The Lithuanians and the Poles revolted twice, in 1831 and 1861, but both attempts failed. In 1840 the Lithuanian laws were replaced by Russian laws. Lithuania was renamed the “Territory of the Northwest.” 1 In 1864 the Lithuanian language and the Latin alphabet were banned in junior schools. Lithuanians resisted the Russification process by arranging printing abroad and smuggling in books. 2 The forced Russification of all aspects of life in Lithuania existed from 1865 to 1904. Despite Russian attempts to integrate Lithuania by the end of the 19th century, Lithuania had developed a growing nationalist movement. On 5 December 1905 during the Russian revolutionary upsurge, a congregation of Lithuanian representatives gained provincial autonomy. In 1915 during World War I Lithuania was occupied by Germany. The subsequent collapse of the Russian government led to the proclamation of an independent republic on 16 February 1918 under German control. Lithuania gained full independence upon Germany’s surrender on 11 November 1918. From July to November 1918, Lithuania had a monarch, King Mindaugas II, as the titular head of the Kingdom of Lithuania until the country’s parliament voted for a republican form of government. 3
1 Rosemary Chrorzempa, Polish Roots, 87.
2 History of Lithuania, online , data downloaded 13 January 2008.
3 Act of Lithuanian Independence, online , data downloaded 13 January 2008.