Lithuania History

Lithuania History

Lithuania is the largest and southernmost of the three Baltic countries. It is located in eastern Poland and on the Baltic Sea. It has a relief dominated by hills, forests and lakes. Its capital and most important city is Vilnius. It preserves the most authentic traditions of its culture. Vilnius is the capital city of Lithuania according to itypejob.

For much of the 20th century it was named the Lithuanian Soviet Republic.

Lithuania is located in northeastern Europe, on the shores of the Baltic, between Latvia and Russia. It is bordered to the north by Latvia, to the south and east by Belarus, to the southeast by Poland and to the west by the Baltic Sea.


Old age

The first residents were a branch of the ancient group known as Baltos, whose tribes also included the original Prussians and Latvians. The Baltos or aestiis were a unique Indo-European ethnic group, being distinct from the Italic, Greek, Celtic, Slavic, Balkan and Germanic ethnic groups. These Baltic tribes were strongly influenced by the Germans, although they also had commercial ties with the Roman Empire. The first known references onr. Sourcee Lithuania as a nation (Litua) come from the annals of the Quedlinburg monastery dated February 19, 1009.

Middle Ages

The territory that currently corresponds to Lithuania dates back in its political origins to the 13th century as a medieval state. It was first an independent grand duchy. The date of the constitution of the first Lithuanian state is considered to be the official coronation of Mindaugas, on July 6, 1253 in Vilnius, which united the rival Lithuanian dukes into a single state. In 1241, 1259, 1275 and 1277 the kingdom was invaded by the Mongols kings of the Horde Gold. The Mongols were defeated in 1377 in “Blue Waters”. In 1385 it joined with Poland after the coronation as king of Vladislovas II Jogaila.

In 1401 Vytautas, Jogaila’s cousin, was proclaimed Grand Duke of Lithuania and the union of the two countries was dissolved. Thanks to the cooperation of both countries, the Lithuanian and Polish armies defeated the Teutonic Order at the Battle of Grünwald in 1410. It was the largest battle on European soil fought in the entire 15th century.

Modern age

Later it was again annexed to Poland forming the Republic of the Two Nations or Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania by virtue of the dynastic union of the two states in 1569, thus becoming the largest country in Europe. Under the system of union of the two countries, Lithuania was able to retain its own self-government. Later it was incorporated into Russia in 1795 under the reign of Catherine II of Russia, after a process of disintegration that lasted throughout the 18th century(partitions of Poland).

XIX century

At the end of the 18th century and until the beginning of the First World War, Lithuania regained its oligarchy, although it remained part of the Russian Empire. The repression of the Russian rulers against the Lithuanian people and culture provoked two major revolts in 1836 and 1863. After the last, books, newspapers and general teaching in the Lithuanian language were banned for the next 40 years.

First Independence and Soviet annexation

During the First World War, between 1914 and 1918 the Republic of Lithuania was occupied by Germany, declaring its independence again on February 16, 1918. Between 1918 and 1921 a war was fought against the newly proclaimed Republic of Poland, which attempted to annex the Lithuanian state. The war resulted in the loss of 20% of the territory, including the capital Vilna; the capital was temporarily relocated to Kaunas.

Justifying itself in the German-Soviet pacts, in June 1940 the troops of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) occupied the country, and in August of that year Lithuania was annexed, making it the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic; but from 1941 to 1944 Nazi Germany expelled the Red Army, so the Lithuanian society perceived the Germans as its liberators against Bolshevik imperialism, with the vast majority of its young people becoming integrated as prominent SS fighters helping the Nazis in the persecution of Jews Lithuanians and Poles, some 100,000 Jews being murdered throughout Lithuania, 70,000 in Vilna alone. However, with the military victory of the allied troops over the German army, Lithuania became part of the USSR, having been agreed in the Potsdam treaty of 1945.

Faced with this, the Lithuanian population continued the war against the Soviet Union, through guerrillas that fought until 1956. While the Western Countries considered this annexation an illegal act (following the Stimson doctrine), so they continued to maintain diplomatic relations with the representatives of the Lithuanian government in exile, and did not recognize the Lithuanian SSR as part of the Soviet Union. During the Soviet occupation, which lasted until 1991, the Soviets tried to dilute the Lithuanian culture and Russify the Baltic country, undermining the spread of the Lithuanian language and culture.

Second Independence and consolidation of democracy

In 1988 the Lithuanian Movement for Sąjūdis was formed, which triumphed in the 1989 elections in the USSR Congress of Deputies. In 1990 Vytautas Landsbergis was elected president, proclaiming the independence of Lithuania on March 11, 1990, supported by the so-called Singing Revolution. There was a harsh Soviet reply (military occupation of Vilna), and the massacre of 13 civilians that forced the suspension of the measure (May 1990). Following the failed August 1991 coup in Moscow, the country’s independence was recognized internationally.

Since its independence in 1991, the Lithuanian State has made major economic reforms, managing to go from being an economy in recession in 1991, to having an economic growth of 10.3% in 2003, with significant levels of growth prior to the economic crisis of 2008 – 2009, which has hit the country hard. During its first fifteen years of democracy, Lithuania has advanced in the recovery of its culture, from the language to the reconstruction of libraries, museums, churches and castles destroyed by the Soviets. The 1 of maypole in 2004 Lithuania became a member of the European Union after the measure approved by referendum in 2003.

Lithuania History