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OFFICIAL NAME OF THE COUNTRY: Lithuania (Republic of Lithuania)

LOCATION: On the north Lithuania borders on Latvia, on the east and south on Lefkorussia, on the south-west on Russia and Poland and on the west on Baltic Sea.


LANGUAGE: The Proto-Baltic, the mother language from which the known Baltic languages have resulted has been formed by the dialects of the north regions of Proto-Indo-European. In these dialects were included also the Slav and German protolanguage. The close connection of Baltic, Slav and German languages becomes obvious by several similarities. Because of the constant relation between the Baltic and Slav tribes, the Baltic and Slav languages have more common linguistic characteristics than the other Indo-European languages. The Lithuanian language is of great importance for the comparative study of Indo-European linguistics because its dialects have more archaic types than the other living Indo-European languages. The Lithuanian language is divided into two dialects very different between them. The two most important are the western Lithuanian with three dialects or idioms and the upper or eastern Lithuanian with four dialects or idioms. The western Lithuanian is spoken by the inhabitants of the plains who live on the west along the Baltic Sea, while the upper Lithuanian is spoken by the inhabitants of the mountainous regions who live on the eastern and bigger part of Lithuania. The common Lithuanian which was formed at the end of the 19th and in the beginning of the 20th century is based on the southern idiom of the western Lithuanian. The Lithuanian alphabet is based on the Latin alphabet. It has 33 letters and several distinctive elements. It uses three different accents to show the quality of the syllable.

POLITICAL SYSTEM AND LAW: Parliamentary Democracy.

GEOGRAPHY: The area of Lithuania is 65.301 sq. km.

POPULATION: Lithuania’s population is 3.724.000 people.

HISTORY: By the 5th century Baltic and Slavonic tribes were united in order to confront the invasions of Scandinavians. During the 9th and 10th century they lashed out at the Russians. Known as Slavs of Latvia (Lithuania), these tribes had to encounter the invasion of German tribes. The king Mindaugas reigned over the country from 1200 to 1263 and unified the Lithuanians princes. The Grand Duke inaugurated a period of grandeur and created the Lithuanian state, which became one of the major European powers.

When the Grand Duke Giagelon became king of Poland in 1936 unified the nations of Lithuania and Poland. Lithuanians accede to the Catholics. During the 15th century the duchy extended from the Baltic to the Black Sea. When the last of the Giagelon dynasty died, the throne fell vacant.

Lithuania had the destiny of Poland.

The partitions of the 18th century gave to Russia the whole Lithuania except for Bialistock, which devolved to Prussia, which in its turn gave it to Russia in 1807.

Lithuania had then a national and linguistic regeneration. In 1905 the Lithuanians gained the right their language to be taught. In 1915 Lithuania was conquered by the Germans but in 1918 it was liberated and was nominated democracy. Lithuania was recognized by Russia but in 1920 was seized by Poland. In 1940 Lithuania was seized by the Soviets and became soviet democracy and was incorporated in the Soviet Union. From 1941 until 1944 Lithuania was under German occupation. In 1944 Lithuania became again socialistic democracy.

The winds of political renewal of the Soviet Union at the end of the decade of 1980 caused the resurgence of nationalism in Baltic democracies of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. In 1990 followed the declaration of independence of the country and its exclusion from Moscow. But after the outcry against the invasion of the soviet army in January of 1991 the soviet state council recognized Lithuania’s independence. In 1993 the Russian army relinquished the country and Lithuania became member of the European Council.

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Latest update of this page: 2005-06-28 
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