History of Lithuania

History of Lithuania


Lithuania (Lituae) name was first mention in 1009 in the Annals of Quedlinburg record of the Holy Bruno' death. In Eleventh century knowledge of Lithuania and the Ruthenian chronicles appears. In these chroniccles Lithuaniais referes also as an Kiev as a tributary, but historians doubt whether they paid tribute regularly, and it only shows the Kievan Rusia' claims on the Lithuanian ground. From the twelfth century Lithuanian sources already is cited as preparing trips to neighboring countries.


The first ruler of the united Lithuania and created the state of Lithuania was the Grand Duke Mindaugas. In 1251, in order to enhance its authority and end the conflict with Livonia, Mindaugas baptized and was crowned in 1253 on the 6th of July. In 1263 Mindaugas was killed by the nephew Treniota. Mindaugas was the first and only Christian king of Lithuania' history, because after his death, Lithuania returned to paganism and the king' title was lost.
After the assassination of Mindaugas in 1263, in the State has been aconfusion and that's why there were expel or kill over four rulers in some years. Only in 1269 there was restore the stability of the state, when there came to power metering the Kernave Duke.

In XIV century Lithuanian state expanded and strengthened considerably. Mongol-Tatar and the Crusaders invasions to face Lithuania, which emerged Vytenis, while in search of salvation in wich Belarus princes joined in, received in exchange the autonomy. Lithuania strengthened most of the Gediminas Dynasty in XIV-XV century. Duke Gediminas quite significantly expanded the territory of Lithuania to the east by diplomatic means (mostly marring his daughter). His son Algirdas continued development of military means to that also contributed to his brother Kestutis. Party remained the last pagan country in Europe, although the bidding and negotiations of baptism were not one.

Lithuania has been expanding to eastward since the state was formed. In favor were the fact that the formed Kievan Rusia' territory was make weak by Mongol and fragmented some parts. Lithuania was annexed to the whole territory of modern Belarus, Ukraine and the current western Russia. When Algirdas and Vytautas were administrating Lithuania they reached its maximum territorial spread - in the south their border even reached the Black Sea. Lithuanian Grand Duchy and later the Lithuania - Polish state meant to claim all the lands of the former Kievan Rusnia and the unifying role of the Rusnia XV-XVI centuries competed with Moscow.

Algirdas son Jagiello in 1386 baptized and became king of Poland. Prior to the baptism in 1385 Kreva contract was signed, which laid the foundations of Lithuania and Poland on union. In 1387 Jagiello baptized Lithuanians in Vilnius. It is this year it is being the official date of the baptism of Lithuania, because Mindaugas really or maybe seemingly after the alleged baptism of Lithuania was once again considered as a pagan country.
Though, baptism has substantially strengthened the international situation in Lithuania, but until the Battle of Grunwald (1410, 15 July) Lithuanian statehood was always facing the Teutonic and Livonian (until 1236 - the Sword) Orders claim.

After there was start personal union between Lithuania and Poland was several times separated when these states were ruled by separate rulers, but Moscow' growing threat made Lithuanian nobilities to seek support in Poland. Formally, the state was united in one when states were joined in 1569 by The Union of Lublin.
When Gediminas dynasty defuncted, the rulers of Poland and Lithuania were collect from everyone honorable candidates. The influence for the state has increased because of nobles. In practice, no more serious desisions could be made without the consent of the nobility of Seimas. Unfortunately, the Seimas worked very inefficiently - in Seimas there were long argues wich were very noisy and about minor issues and consensus on important matters of state were not generally available. Since 1717, "Silent" Seimas both nations state obviously got into Russia' influence.

In Seventeenth Century end - the eighteenth century beginning Lithuanian - Polish state risen to its sunset. In eighteenth century beginning war has taken place in Northern state and showed its’ weakness and exhausted the land, which was constantly afflicted by their own and foreign armies. There were hit also and Lithuanian cities - Vilnius was occupied several times and devastated by the Russian and Swedish.
Constantly failing and distressed inner-conflict country in 1772 neighboring Russia, Prussia and Austria agreed to share by casualling part of the territory. After the first division in 1793, there also was second. Illuminated section of the public tried to rescue state balances by performancing essential reforms. Significant impact on the content of the reforms was the American and French revolutions ideas.

When Lithuania lost its independence its' history from the nineteenth century beggining led to the tsarist Russia and for imperial ambition famous French policy. In 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte from the Prussian Polish and Lithuanian deprived lands created Duchy of Warsaw, which lasted until 1815, when it was get by Russia and was renamed the Kingdom of Poland.

This compound was still called congress kingdom since its existence wich was based on the resolutions of the Congress of Vienna. Until the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, the Lithuanian nobles and the nobility had hoped that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in one or another form will be revived in Russian empire.
Those hopes collapsed with Napoleon campaign in 1812, when Napoleon was nobility greeted as liberators by the landers. After the Russian victory over Napoleon, in Lithuania there was slowly started to strengthen the Russification.

In nineteenth century were even two broad sections of society included the uprisings of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland to union revitalization, which was directed and against economic oppression: 1831 rebellion, which had a key role in the nobility and the 1863-1864 uprising, supported by peasants. Both rebellions were quenched.

After the 1863-1864 Rebellion there was imposed press ban - banned letter Latin alphabet, trying to replace them Cyrillic alphabet. Books and printing in Latin characters reached Lithuania from Prussia and Lithuania Minor printers set up and Bishop Digests, J. Bielinis from where they were illegally across the border into Lithuania to carry it, and they were distributed by the book smugglers, later teamed up in several organizations. Reaction after the uprising touched other areas of life - has been closed all the monasteries, the Orthodox Church has strengthened protectionist.

Recovery of the national movement emerged with Mr Basanaviciaus started the newspaper "The Dawn" (1883 - 1886 years). Later, their ideas were extended by others, as well as "The Dawn&" because of the press ban illegally distributed in Lithuania and Prussia were print periodicals, especially Vincas Kudirka edited the liberal newspaper "The Bell" (1889 - 1905 years) . In 1904 tsarist government abolished the ban on the press in Latin characters in Lithuania, because they saw its’ prospectless. In 1905 on the 4-5th of December Congress Gathered in Vilnius, Lithuanian Seimas issued a claim of autonomy.

During World War I, until 1915 end, Germany occupied the whole end of the current territory of Lithuania and the Kursa. In 1915 Russian trooped suffered the defeat began to retreat from Lithuania. Industrial enterprises have ceased work due to a lack of raw materials. Soon, more important companies, government agencies, secondary schools were opened to evacuate to the Russian inland. About 300 thousand Lithuanian residents themselves or pulled together with the army have been forcibly expelled. Lithuanian refugees in large colonies located in various Russian regions, mainly in Voronezh, Tambov, Yaroslavl, Petrograd, Moscow.

German military offensive was arrested in 1915 Autumn Lake Narutis - Daugavpils line. Front remained here until 1917. The Germans occupied the whole of Lithuania, and began to keep house under strict military. Lithuanian mood has changed most of people began to miss the returning of Russians, began to hate Germans not only for requisitions - forced removal of recoverable assets, "pyliava" - grain tribute and other taxes, but also because the German gendarmes and other governmental representatives to local people behaved was very proudly. Lithuanian residents were tilted toward to the Russian.

In 1917 December the Council of Lithuania has applied for German recognition of the independence of Lithuania, for Lithuania to authorize the establishment of representative office in Berlin, to create a civil government. In 1917 on the 11st of December declaration of independence was signed, an act which also provides a close union between Lithuania and Germany. This act has caused indignation of the population, because it was interpreted as a Lithuania connection to Germany. There decreased prestige of the Lithuanian Council.

The Council of Lithuania declared independence in 1918 February 16. In 1918 on the 23th of March Lithuania independence was declare in Germany, but on 11st December act. In 1918 Lithuanian names himself, the Council of the Lithuanian State Council. The full independence Lithuania won only after the German defeat in World War II (November 1918). In 1918 on the 2nd of November Interim Constitution was adopted, and on the 11st of November there formed the first government.

In 1918 December the Red Army invaded into Lithuania. By 1919 summer offensive was stopped and the Bolsheviks were out of the Lithuania. At the end of 1919 after successful military operations Lithuania army recaptured from the Red Army Ukmerge, Panevezys, Zarasai and emigrated enemy from the Daugava, began talks with Russia that ended in good way to Lithuania, the Lithuanian - Soviet Russian Peace Treaty, signed in Moscow in 1920 the 12nd of July under wich the eastern border of Lithuania passed through Maladecna, returned to Lithuania Grodno and other ethnic land. Polish troops left Vilnius Entente under the contract for the so-called Kerzono line. Lithuanian troops marched into Vilnius on the 15th of July and there found a Russian army, wich chaced Poles that recognizing the 12 July peace treaty between Lithuania and Russia in three phases transferred to Lithuania their occupied territories.
In 1921 on the 22nd of September Lithuania adopted by the League of Nations, In 1922 July US recognized Lithuania de jure. In 1922 on the 8th of January adopted the first permanent constitution, which reflected in the prevailing Western liberalism, individualism and pluralism worth. In 1923 Lithuania after the staged uprising was able to connect Klaipeda edge with an important port.

In 1926 on the 17th of December Christian Democrats supported coup overthrew the legitimately elected governement. After the coup the country was no longer a democratic country, state governments increasingly getting into Anthony Smetona, which was published in the State Commandant, and from 19th of December elected president, of the hands. Seimas functions have been constrained. Although a formal state institutions have remained the same, but in fact their influence changed because main decision making was the prerogative of the President and the Government. On December 27th , attempting to justify the coup, need for anti-state activities, were shot to death four of the Lithuanian Communist Party players (the so-called "four communard"). In 1927 on the 12th of April
Seimas was released and re-assembled only 1936.

In 1926 - 1933 was the largest Lithuanian emigration mainly to the United States, Canada, South America. In 1931 Lithuania gets the global economic crisis.

In 1938 there is finally enshrined the Constitution, the nature of an authoritarian state, in it does not even mention that the state is democratic. Concentrate all power in the hands of the presidential, ministerial and parliamentary further narrowing options. In 1938 on the 14th of September A. Smetona is elected as a president for seven-year term (elections by the new constitution was undemocratic). Strengthening of authoritarianism was excuse as people uniting to resist internal and external forces that were hostile to this idea. Parliamentary elections took place supervision discreetly under the administration. In the Constitution clearly reflect authoritarianism, traditionalism, conservatism and the Lithuanian community political and social thought. In 1938 The Constitution provides forced labor, which strict a nature of the regime.

Despite the mobilization of state power in one hand, the international situation of Lithuania deteriorated. In 1939 after the German ultimatum Lithuanian government agreed to Klaipeda region given to Germany. In 1939 on the 20th of March Lithuanian Foreign Minister Juozas Urbšys meeting with German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop was given the ultimatum to Lithuania: Klaipeda region or the German army is moving to Lithuania. Lithuania took an ultimatum to the government as an inevitable evil. In 1939 on the 22nd of March around the midnight, in Ribbentrop' office was sign the Republic of Lithuania and the German state treaty for the transfer of Klaipeda region. Lithuania has lost the port and the third industry. From Klaipeda region 18,000 were evacuated 18 000 people.

The Second World War began in 1939 on the September 1st. Nazi Germany attacked Poland, Lithuania neighbor. Lithuania declared its neutrality, although Germany has offered to withdraw from Poland, Vilnius. Ribbentrop flew to Moscow in 1939 on the September 28th, the USSR and Germany signed a new agreement with it Lithuania in exchange to Poland part of the territory was transferred to Stalin. From that day the Soviet Union, politicians began to prepare subordinate Lithuania. The very next day after the contract signing Lithuanian envoy in Moscow was against the desire to discuss the relations between countries. On the 9th of October Deputy Prime Minister Kazys Bizauskas and Chief of army Stasys Rastikis went to Kaunas to inform the government about the progress of negotiations. Choosing for the Lithuanian government was so: 1) or it signes the Soviet Union required the mutual assistance treaty, which gives the Soviet Union the right to keep certain areas of the territory of Lithuania agreed amount of crew and got back to Vilnius with Vilnius region territory 2) or it does not sign the contract and then recoverable from Vilnius, and turns into disastrous conflict with the Soviet Union. What form could take the conflict is showed by the Finland experience. Then the Lithuanian government chose the first solution. So, in 1939 on the 10th of October in Moscow there is signed the contract. After the so-called mutual aid agreement is signed, the Soviet Union' military garrison immediately located in Naujoji Vilnia, Jonava - Gaiziunai, Prienai and Alytus.
After the fall of Poland, Lithuania has lost the possibility of balancing between the major countries of the region and its fate was determined by Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact reached agreements on major countries spheres of influence. Lithuania and other Baltic states of the Soviet Union found themselves in the field of occupational aspirations. In 1939 in October The Soviet Union returned to Lithuania only less than half of the Vilnius region occupied zeligovskininkai in 1920 October, assigning a different part to the Byelorussian SSR, with "de facto" annexing a significant part of the Lithuanian ethnic lands with the city of Grodno and other islands of Lithuania.

In 1940 Lithuanian territory after the challenge and the ultimate action was occupied by Soviet military units. Occupation under a puppet of the People' Parliament was elected in imitation of Soviet emissaries and stage-managed elections, the decisions to the Soviet Union' request to connect the Lithuanian to Soviet Socialist as a Republic of Soviet republic. Elected 78 "people" Parliament gathered in Kaunas Musical Theatre and has worked in July on the 21-23th legally legitimating Soviet regime (the occupation). In 1940 on the 30th of July Just Paleckis representative delegation by the train left to Moscow, where on the 3rd of August in Soviet Union' Supreme Council meeting had to submit a request for Lithuania' accession to the Soviet Union Lithuanian Supreme Soviet Council request. Lithuania is part of the Soviet Union.

In 1941 on the 14th of June at 3 hour in the morning began mass occupied the Baltic states people deportation in cattle cars were seated 60 thousand Estonian, 34 thousand Latvian and 38 thousand Lithuanian, all they have left to concentration camps in Siberia. Only a very small part of them came back. The political, economic and social turmoil experienced like this Lithuania has felt only in the Crusades era. Immediately they began to develop upspring in 1941 on June.

In 1941 on the 22nd of June Hitler started the war with the Soviet Union. At the same time, in the efforts of Lithuania LAF and other patriotic organizations organized rebellion, formed the Lithuanian government, but Germany and after didn't except it and after 43 days it was scatter.

In 1941 on the 17th of December in Vilnius was founded underground military organization - the Lithuanian Freedom Army (LLA), which has set the target - to get the Lithuanian independence their own. In 1944 on the 1st of July LLA issued an order to deploy their units in the forests and prepare for guerrilla war for independence of Lithuania.

In 1944 end the Soviet army returned to Lithuania. From the Lithuanian army, LLA, Sauliai organizations members, LAF and VLIK repressed activists and the relatives of persons deported from the Soviet Union formed a broad resistance to the Red Army and the communist government. The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania, lots of Lithuanian were deported to Siberia or killed, others managed to escape to the West Countries. From 1940 to 1953 Lithuania lost about one-third of the population, in 1940-1941 and 1944 - 1953 during the deportations to Sibiras and other remote areas of the Soviet Union were deported at least 29,923 families. Stalin' death (1953) ended further deportations, and part of deported people who were deported could return immediately. However, they were forbidden to register with the Lithuanian SSR. For the deportees were said that they are not except to Moscow that loyal to the Lithuanian TSR leaders. However, the returned exiles couldn't stay at home and in Latvia and Estonia. So there was probably some kind of general instructions on how to deal with them. Number of Latvians living in Lithuania, which, after Stalin' death and later couldn't register in Latvia, so they chose Lithuania. In Latvia is a very substantial number of such Lithuanian.

In 1990 on the 11 of March as a Chairman of the Supreme Council elected Professor Vytautas Landsbergis. In 1990 on the 11 of March Lithuania declared independence. [2] The Soviet Union has opposed the possible independence of Lithuania, and confrontation with Lithuania in 1991 on the 13th of January reached a peak, when Soviet troops stormed the television tower. Soon Iceland was the first recognized the restoration of Lithuania' independence.

Throughout the world the independence of Lithuania was declared in 1991 in August after putsch in Moscow. In Lithuania at the time the tragedy of Medininkai occurred - in 1991 on the 31st of July night, an armed group of OMON in the wagon killed Lithuanian border guards - killing seven customs, Rapid Response Team "Aras" and several police officers. That night in the post were on duty customs officer Tom Sernas and he survived by a miracle.
Started a property privatization processes in Lithuania and Lithuania' monetary system with the introduction of vouchers, and temporary monetary terms, there had been far from smooth and transparent manner - it was great to see off inflation. Nevertheless, the latter-day Lithuania integrates into Western military and economic alliances: In 2001 on May on the 27-30 in Vilnius was the first of the former Soviet Union territory of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and in 2004 on the 29th of March Lithuania became a full member of NATO, and after a popular referendum on the membership - from 2004 1st of May - The European Union. For Lithuania in Euro parliament already represented in Lithuania elected politicians, and the period of 2006-2012 Lithuania get the 36 billion euros from the EU support.



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