By A. Kasekamp
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were the battleground for neighbouring powers and the location of severe competition, but in addition interplay, among East and West. A background of the Baltic States masterfully strains the improvement of those 3 Baltic international locations, from the northern crusades opposed to Europe's final pagans, and Lithuania's upward thrust to develop into certainly one of medieval Europe's largest
states, to their incorporation into the Russian Empire and the construction in their smooth nationwide identities.
Drawing upon the newest scholarship, Andres Kasekamp will pay specific cognizance to the tumultuous 20th century, in which the Baltic States accomplished independence, but additionally persevered profession via either the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. ultimately, he explores how the Baltic States recovered their statehood and remodeled themselves into individuals of the ecu Union. sincerely 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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Extra info for A history of the Baltic States
Riga was elevated to an archbishopric in 1255. These ecclesiastical territories were interspersed with the possessions of the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order, the largest landholder. Together with the newly founded towns, this conglomerate of territories, covering the approximate territory of present-day Latvia and the southern half of Estonia, was known as Livonia. Its nominal head was the arch bishop of Riga, who received his authority from the Pope in Rome and enjoyed the status of a prince of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as of 1207.
By the end of the Middle Ages, there were 15 towns in Livonia. 27 Riga, the first town to be founded, has to this day remained the largest centre. Already in the 1220s Riga enjoyed the same rights as Visby, but adopted the Hamburg city charter in 1290. The other Livonian towns copied Riga. Reval received the rights of Ltibeck in 1248, followed by the other Estonian towns. Lithuanian towns received their own charters only after Lithuania’s conversion, more than a century later. Vilnius was the first, receiving the charter of Magdeburg in 1387.
This development hastened the process of reduc ing the rights of the natives and increasing the burdens imposed upon them, provoking the massive and bloody St George’s Night uprising in 1343 when Estonian insurgents slaughtered all the Germans and Danes they could lay their hands on. 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.