After the defeat of the German in World War II, however, Lithuania proclaimed the Republic: April 4 1919 Smetona took over the government provisionally. The struggles of possession between Poland and Russia began immediately, which ended with the stipulation of agreements under which the lines of demarcation with the western states and Estonia were defined.
Despite the occupation of Vilna by Polish troops, which arose under the command of General Zeligowski, the Brussels conference had established on October 10, 1920 that it was an essential condition of eastern peace, the assignment of Vilna to Lithuania, what happened on May 9, 1921. Then in March 1923 the territory of the Memel area was also attributed to Lithuania, on condition that the current order was maintained.
In 1939, with the Second World War, the Memel territory was forfeited from Germany. In 1940 it passed to the Soviet Union and then again a year later it returned to Germany until in 1944 it was definitively joined to the Soviet Union.
Then, once again being one of the Soviet republics, it underwent a clear transformation in the economic field, starting with the radical agrarian reform that led to the collectivization of the lands. Then the nationalization of industries and banks followed. Vast population changes also occurred in the country as the Soviets moved 120,000 Lithuanians to the northern Urals and areas of the Caucasus which, as a result of war and mass deportations, had remained almost completely depopulated. Furthermore, since many Lithuanians had followed the retreating Germans, many Russians had flown into the country.
According to Abbreviationfinder, an acronym site which also features history of Lithuania, the Lithuanians, however, opposed the regime imposed by the Soviet Union, but suffered extensive deportations. This did not prevent them, both in the 60s and 70s from trying to free themselves from Russian domination. And a glimmer of hope began with the advent of Gorbachev.
Thus was born the Lithuanian Movement for Reconstruction, called Sajudis, together with other nationalist political organizations. These demonstrated en masse during 1988 against the Russification of their state and to restore the Lithuanian official language. This was agreed, especially because of the great availability of the local Communist Party.
In March 1989 elections were held for the Pan-Soviet Congress of People’s Deputies. Sajudis won the majority of the seats. This was the main reason why the Soviet on May 18 approved the declaration of independence, which supported the supremacy of Lithuanian laws over those of the Soviet Union. Then freedom of worship and association were obtained, the split of the Lithuanian Communist Party from the Soviet one and a multi-party system favorable to national independence was adopted.
In February 1990 there were new elections; president became V. Landsbergis, leader of Sajudis, who officially declared independence on March 11 and brought back the old denomination of the state, that is Republic of Lithuania.
But after a few days, on March 17, the Communist exponent Mrs. K. Prunskiene, was appointed Prime Minister while the Pan-Soviet Congress contested the declaration of independence and Soviet troops occupied some party buildings and newspaper offices.
In April the Soviet Union imposed the economic embargo, especially on fuel, which lasted until June when Lithuania agreed to suspend the declaration of independence for six months.
And when in January 1991 the delegates of the two countries had not yet met to discuss the matter, Landsbergis declared the suspension lapsed, thus causing the intervention of the Soviets, who occupied many public buildings, including the radio headquarters. Thirteen were the dead in the circumstance and about 500 were injured among the people who had risen en masse.
But in the meantime, due to conflicts over internal politics, the prime minister had been replaced. The new premier was G. Vignorius. The Lithuanian people supported the choices of the Supreme Council and on February 9 in a referendum declared themselves in favor of independence.
But what facilitated its achievement was the failure of a coup d’état in August 1991 he registered in Moscow. The controversy ended; Soviet troops were expelled from the territory, the communist party was banned and immediately 40 states recognized independent Lithuania, as did the Soviet Union on 6 September. On September 17 Lithuania was admitted to the United Nations.
We immediately thought about the economy and first the state confiscated the assets of both the Lithuanian and Soviet communist parties, then the prices of the goods were liberalized, even of the basic necessities.
Contrasts then developed for that law, approved in 1989, which granted citizenship rights only to those who had been resident in Lithuania for over ten years. This, in fact, penalized those Russians and Poles, ethnic minorities, already lacking administrative autonomy in those countries where they instead constituted the majority.
In 1992 a serious economic crisis occurred. The consequences were great: the consensus with Sajudis registered a big drop and a proposal by Landsbergis to establish a Presidential Republic was sensationally rejected. And in the October general elections the Democratic Labor Party, led by A. Brazauskas, had the majority.
Relations with Moscow continued to be tense and one of the biggest problems, then finally resolved in August 1993, was the withdrawal of Soviet troops, which came under the control of the Russian Federation.
Another serious difficulty was represented by the passage on Lithuanian territory of the war materials that Moscow regularly sent to the Kaliningrad area. And also for this reason an agreement was reached in November 1993.
Relations with Poland remained tense, which accused Lithuania of discriminating against the Polish minority existing in the country. But also in this field a climate of relaxation and pacification was established since Lithuania in April 1994 signed an agreement for the recognition of rights to all minorities and in June 1996 agreed for the formation of a free trade area.
In December 1995 the application for membership of the European Union was presented. Meanwhile, the Brazauskas government was implicated in some corruption cases and was also involved in the bankruptcy of various banks. So in the elections of October 1996 he was largely defeated and the new center-right coalition government was formed by G. Vagnorius, who continued the program of liberalization of the economy, which had already started with previous governments.
In January 1998 the presidential elections were won by the conservative V. Adamkus. In May 1999 Vagnorius, opposed by the new president, resigned and the position was taken by the conservative R. Paskas.