Lithuania History

Lithuania History

The first settlements in the region are attributed to Baltic peoples who reached it from the southeast around 2500 BC. C. The Lithuanian polation, settled in the basin of the Nemunas river around the tenth century, organized itself into a series of principalities until the territory was attacked first by the Sword-carrying Knights, then by Teutonic Knights, who had taken on the task of subduing and evangelize that pagan people. The Lithuanians managed to defend themselves with their prince Mindaugas, winner of the Knights (1236) and then converted to Christianity and made king of Lithuania by Pope Innocent IV (1253). Mindaugas died and the thrust towards Christianity subsided, the bloody struggles with the Teutonic Knights continued. The merit goes to Grand Duke Gedimino (1316-41) for having reorganized the army and the state, for having founded Vilnius and forging a strategic alliance with Poland. His sons, Algirdas and Keistut, successfully fought the enemies of Lithuania: the first beat Tartars and Muscovites and came twice (1368, 1372) in sight of Moscow, the second repelled the continuous attacks of the Knights. Jogaila (Iagellone), son of Algirdas, accepted the Polish proposal to marry the heir to the throne, Hedwig (Jadwiga) of Anjou; on that occasion (1386) he was baptized with many Lithuanian nobles and became king (Ladislao II) of Poland. In the meantime (1385) the personal Polish-Lithuanian union had ended in Krewo which made the two nations the greatest Christian power in Eastern Europe. Visit securitypology for Typical Lithuania.

The Lithuanians had some fears for their independence and the Grand Duke Vytautas (Vitoldo), cousin of Jogaila, also demanded the royal title in vain for himself. The brotherhood between the Polish and Lithuanian nobility, sanctioned in Horodło (1413), resisted every shock: that brotherhood which had allowed the decisive victory of the Lithuanian-Poles over the Teutonic Knights (Grünwald, 1410). With the death of the great Vytautas (1430), Lithuania experienced a period of decline, while retaining its appearance as an independent state. Only much later (1569) a Polish king, Sigismund Augustus, wanted to unite Lithuania more closely to Poland in a state called “Respublica”, but ended up reducing the political influence of Lithuania, which was also forced to cede vast territories to the Polish crown (Podlacchia, Volinia and Podolia with Kijev). In the seventeenth century Lithuania, attacked by both the Swedes and the Russians, often found itself in a bad way. Russia increased its pressure and in the three divisions (1772, 1793, 1795) succeeded in annexing all of Lithuania: the Catholic religion and the Lithuanian language were threatened. All the Polish uprisings of the nineteenth century had their repercussions in Lithuania: therefore the police persecutions and the deportations of patriots worsened. But the Lithuanian national spirit had its revenge in February 1918, when Lithuania was established as an independent state under the interested protection of the Germans and, after the latter’s final defeat, as an independent republic.

His political life was troubled for years by the Vilna (Vilnius), which the victorious powers intended to leave to Lithuania and which Piłsudski’s Poland wanted to make its own, and also from the no less difficult question of Memel. In 1923 the Poles obtained Vilnius, but the situation remained tense. In September 1939 Lithuania entered the Soviet zone of influence; in 1940 it was annexed as a republic to the USSR. In 1941 it was occupied by the Germans who disposed of it until 1944, exterminating the Jewish minority. At the end of the war, Lithuania definitively returned to being a Socialist Republic of the USSR, acquiring part of the Vilnius region, already disputed to Poland. The annexation led to the flight abroad of many Lithuanians (to North America and Sweden) and the establishment of the underground resistance movement of the Forest Brothers (widespread in all the Baltic countries), active to an increasingly reduced and demonstrative until the 1960s. The initial objective of this formation was the struggle against the collectivization of the economy, hence the expression of the protest against deportations. Systematically started in 1945, these grew in intensity between 1948 and 1951, depriving the country of a few hundred thousand people. At the same time, the immigration of the Russian population took place, employed in public offices and in factories set up precisely by virtue of the characteristics of the relatively advanced and efficient local socio-economic system. However, there was not an influx equal to that experienced by the other Baltic Republics and the Russification process was therefore more limited also during the following decades, when the production system further consolidated its advantage over the rest of the Soviet Union. Subsequently, the democratization process, initiated by the as the productive system further consolidated its advantage over the rest of the Soviet Union. Subsequently, the democratization process, initiated by the as the productive system further consolidated its advantage over the rest of the Soviet Union. Subsequently, the democratization process, initiated by the glasnost in the second half of the Eighties, favored the expression of that national sentiment, repressed since the moment of annexation but still lively, which soon became the main factor for the renewal of political life: first through autonomist claims, endorsed by the Lithuanian Communist Party, then through the Sajudis National Front (established on June 3, 1988). From the first major public demonstration (August 1987) to condemn the Molotov – Ribbentrop pact, the political value of the democratic movement, constantly increased, was transformed, before that in the other Baltic countries, from a supporter of Gorbachev’s reform action.in its opposition to favor a radical secession.

Lithuania History