New PDF release: A history of the Baltic States

By A. Kasekamp

ISBN-10: 0230019412

ISBN-13: 9780230019416

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were the battleground for neighbouring powers and the positioning of severe contention, but in addition interplay, among East and West. A background of the Baltic States masterfully lines the advance of those 3 Baltic nations, from the northern crusades opposed to Europe's final pagans, and Lithuania's upward push to turn into one among medieval Europe's largest
states, to their incorporation into the Russian Empire and the production in their sleek 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 persisted profession by means of either the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. eventually, he explores how the Baltic States recovered their statehood and remodeled themselves into individuals of the eu Union. essentially and accessibly written, this is often one of many first English-language books to supply a comparative survey of Baltic background.

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Extra info for A history of the Baltic States

Sample text

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.

Grand Duke Gediminas (ruled 1316^41) was the most sig­ nificant ruler of pagan Lithuania and was credited with consolidating and expanding the state. Gediminas built his citadel at Vilnius in 1323 and fostered economic development. 1 Among those he welcomed were Jews. Ged­ iminas allowed Catholic priests into the country in order to minister to foreign merchants, but not to proselytise. Under Gediminas, Lithuania expanded further into the lands of Rus’, annexing most of the territory of present-day Belarus.

The Danes and their vassals had no option other than to turn to the order for protection. The order routed the rebels outside the walls of Reval while the latter were awaiting assistance from Swedish forces in Finland. The order, nevertheless, found itself hardpressed, since the uprising spread across Estonian inhabited lands and coincided with Lithuanian and Pskovian raids into Livonia. As in previ­ ous struggles, the last Estonians to be subdued were those on the island of Osel (Saaremaa) in 1345.

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A history of the Baltic States by A. Kasekamp


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