Lithuania Brief History
The most ancient human settlements, in southern Lithuania, date back to the upper Paleolithic (Swiderian aspects). There are also numerous Mesolithic finds, in particular Maglemosian (8th-5th millennium BC). Between the 4th and the 3rd millennium the Neolithic cultural manifestations characterized by comb pottery arise. At the beginning of the 2nd millennium the culture of cordicella pottery penetrates from the south, where the naviform ax is present. For the Bronze Age (1600-500 BC) the findings are more abundant: in the most ancient phase the burial predominates, while the cremation is affirmed later. The latter is still attested in the Iron Age, a period that ends at the end of the 1st century. B.C For Lithuania 2008, please check payhelpcenter.com.
From the origins to the 19th century
Lithuanians remained isolated for a long time before entering European life (hence their tenacious preservation of language, naturist religious beliefs, ethnic customs and traditions). It was the pressure of the Teutonic knights that urged them to a state organization: the knights were defeated (1236) by Mindaugas who, later converted to Christianity (1253), was crowned king. His successors returned to paganism; with Gediminas (1316-41), the Lithuania extended over territories inhabited by Slavs, until Vitebsk and Volhynia were annexed, offending the ambitions of the Muscovite princes. In the 14th century, therefore, Lithuania was a supranational state with Slavic and Orthodox populations; its rulers were still pagans, but the country’s official language was Belarusian.
The call to the throne of Poland of Duke Jogáila (who married the heir of the Polish crown Jadwiga with the name of Ladislao Jagieło) and the conclusion of the Krėva act (1385) of union of the Lithuania with Poland, with consequent baptism of the nobility Lithuanian, were made of historical significance throughout Europe; Lithuania, extended as far as Kiev and, with the Grand Duke Vytautas, as far as the Black Sea between the mouths of the Dnestr and the Dnieper, was linked to the Catholic West and the Polish-Lithuanian confederation became the strongest and largest Catholic state in Europe Oriental. The union, directed above all against the Teutonic danger, was perfected with the acts of Radom (1401), Horodło (1413), Lublin (1569). The Lithuania then followed the fate of Poland, underwent the vicissitudes of the divisions and passed under Russian rule (1795). Subjected to a harsh process of Russification (19th century), it was only thanks to J. Basanavičius that it experienced the rebirth of a national consciousness with the formation of a bourgeoisie as a strictly Lithuanian ruling class.
From the First World War to the Soviet era
In the First World War the Lithuania was occupied by German troops (1915). A council recognized by the occupation authorities proclaimed in Vilnius in February 1918 the reconstitution of the Lithuanian state, in a monarchical form, but after the end of the conflict a republic was proclaimed. The beginnings of the new state saw the Bolshevik occupation in the north-east and were troubled by the dispute for Vilnius with Poland, with which an agreement was reached only in 1938, and by the question of Memel (od. Klaipėda), the only port of the Lithuania and seat of a strong German community, to whose possession Germany aspired, which then held it from 1939 to 1945. In internal politics the country, after a coup d’etat in 1926, it developed in an authoritarian sense. In 1939 Germany recognized the Lithuania area of Soviet influence; incorporated into the USSR in 1940, it was subjected to a brutal regime, with thousands of arrests and deportations. Then occupied by the Germans in 1941, it suffered the annihilation of the Jewish community; in the autumn of 1944 it became one of the Soviet republics again.
Independence (1990) and the 2000s
In March 1990 the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuania unilaterally proclaimed independence, opening a period of bitter and non-bloodless conflict with the USSR, which finally recognized independence in 1991. Shortly thereafter, Lithuania became a member of the UN and of other international organizations. When the Soviet regime ended, it had to face, in addition to a heavy economic situation, a difficult transition of the political and institutional order. With an ethnically rather homogeneous population, it did not have the citizenship problems of the other two Baltic republics which hosted sizeable Russian minorities. The 1992 elections were won by the Democratic Labor Party of A. Brazauskas, of Communist ancestry, whose government obtained total withdrawal of troops from Russia in 1993. In 1996 a center-right coalition came to power, led by the conservative party (heir to the party that had brought the country to independence); divided on the privatization policy, the team was defeated in the 2000 elections which marked the affirmation of the social democratic coalition. The new government put a stop to the liberal policy while maintaining the commitments made at the international level not to compromise the country’s entries into NATO and the European Union, both made in 2004. The Social Democrats remained in government until 2008, when later in the elections a center-right executive headed by A. Kubilius was formed again. the team was defeated in the 2000 elections which marked the affirmation of the social democratic coalition. The new government put a stop to the liberal policy while maintaining the commitments made at the international level not to compromise the country’s entries into NATO and the European Union, both made in 2004. The Social Democrats remained in government until 2008, when later in the elections a center-right executive headed by A. Kubilius was formed again.Over the course of the following four years, the heavy austerity measures imposed by the severe economic crisis that hit European countries gradually eroded consensus for the premier’s conservative coalition, and in the first round of the legislature held in October 2012 it was imposed with 25.5 % of preferences the Labor Democratic Party of V. Uspaskič, which won the relative majority of votes, while the second round saw the affirmation of the Social Democratic Party of A. Butkevičius, which obtained 40 seats out of the 141 up for grabs. Parliament, against 29 from the Democratic Labor Party and 33 from the Conservative Party. The worsening of the economic crisis, combined with rigid social policies that penalized workers and forced mass emigration and the numerous corruption scandals involving members of the government, however, increased popular discontent, which explains the victory in the first round of the political elections held in the October 2016 of the new center-left coalition Union of the Greens and Lithuanian Peasants (LPGU), which obtained 24.6% of the votes in the first round, followed by the Conservatives (17.1%) and the Social Democrats (15.4%). The result was largely confirmed by the second round held in the same month, with the clear affirmation of the LPGU (21.7% of the votes), and the Christian Democratic Party (EPP, 21.5%), while the Social Democratic Party of Butkevičius received 14.4% of the votes;
The first round of the presidential elections held in May 2019 with a substantial turnout recorded the affirmation of the economist G. Nausėda, who obtained over 31% of the votes, followed by the conservative I. Šimonytė (25%) and the premier Skvernelis; in the second round Nausėda was elected president with over 73% of the vote, and took over from D. Grybauskaitė. In the legislative consultations held in October 2020, the EPP obtained 50 out of 141 seats, against the 32 seats awarded by the LPGU of Prime Minister Skvernelis.
From 1 July to 31 December 2013, Lithuania took over the presidency of the European Union, the first Baltic country to fill this role. Since 1 January 2015, the country has adopted the euro as its national currency.