The proposed text, based on the creative achievements of M. Hrushevskyi, put forward dual purpose: 1) to prove that his theoretical views were formed in the context of the paradigm of а philosophy of history, in contrast to the historiosophy; 2) to demonstrate that the recognition of historical evolution and social progress consciously determined by leading concepts of his philosophy of history, critical among which are regarded as people, community, public order, citizenship, democratic national republic. The article deals with methodological peculiarities of interpretation of historical evolution and meaning of Ukrainian national identity in the works of prominent Ukrainian historian and sociologist. Key concepts in theoretical scientific views are formed in the broader context of European development theory and practice of civil society in its distinction from political power and the state. M. Hrushevskyі prefers “self-governing communities” and “genetic citizenship” relatively to the national state and believes that the main factors of their historical development are аn education, a scientific knowledge and the formation of the secular sphere. On the basis of delineated ideas and principles which are clearly rational, we propose to define its theoretical paradigm as appropriate to the intellectual tradition “philosophy of history” and not “historiosophy”. The concept of “citizenship” plays in the creative laboratory of Hrushevskyi main role regarding his interpretation of the historical evolution of mankind. According to him, Ukrainian history is an integral part of European culture of civil self-government or civic municipality. The formation of the national state, in his opinion, cannot be a political end in itself but is a prerequisite for folk revival and ensuring civil liberties and human rights. At the heart of the historical evolution as such lies the cultural development of self-governing communities that through educated mind, scientific advances, liberal and social-democratic reforms leads to changing the status of the subjected person to the citizen.