Sample Lithuania - History (Grades 6-8) Worksheet
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Lithuania - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman
1 Lithuanian history is rich and complex. The history of Lithuania is very important to modern Lithuanians. They refer to history often in conversations, stories, and songs. And while the country itself is not big, a lot has happened to this tiny nation in the last thousand years.
2 Lithuania was first mentioned in 1007 AD, in the Annals of Quedlinburg. The Annals were a set of historical documents written by monks. Despite being mentioned in the Annals, the country of Lithuania was not actually a country until 1236. It was then that the Grand Duke Mindaugus united lands owned by native Baltic tribes into the country of Lithuania. In 1253, Mindaugus accepted Christianity and a crown from the Catholic Pope. In doing so, he became the first and only king in Lithuania's history.
3 About 130 years later, a Lithuanian named Jogaila became king of neighboring Poland. This began 400 years of close cooperation between Lithuania and Poland. This cooperation led to a great deal of shared history and culture between the two countries. Lithuania grew for the next 50 years or so. It took in lands from neighboring Byelorussia, Ukraine, and Russia.
4 During the 16th century, Lithuania's power started to go down. Because of that, Lithuania wanted to strengthen its relationship with Poland. In 1569, Lithuania signed the Union of Lublin with Poland. The Union created a republic from the two countries, with a shared ruler and a joint ruling body. Proud of its history and heritage, Lithuania kept its own laws, language, money, and army. Although Lithuania tried to keep its own identity in the Union, many history books call the entire Union simply Poland.
5 Lithuania found itself at war with Russia during the 17th century. For the first time in its history, a foreign army--the Russians--occupied the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. After repeated struggles with Russia--and Sweden, Austria, and Prussia--Lithuania was finally separated from Poland at the end of the 18th century. For the next 123 years, Lithuania was a part of Russia.
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