History in Lithuania

History in Lithuania

Already in the 2nd millennium BC. the territory of modern Lithuania began to be populated by the ancestors of the Lithuanians – the aist. They hunted, fished, farmed, raised domestic animals and grew crops. In the 10-12 centuries AD. the Aists began to form a feudal system – the first unions of princes appeared, each of which ruled over its inheritance. Already by 1240, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was formed. It included a significant part of modern Poland, Russia, Ukraine and all of present-day Belarus. This state turned out to be one of the most powerful in Europe. The Smolensk, Pskov, Galicia-Volyn and Kiev principalities fell into his political dependence. Many Russian lands, seeking to find protection from the Mongol-Tatars, joined Lithuania voluntarily. The internal order in the annexed lands did not change.

During these times, the whole of medieval Europe opposed the Teutonic Order, which wanted to convert the population to Christianity according to the Catholic rite. Lithuania also suffered from his attacks, because its inhabitants were pagans. The first significant campaign of the crusaders ended in their defeat at the Battle of Saul in 1236. At the end of the 14th century, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Jagiello married a Polish queen, converted to Catholicism and became the sovereign of Poland and Lithuania. But this did not save Lithuania from the onslaught of the Crusaders. Despite the prohibition of the Pope to fight with the Lithuanians, the knights of the Order continued their offensive. In July 1410, the combined Polish-Lithuanian army entered the lands of the Order. Here, not far from Grunwald, the famous battle took place, in which the Crusaders suffered a crushing defeat. Check a2zdirectory for old history of Lithuania.

This struggle further rallied Lithuania and Poland, in 1569 the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania merged into a single powerful state of the Commonwealth. According to the signed union, the state was to be ruled by a jointly elected king, and state affairs were decided in the general Sejm. However, the legal systems, army and governments remained separate. In the 18th century, after the Northern War, the Commonwealth fell into decay, it fell under the protectorate of Russia.

Lithuania became an independent republic after the First World War, when Germany was defeated and the Russian Empire collapsed. The first state to recognize the independence of Lithuania was the RSFSR, which on July 12, 1920 concluded an agreement with Lithuania and renounced sovereign rights over the Lithuanian people and its territory. However, during the Second World War, on August 23, 1939, a non-aggression pact and secret agreements on the division of spheres of influence were signed between the USSR and Germany, according to which Lithuania entered the sphere of influence of the USSR. On October 10, a Soviet-Lithuanian mutual assistance treaty was concluded, according to which units of the Red Army were located on the territory of Lithuania to protect it from external aggression. On June 14, 1940, the USSR, accusing the Lithuanian government of violating the treaty, demanded the creation of a new government, and on June 15 of the same year, an additional contingent of Red Army troops was introduced into the country. On July 15, elections were held for the “People’s Seim”, and on July 21, the Lithuanian SSR was proclaimed as part of the Soviet Union.

In 1941-1944 Lithuania was occupied by Nazi Germany. From 1944, when the Soviet Army defeated the Nazi troops on the territory of Lithuania, until 1991, the Lithuanian SSR remained part of the USSR. The state system of the Lithuanian SSR was similar to the state system of other union republics, the laws of the republic corresponded to the laws of the USSR. Lithuania had its own constitution, according to which the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR was the supreme body of power, and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet was a permanent body. The Council of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR was the highest executive and administrative authority. Representatives of Lithuania also participated in the work of the highest authorities of the USSR.

During perestroika, in 1990, the Act of Restoring the Independence of Lithuania was adopted. In February 1991, the restored Republic of Lithuania was recognized by Iceland, in August 1991 – by Russia and the international community. In September 1991, Lithuania became a member of the UN, and on May 1, 2004, Lithuania joined the European Union.

History in Lithuania