history of Lithuania
Lithuania’s first famous settlement dates to the last ice age of 10000 BC. The hunters were gradually replaced by farmers. The origin of the Baltic tribes is controversial in this area, but it is probably 2500 BC. These ancestors of Lithuania were outside the main migration routes and are thus among the oldest European tribes to have settled in almost the present European area.
These Baltic peoples traded amber with the Romans and then fought the Vikings. During this period, only a small tribe from the vicinity of Vilnius was known as Lithuania, but it was this tribe that strengthened the majority of the other Baltic tribes. This process intensified during the reign of King Mindavas who became a Christian and in 1253 received the crown from the Pope. After his death, the Grand Duchess of Lithuania went back to blasphemous practices, leading to centuries of conflict with the Teutonic Knights.
The final adoption of Christianity by the Grand Duke Jogela (1387) did not deter the knights. The people of Lithuania formed a lasting alliance with Poland, which eventually eliminated the threat of the Teutonic. The Grand Duke Whiteouts ruled Lithuania in the 15th century, becoming the largest state in Europe, extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
A new threat from the east came with Moscow gaining power and conquering the lands. In response, Lithuania and Poland formed the Commonwealth in 1569. Initially, it succeeded in preventing enemies. However, political alliances gradually led to the gradual polonization of Lithuanian rule because the Lithuanians of that time considered Polish culture beyond.
By the 17th century, Poland-Lithuania was undermined by a unique but tightly-managed political system of “noble democracy,” where consensus was a prerequisite for any important decision. The Commonwealth lost a series of wars that ended its noble position of power. At the end of the 18th century (1772-17179), Persia, Austria, and Russia completely divided the country and annexed it to the main Lithuanian mainland under Russian rule.
The Russians banned the Lithuanian language and suppressed the Catholic religion. There were two failed revolts to restore Poland-Lithuania (1831 and 1863), but eventually the national revival set a goal for both Lithuania and Russia independent of Poland. After the Russian Empire and the Germans surrendered in the First World War, the restoration of the state was finally possible.
Limited industrial revolution and urbanization took place at the end of the 19th century, but the newly independent Lithuania was still an agricultural society. The short period of prosperous independence was again shortened by World War II (1940). Lithuania was once occupied by Nazi Germany and twice by the Soviet Union, both powers that committed genocide. The brutal occupation continued for 45 years and ended only in 1990. During this period hundreds of thousands of people, including the entire intellectual elite, were killed, tortured or deported to Siberia in cattle cars. This has created deep economic, psychological and spiritual stains within the Lithuanian nation.
The guerrilla campaigns of the 1940s-1950s were crushed and faced no resistance, but the massive prostitution movement (established in 1988) made it clear that even the Soviet machine was not able to suppress the Lithuanian intention of independence. On March 11, 1990, Lithuania became the first country under Soviet control that restored independence, and despite Soviet aggression in 1991, which killed 20 people, that independence was not overturned. In fact, this led to (among other reasons) the complete collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991.
In the 1990s, Lithuania saw a rapidly revitalizing capitalist economy and saw a massive economic boom, with modern skyscrapers such as buildings, malls, homes, cars and decorative cities in Vilnius. , Klaipeda, Kansas and other cities. But the Soviet years left the West’s economy decades behind. Many Lithuanians were disappointed with unfulfilled hopes of a faster migration. This migration reached epic proportions after Lithuania joined the European Union in 2004: the country lost 20% of its population to the West’s new accessible markets.