of perestroika in the USSR – opposition movements intensified in Belarus, incl. nationalist leanings. On July 27, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic adopted the Declaration on the State Sovereignty of Belarus. On December 8, 1991, the leaders of Belarus, the RSFSR and Ukraine signed the Belovezhskaya Accords, which proclaimed the end of the USSR and the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

In March 1994, the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus was adopted, in accordance with which, in particular, the post of president was introduced. In November 1996, at a popular referendum, serious changes were made to the Constitution, which significantly expanded the powers of the head of state.

History of Belarus