The sacred Cossacks ( bastard , from Ukrainian golota ) are the poorest and most numerous part of the Don and Zaporizhzhya Cossacks . On the upper Don , as well as in the upper reaches of Khopr and Medveditsa, the Cossack Cossacks were also called “Verkhovskys” and “Chigi”. Married did not live in the Zaporizhzhya Sich, but in farms and cities.
According to one version, the Cossacks for the most part consisted of fugitive serfs and serfs , the townspeople of the poor and military service people; at the same time, the Cossack Cossacks constituted a single social layer. The ranks of Zaporizhzhya’s replenishment were replenished at the expense of the rural and urban population of Little Russia , persecuted by the Polish pans .
According to another, the basis of the Little Russian Cossacks was until the middle of the XVII century poor small-local boyars (such a status as a boyar in Polish law simply did not exist) who could not prove their nobility and should, after the creation of the Commonwealth, go to the rank of ordinary peasants. Led by these servants who knew how to handle weapons, unlike serfs and burghers, the more noble nobles, both from Polish and Little Russian clans .
Being among the cossack Cossacks did not always mean freedom for the fugitives: often the rule “ there is no extradition from the Don ” was violated, and serfs were issued to the former owners. The good-for-nothing Cossacks were oppressed by both prosperous ( domovite ) Cossacks and nobles trying to use the Cossacks for their own purposes.
The Cossack Cossacks took part in anti- feudal uprisings of the 16th - 17th centuries led by Ivan Bolotnikov , Stepan Razin , Kondraty Bulavin and others; many leaders of the anti-serfdom movement came out of their midst; Zaporizhzhya Cossacks actively participated in the civil war in the Commonwealth in the middle of the 17th century. The role of the Couture Cossacks in the development of the South Russian lands and in the fight against the Crimean Khanate is great. However, it was the gob of all the Cossacks who was most prone to robberies and murders, easily succumbed to political provocations, and was extremely changeable. So, the Crimean Tatars were forced to abandon the army of hetman Ivan Vygovsky after the victory at Konotop over the Russian army, because, taking advantage of the lack of troops in the Crimea , the Cossacks looted it. As a result, the campaign against Moscow was disrupted, and in 1667 Little Russia was divided into two parts between Poland and Russia, as a result of the Andrusov armistice.
Don Cossack Cossacks often raided ( campaigns "for zipuns" ) at the ports of the Black and Azov Seas, descending on boats along the Don; This situation continued until the middle of the 17th century, when Turkey did not erect two powerful fortresses near the exit to the Sea of Azov . But the robberies did not stop; since the 1660s, Don Golby preferred to raid the central regions of Russia ; So, the predatory campaign of Vasily Usa on Tula in 1666 was successful for the Cossacks, when, having plundered the surroundings of Tula, a detachment of Cossacks went back to the steppes with impunity.