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By A. Kasekamp

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were the battleground for neighbouring powers and the location of extreme competition, but in addition interplay, among East and West. A background of the Baltic States masterfully lines the improvement of those 3 Baltic international locations, from the northern crusades opposed to Europe's final pagans, and Lithuania's upward thrust to turn into one among medieval Europe's largest
states, to their incorporation into the Russian Empire and the production in their smooth nationwide identities.

Drawing upon the latest scholarship, Andres Kasekamp can pay specific awareness to the tumultuous 20th century, in which the Baltic States accomplished independence, but in addition persevered profession through either the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. eventually, he explores how the Baltic States recovered their statehood and reworked themselves into contributors of the eu Union. truly and accessibly written, this is often one of many first English-language books to supply a comparative survey of Baltic historical past.

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In 1382 he negotiated an alliance with the order under which he promised to become baptised, but subsequently backed out of the deal. Two years later, he rejected his mother’s plan for him to marry the daughter of Dmitry Donskoi, the Grand Duke of Muscovy. A Polish alliance seemed to be the best of the three options since it would stem the growing threat from the Teutonic Order whose attacks in recent years had penetrated deeper into Lithuania’s heartland. A golden opportunity presented itself 24 L I T H U A N I A ’S E X P A N S I O N AND MEDIEVAL LIVONIA ( 1290- 1560) when Polish lords sought to prevent the marriage of Jadwiga, the heiress to the Polish throne, to her betrothed Austrian Habsburg prince.

Compared to western Europe, the Livonian parishes were widely dispersed and weakly devel­ oped. Baptism during the crusade had been simply a mere formality. Because the distance between one church and another in the country­ side was often great and because the office of priest in a Livonian parish attracted few candidates, the most important role in introducing the Chris­ tian faith to the people was played by mendicant friars who served as roaming preachers and administers of sacraments. The first monastic order established in Livonia was the Cistercians who founded the first monastery at Dunamiinde (DaugavgrTva) in 1207.

Among the Henrican Articles, the new king had to promise to respect religious freedom and to convene the Sejm at least every two years. The right to declare war and levy new taxes belonged to the Sejm, not the monarch. 5 This set a prece­ dent for all subsequent Polish-Lithuanian sovereigns, who in addition to adherence to the Henrican Articles had to negotiate an individual Pacta Conventa stipulating additional specific conditions before being crowned. Henry’s rule, however, lasted only a few months until he returned hastily to Prance to claim the Prench throne after his brother’s death.

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