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“Grand Duchy Of Lithuania’s “First Constitution” Put Into Effect This Day In 1588 17.10.2017, 8:57
Some historians call it the first European constitution. This code of law was in effect in the territory of Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine for 250 years and was the basis of the entire legal system of the Grand Duchy.
October 17, 1588 the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was put into action.
Chancellor of the GDL Lev Sapega was the codifier of this revolutionary document for his era.
Being the heir of the famous magnate family and a brilliantly educated man, Lev Sapega achieved the highest positions in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and made a lot of good to the country. His views on personal freedom and the rule of law in the state were reflected in the third edition of the GDL Statute. They are considered the norm in modern society and they were more than progressive for the time he lived in. © 1998–2017 Хартыя’97 http://www.charter97.org CC-BY: Charter’97 Press Center, The publisher: Charter97.org in Warsaw: https://charter97.org/en/news/2017/10/17/266222/ (Emphasis our own.)
“For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, and the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253.
During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were the territories of the Grand Duchy.
With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighboring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772–95, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania’s territory.
As World War I neared its end, Lithuania’s Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. As World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania….”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuania (Emphasis our own.)
Map of the historic and current borders of Lithuania.
Map was released to public domain via Wikipedia.