- List of rulers of Lithuania
The following is a list of rulers over
Lithuania— grand dukes, kings, and presidents — the heads of authority over historical Lithuanian territory. The timeline includes Lithuania as a sovereign entity or legitimately part of a greater sovereign entity as well as Lithuania under control or occupation of an outside authority (i.e., Lithuanian SSR). The incumbents and office-holders are listed by names most commonly used in English language. Where appropriate, the alternations in Lithuanian, Ruthenian (later Belarusian) and Polish are included.
The state of Lithuania formed in 1230s, when threatened by the Livonian Order in the north and the
Teutonic Knightsin the west, Baltic tribes united under Mindaugasleadership. He became the only crowned king of Lithuania. His state became know as Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After Grand Duke Jogailabecame also king of Polandin 1386, the two states became closer connected and since 1440 both were ruled by a common ruler. In 1569 Union of Lublinwas signed and a new entity—the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth—emerged. The commonwealth was partitioned in 1795 and Lithuania became part of the Russian Empiretill February 16, 1918. The Council of Lithuaniawas able to establish the sovereignty only in 1919, after Germanylost the World War I. The first republic of Lithuania existed till 1940 when it was occupied by the Soviet Union. During the Soviet-German War, Lithuania was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1944, as Germany was losing the war, Russia re-occupied Lithuania and established the Lithuanian SSR. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence. The restored Republic of Lithuania is a democratic republic, a member of both the European Unionand NATO.
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1236–1569)
Grand Duke( _lt. didysis kunigaikštis; _be. vialiki kniaź; _pl. wielki książę) except for Mindaugas, who became king of Lithuania ( _lt. Lietuvos karalius).
Early Grand Dukes (1236–1291)
Dates are approximate because of scant written sources.
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1795)
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealthwas established by Union of Lublinin 1569. The elected King of Poland was automatically made the Grand Duke of Lithuania (until then Lithuanian dukedom was hereditary). The first ruler of the common country was Sigismund II Augustus. Following the partitions in 1772, 1793, and 1795, the commonwealth ceased to exist and Lithuania became part of the Russian Empire for 123 years. There are some gaps in the timeline as it took a while to elect a new king.
Title: King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania ( _lt. Lenkijos karalius ir Lietuvos didysis kunigaikštis; _be. karol Polščy, vialiki kniaź litoŭski; _pl. Król Polski, wielki książę litewski).
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet acted as a collective head of state from August 25, 1940 to March 11, 1990.
Republic of Lithuania (from 1990)
The leader of the Supreme Council was the official head of state from the declaration of independence on March 11, 1990 until the new Constitution came into effect in 1992 establishing the office of President and the institution of
Seimas. The state and its leadership were not recognized internationally until September 1991.
Title from 1990 to 1992: Chairman of the Supreme Council (Parliament) ( _lt. Aukščiausiosios Tarybos pirmininkas).
Title from 1992 onwards: President ( _lt. Prezidentas).
List of early Lithuanian dukes
* [http://www.president.lt/institution/istorija History] , "Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania". Accessed August 26, 2006.
* Vytautas Spečiūnas (ed.), Lietuvos valdovai (XIII-XVIII a.) (Rulers of Lithuania (13–18th centuries)), "Mokslo ir enicklopedijų leidybos institutas", Vilnius 2004. ISBN 5-420-01535-8
* [http://www.worldstatesmen.org/Lithuania.htm Another list of Lithuanian rulers]
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