God Bless America

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Slavs & Balts

Republic of Lithuania

Capitol: Vilnius (Population - 583,400)

  Vilnius.....    neris.mii.lt/towns/vilnius/vilnius.html

The information on this site is subject to disclaimer  CHECK.GIF (1419 bytes) Disclaimer

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External Links to: Pictures from Lithuania

Spectacular Pictures are brought to you by:
Photos from Lithuania

(Photos belong to the Eurpean Commission)

More pictures of Lithuania including Vilnius University, Vilnius Cathedral, Trakai Castle, Nemunas River and much more.

External Links to: Lithuanian History from 

Abridged history of Lithuania:

There is a lovely country, our beloved lovely Lithuania

More of Lithuanian Abridged History

Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 and then overrun by Nazis ( Germany in 1941) and then again by the Soviets.

One of the most informative sites on the Web

Another Very Informative Lithuanian Sites: Nations Online


External Links to: Lithuanian Language Courses

Basic Lithuanian
Language Course:

Local Lingo: A site that helps you learn the Basic Lithuanian Language at the University of Washington

Lithuanian Pronounciator: angelfire.com

Lithuanians Abroad External Links to:

Lithuanians In America as early as mid-eighteen hundreds

The essence of Lithuanian history and culture, as it is reflected in published works, is well represented in the
Library of Congress

Researching Lithuanians in America

Canada's multicultural policies debated in central Europe

External Links to: Lithuanian Born or of Lithuanian  Descent - Great Men and Women:

Lithuanians in the Arts, Business, Literatue, Politics and the Sciences.

Lithuanian Theather
Music and Cinema

Encyclopedia: Famous lithuanian  People.

Some more:
List of famous Lithuanians

This Website has a long list of Famous Lithuanians


General information*   

"Independent between the two World Wars, Lithuania was annexed by the USSR in 1940. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first of the Soviet republics to declare its independence, but this proclamation was not generally recognized until September of 1991 (following the abortive coup in Moscow). The last Russian troops withdrew in 1993. Lithuania subsequently has restructured its economy for eventual integration into Western European institutions."
-- CIA World Factbook

Lithuania is now a member of  NATO and the European Union

Location:  Eastern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, between Latvia and Russia
Map Reference: Europe

Area total: 65,200 sq km land: 65,200 sq km water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative:  comparative: slightly larger than West Virginia

Land boundaries: Land boundaries: total: 1,273 km border countries: Belarus 502 km, Latvia 453 km, Poland 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad) 227 km Coastline: 99 km

Capital: Vilnius

Climate:  transitional, between maritime and continental; wet, moderate winters and summers

Terrain:  lowland, many scattered small lakes, fertile soil

Natural Resources: peat

Population:  3,620,756 (July 2000 est.)

Ethnic groups:  Lithuanian 80.6%, Russian 8.7%, Polish 7%, Byelorussian 1.6%, other 2.1%

Religions:  Roman Catholic (primarily), Lutheran, Russian Orthodox, Protestant, evangelical Christian Baptist, Muslim, Jewish

Languages:  Lithuanian (official), Polish, Russian

Government type: parliamentary democracy Independence: 6 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

Independence Day, 16 February (1918); note - 16 February 1918 is the date of independence from German, Austrian, Prussian, and Russian occupation, 11 March 1990 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution adopted 25 October 1992

Literacy:  98.0 %

Currency: 1 Lithuanian litas = 100 centas

Economy: Lithuania, the Baltic state that has conducted the most trade with Russia, has slowly rebounded from the 1998 Russian financial crisis. Unemployment remains high, still 10.7% in 2003, but is improving. Growing domestic consumption and increased investment have furthered recovery. Trade has been increasingly oriented toward the West. Lithuania has gained membership in the World Trade Organization and has moved ahead with plans to join the EU. Privatization of the large, state-owned utilities, particularly in the energy sector, is nearing completion. Overall, more than 80% of enterprises have been privatized. Foreign government and business support have helped in the transition from the old command economy to a market economy.
GDP: purchasing power parity -$30.08 billion (2002 est.)

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 8%  industry: 31%
services: 61% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  1.5 million (2001 est.)

Budget: revenues: revenues: $1.59 billion  expenditures: $1.77 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)

Industries:  metal-cutting machine tools, electric motors, television sets, refrigerators and freezers, petroleum refining, shipbuilding (small ships), furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilizers, agricultural machinery, optical equipment, electronic components, computers, amber
--CIA World Factbook

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Europa: europa.eu.int

National Weather Service
Internet Weather Source  Lithuania and the World 

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Number of Lithuanians in the US

Lithuanian Home Page

The Lifeline of  Every Lithuanian:   The Lithuanian Culture www2.gol.com/users/lithemb/eng/culture.html

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Got comments, complaints, suggestions, inputs, Slavic images and your URLs? 
mailto: AmericanSlavs@Yahoo.com

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Lithuanians belong to the Baltic group of nations
"Their ancestors moved to the Baltic region about 3000 B.C. from beyond the Volga region of central Russia. In Roman times, they traded amber with Rome and around A.D. 900-1000 split into different language groups, namely, Lithuanians, Prussians, Latvians, Semigallians, and others. The Prussians were conquered by the Teutonic Knights, and, ironically, the name "Prussia" was taken over by the conquerors, who destroyed or assimilated Prussia's original inhabitants. Other groups also died out or were assimilated by their neighbors. Only the Lithuanians and the Latvians survived the ravages of history. Traditions of Lithuanian statehood date from the early Middle Ages. As a nation, Lithuania emerged about 1230 under the leadership of Duke Mindaugas. He united Lithuanian tribes to defend themselves against attacks by the Teutonic Knights, who had conquered the kindred tribes of Prussia and also parts of present-day Latvia. In 1251 Mindaugas accepted Latin Christianity, and in 1253 he became king. But his nobles disagreed with his policy of coexistence with the Teutonic Knights and with his search for access to western Europe. Mindaugas was killed, the monarchy was discontinued, and the country reverted to paganism. His successors looked for expansion toward the Slavic East. At that early stage of development, Lithuania had to face the historically recurring question dictated by its geopolitical position--whether to join western or eastern Europe. At the end of the fourteenth century, Lithuania was already a large empire extending from the Baltic Sea to the shores of the Black Sea. Grand Duke Jogaila (r. 1377-81 and 1382-92) of the Gediminas Dynasty faced a problem similar to that faced by Mindaugas 150 years earlier: whether to look to the East or the West for political and cultural influences. Under pressure from the Teutonic Knights, Lithuania, a kingdom of
Lithuanians and Slavs, pagans and Orthodox Christians, could no longer stand alone. Jogaila chose to open links to western Europe and to defeat the Teutonic Knights, who claimed that their mission was not to conquer the Lithuanians but to Christianize them. He was offered the crown of Poland, which he accepted in 1386. In return for the crown, Jogaila promised to Christianize Lithuania. He and his cousin Vytautas, who became Lithuania's grand duke, converted Lithuania to Christianity beginning in 1387.

Lithuania was the last pagan country in Europe to become Christian. The cousins then defeated the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Tannenberg in 1410, stopping Germanic expansion to the east.

Attempts by Vytautas to separate Lithuania from Poland (and to secure his own crown) failed because of the strength of the Polish nobility. Lithuania continued in a political union with Poland. In 1569 Lithuania and Poland united into a single state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, whose capital was Kraków, and for the next 226 years Lithuania shared the fate of Poland. During this period, Lithuania's political elite was dominated by the Polish nobility and church, resulting in neglect of the Lithuanian language and introduction of Polish social and political institutions. It also opened the doors to Western models in education and culture.

In 1795 an alliance between the Germanic states--Prussia and Austria--and the Russian Empire ended Poland's independent existence. Lithuania became a Russian province. Two insurrections, initiated by the Poles in 1831 and again in 1863, failed to liberate the country. The Russian Empire eliminated Polish influence on Lithuanians and introduced Russian social and political institutions. Under tsarist rule, Lithuanian schools were forbidden, Lithuanian publications in the Latin script were outlawed, and the Roman Catholic Church was severely suppressed. However, the restrictive policies failed to extinguish indigenous cultural institutions and language.

A national awakening in the 1880s, led by the secular and clerical intelligentsia, produced demands for self-government. In 1905 Lithuania was the first of the Russian provinces to demand autonomy. Independence was not granted because the tsar firmly reestablished his rule after the Revolution of 1905. But the demand, articulated by the elected Grand Diet of Vilnius, was not abandoned. World War I led to the collapse of the two empires--the Russian and the German--making it possible for Lithuania to assert its statehood. Germany's attempt to persuade Lithuania to become a German protectorate was unsuccessful. On February 16, 1918, Lithuania declared its full independence, and the country still celebrates that day as its Independence Day." --The Library of Congress Country Studies

Line Reference Sources:
The Library of Congress Country Studies
The CIA World Factbook 2002 and The Library of Congress

Ukrania web directory

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