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In response, Lithuania and Poland formed a Commonwealth in 1569. However, the political union led to gradual Polonization of the Lithuanian nobility as Lithuanians of the time regarded Polish culture to be superior.By the 17th century, Poland-Lithuania was weakened due to a unique yet hard-to-manage political system of "Noble democracy" where a consensus was a prerequisite for any important decision.In the era, only one small tribe from the area around Vilnius was known as Lithuanians but it was this tribe that consolidated the majority of other Baltic tribes.This process accelerated under king Mindaugas who became a Christian and received a crown from the Pope in 1253.On 1990 March 11th Lithuania became the first Soviet-controlled country to restore independence and despite Soviet aggression in 1991 that left some 20 people dead, the independence was not reversed.In fact, it (amongst other reasons) led to the total collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

Lithuania was occupied once by the Nazi Germany and twice by the Soviet Union, both powers perpetrating genocides.Today Lithuania is a country of open, creative and responsible people.For centuries, we have been inspired by the future, so as we celebrate the centenary of the modern state, we are full of motivation to continue strengthening the foundations of the statehood, enhance the social and civic responsibility, encourage voluntary activities, and promote the image of the modern and creative state.The hunter-gatherers were slowly replaced by farmers.The origin of Baltic tribes in the area is disputed but it probably dates to 2500 BC.

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