Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

State

Capital

Lithuania

Vilnius

Currency unit

Lit

Connections

Baltic

Borders

EU

NATO

Nordic

USSR

Wars

Kaliningrad

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

In the 14th century Lithuania was the name of a state which ruled much of Poland and all of the Ukraine as far as the Black Sea. In 1569 the nobility agreed to form a joint kingdom of Lithuania and Poland, which until then had been ruled jointly by the kings of the Jagellonian dynasty. From then the Lithuanian state was in fact more Polish than Lithuanian in its language and ethnicity.

The people speak a language which belongs to an Indo-European group probably older than Slavic, which suggests the people have been there a long time, earlier than their Slav neighbors. Latvian is the only living relative.

The modern state is one of the three Baltic states until recently part of the Soviet Union. These were ruled by Russia until 1918. As part of the Brest-Litovsk treaty they were occupied by the Germans and were independent from 1919 until 1939 when they were occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by the Germans. Stalin claimed that they had joined the Soviet Union at their own request, but the present democratically elected governments deny this. Western governments never recognized the incorporation. In 1990 all three declared independence but only made it effective in September 1991.

On 13 January 1991 Soviet troops occupied public buildings and a government supported by the Soviet Union was formed.

In early 1991 while the Gulf War was occupying the attention of western governments the Soviet government appeared to be trying to assert central control through the military and by setting up a "National Salvation Committee" as a cover in order to bypass the elected government. Independence was achieved in August 1991.

Although the Baltic states have achieved independence they may find themselves very weak and perhaps under the influence of Germany. Perhaps there may be closer cooperation with Scandinavia, but Lithuania may have disputes with its neighbors, especially Russia and Poland. Admitted to membership of the UN in September 1991. The city of Kaliningrad (Koenigsberg) and the surrounding territory is a Russian enclave, separated by Lithuanian territory. Its former German inhabitants may exert at least informal claims upon property there. Russian fascists are calling for the renewal of the empire.

Russian troops have withdrawn.

Lithuania applied for admission to NATO and the EU and joined the EU in 2004.

The large Russian minority may be the cause of disputes with Russia. After the Russian invasion of Georgia, it is possible to imagine trouble in the future, if the Russian government claims Russians are being mistreated.

Languages

Lithuanian

The language is Indo-European but not Slavic, in a family with Lettish (Latvian).

Polish

Russian
Interesting Reading
Anita Prazmowska - A History of Poland




Poland: A Modern History

Norman Davies - Vanished Kingdoms


Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe


See also his God's Playground, two volume history of Poland

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

Politics

Multi-party elections have been held and a nationalist party gained control in 1990.

The Democratic Labor Party (former Communists) regained power in October 1992 elections.

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

Economics

Lithuania had a slightly more advanced economy than the Soviet Union. Privatization of land has already been occurred and locally controlled businesses show signs of being more entrepreneurial than in Russia. However most industries were controlled by Soviet ministries and conformed to the Central Plan.

The years since independence have seen progress towards a market economy.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

The Soviet Union left many polluted sites, especially the former military bases.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

The treatment of minorities, especially Poles and Russians gives rise to concern. As in the Balkans there is a danger that the intolerant small country nationalism which prevailed before 1939 may be resumed. Polish autonomous councils were dissolved in 1991. The Polish government has protested. Membership of the EU should moderate these tensions - but not with Russia.

Climate effects

Last revised 20/10/11


Europe


World Info


Home

Return to the top


Since 20/10/11

eXTReMe Tracker