Confederation of Bar

Confederation of Bar

Bar, Confederation of, union formed in 1768 at Bar, in Podolia (now in W Ukraine), by a number of Polish nobles to oppose the interference of Catherine II of Russia in Polish affairs. Headed by the Pulaski family and supported by the Roman Catholic clergy, it sought to defend Polish independence, the Polish constitution, the rights of the landed gentry, and Roman Catholicism. Further, it endeavored to impose Roman Catholicism, as opposed to Orthodox Eastern beliefs, on the serfs of right-bank Ukraine (W of the Dnieper), which was then under Polish rule. Working against the confederation's policies was the Polish king, Stanislaus II, whose election (1764) had been sponsored by Catherine and who at her request had conceded to non-Catholics the rights of freedom of worship and participation in the Polish government. Incensed by the confederation's hostile intentions toward them, the right-bank Ukrainians rose up (1768) in the rebellion of the Koliyivshchyna (see Ukraine). Catherine sent Russian forces to suppress the rebellion, however, in the fear that it might spread among serfs under her control. In 1770 the confederation declared King Stanislaus deposed. Supported to a minor degree by France and more effectively by the Ottoman Empire, which declared war on Catherine, the confederation fought a bitter war against Russia until 1772, when its effective resistance was ended by the first partition of Poland (see Poland, partitions of).
Bar (Бар, Polish: Bar) is a city located on the Rov river in the Vinnytsia Oblast (province) of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Barsky Raion (district), and is part of the historic region of Podolia (Поділля, translit. Podillya).

The current estimated population is 17,200 (as of 2005).


The city was a small trade outpost named Row. In 16th century Polish queen Bona Sforza founded a fortress at the rock over the river and named it Bar, after her home town of Bari in Italy. In 1540 Polish king Sigismund I the Old granted the nearby town with city rights. The fortress was besieged several times in its history and was considered unbreakable. However, during the Chmielnicki Uprising in 1648 it was captured by the cossacks under Bohdan Chmielnicki and severely damaged. The town was depopulated soon afterwards.

In 1672 it was captured by the Ottoman Empire and became a seat of local administration. On November 12, 1674 the town and the fortress were recaptured by the forces of John III of Poland after four days of siege. On February 29, 1768 the Confederation of Bar was started in the fortress. After the Second Partition of Poland the town fell under Russian rule and was part of Podillia gubernia. A famous 19th century mathematician, Viktor Bunyakovsky was born in the city in 1804. After 1922 the city was in the Ukrainian SSR, and since 1991 in Ukraine.

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