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History of the Seimas

Seimas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania before 1569

      The formation of the Seimas of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and its functioning in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period are among the most significant achievements of our culture. It is a sign of the country’s European roots and European development path.





Seimas of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations in 1569–1795

       Parliamentarianism in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania entered a new stage of development on 1 July 1569 when the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland concluded the Union of Lublin. Signed in the city of Lublin, the Act of the Union firmly enshrined the requirement to hold joint conventions. Previously, the Seimas of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations as a political institution was regarded with a degree of scepticism by historians.



Origins of Modern Parliamentarianism (20th century)

       The First World War sent shockwaves across the world, leading to the dissolution of some of the largest European monarchies. In Lithuania, it took some time for the Germans to form an understanding of what the country was when they first occupied the Lithuanian territory in 1915. This awareness came about later, when Lithuanian public activists became increasingly vociferous in their demands for the establishment of an independent Lithuanian State. At the end of the First World War, a combination of favourable internal and external circumstances and, most importantly, the manifestation of political will put Lithuania on the map of Europe once again.


Seimas in the Republic of Lithuania of 1920–1940

       Even before the declaration of independence, Lithuania was referred to as a parliamentary state. On 3 June 1917, a Lithuanian assembly in Petrograd adopted a resolution declaring that the mode of governance and internal order of the independent Lithuania would be determined by the Constituent Assembly of Lithuania elected by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot. On 21 September 1917, the Vilnius Conference decided that the final foundations for an independent state of Lithuania would be laid by the Constituent Seimas in Vilnius. The urgency to convene the Constituent Seimas was repeatedly referred to in the Act of Independence of Lithuania of 16 February 1918.

Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania since 1990