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Ternopil (Ternopol) Region Information
Ternopil is the capital of Ternopil
region (oblast). Ternopil region covers an area of 13.8 thousand square
km, which makes 2.3% of the territory of Ukraine. The population is approx.
1.164 million,or 2.3% from the total population of Ukraine. The average
density of the population is 84 persons per 1 square km that almost equals
to the average index of the country in general. The majority of the population
in Ternopil oblast lives in the villages (56%).
The Ternopil oblast occupies the Western part of Podillya plateau, bordering
on the Rivne oblast in the North, on the Chernivtsi oblast in the South,
on the Ivano-Frankivsk oblast in the South-West, and on the Lviv oblast
in the West. The Ternopil oblast is situated near the border of Ukraine
with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.
Ternopil oblast, along with the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk
oblasts, is a part of historical territory, named Galicia. This Western-Ukrainian
oblast due to some political events in the Ukrainian history which led
to division of Ukrainian lands, since the 14th century was under the power
of Poland, Lithuania (1349-1772), Austria (1772-1918), Russia (1809-1815),
Poland (1918-1939), Soviet Empire (1939-1991).
The Ternopil oblast – is an ancient area of pre-Slavic settlements. The traces of existence of human beings on this territory go back to the era of the early paleolith (over 100,000 years ago). Eastern Slavs who lived on the present territory of Ukraine, in the 4th century A.D. formed the large unity of tribes known by the name of Anty. The most widely accepted idea about the roots of Ukrainians is that they originated from Anty.
In the 9th century the Eastern Slav lands were united into one state – Kievan Rus, which was a strong country of the Medieval Europe. The following data are presented about the density of population at that time: in the 10th-13th centuries there were 300 ancient Rusian towns and sites, more than 100 necropolises. At the end of the 11th century there appeared the following separate principalities: Terebovlianske and Shumske which were later united into one, named
Galicia-Volhynia principality. The towns of Terebovlia and Shumsk became important political, economic and cultural centres. Favourable geographic position, climate, fertile soils, convenient transport routes and water arteries (the rivers of Dniester and Seret) contributed to the development of residential sites, especially of the village type. Commerce and crafts were greatly developed. The main objects of commerce were bread, cattle, honey, wax, fish, merchant goods.
According to the point of view of the prominent professor Ivan-Sviatoslav Koropetsky, two events in Ukrainian history influenced all its territory and were of great significance: the Mongol and Tatar invasion in the 13th c. and the Pereyaslav treaty of 1654 with Moscow. These events influenced the geographic orientation of Ukrainian economy, its separated lands, i.e. the direction of commercial relations, acceptability of technological and social progress from some cultural area, which greatly influenced economic structure and efficiency, other spheres of social life – policy, religion, law and culture.
A very important role in the life of Kyivan Rus, due to its favourable geographic position, was played by the foreign commerce. The areas near the Dnieper river served as a route for commerce between Scandinavia and Byzantium. The commerce with the East and the countries of Central and Western Europe was done mostly through Galicia.
The Mongol and Tatar invasion greatly influenced the geographic distribution of commerce. The commercial relations between Prydniprovia (the territory near the Dnieper) and Byzantium declined, but instead of them the new commerce appeared, with Eastern countries: Persia, Afghanistan, India. Especially important was the transference of the economic and political centre, from Kyiv to the West – to the cities of Halych, Volodymyr and later – to Lviv. The Dniester river substituted the Dnieper river as the main commercial artery between Ukrainian lands and the Black Sea. Galician tradesmen made commercial operations through the Black Sea ports not only with Byzantium, but also with different Italian and French cities, and commerce with Hungary, Moldova, Poland and Germany became more developed.
The rebellion led by Bohdan Khmelnytsky (1648) stopped to some extent
the Ukrainian commerce with the West through Poland and Baltic ports.
But it was renewed in the last third part of the 17th century on the territory
of Western Ukraine, which remained to be under the power of Poland.
With the beginning of industrialisation of the European countries in the second half of the 19th century, 8 steam and 680 water mills, 170 distilleries and breweries (in 1910 their number increased to 390) operated on the present territory of Ternopil oblast. Some slaughter-houses and the enterprises of hide processing, soap, tobacco, bricks, tiles, wagons and wheel manufacturing also were active at that time. Among 623 enterprises producing commodity for the population, 250 of them were small, employing 5 or fewer persons. The railway route building which started at the end of the 19th century was of great importance for the economic development of the oblast. In 1939 on the territory of the Ternopil oblast there were 1700 enterprises, employing 8800 workers.
Having survived the ruins of the Second World War, the Ternopil oblast developed its agrarian-industrial potential during the afterwar years. New branches of industry appeared: machine-building, chemical, equipment producing, building materials, etc. Appearing from ruins the city of Ternopil became one of the industrial and cultural centres of Ukraine.
The new reality which came with the proclamation of the Independence in Ukraine determines the direction of changes which lead to democracy, market, state forming. We have to find our own way of development, being supported by the historical experience of many ages.