The State Structure of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Light of Historiographical Concepts
Candidate of Historical Sciences (Ph.D. in History),
Senior Research Fellow, Institute of History of Ukraine of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Ukraine, Kyiv),
The second half of the 14th century became a landmark for Central and Eastern Europe. The vast majority of the former Rus-Ukraine land became part of Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) when the Gediminids dynasty gained a foothold. The process of the state structure developing for GDL began taking into account the annexed territories. The relevant subject of research is the state formation that determines its territorial and national-territorial organization. The stated problem is extremely complex. Therefore we took into account the important facts of the historiographical works in which the researchers studied GDL state structure.
Despite the curiosity of this problem, the topic is not popular in modern historiography. The vast majority of researchers (except some scientists) do not dive into the essence of the problem but adhere to the views of the classics in the Lithuanistics of the late 19th – the first third of the 20th century. Unfortunately the source base is rather limited (especially related to the second half of the 14th – the first half of the 15th century). And it is not about the absence of chronicles or acts as to some extent they are sufficient. The question is how much they relate directly to the problem we outlined.
The concept of GDL federated system was the most widespread and is up to now to some extent. M. Lyubavsky, M. Dovnar-Zapolsky, M. Hrushevsky, R. Lashchenko and M. Chubaty were its ardent supporters. This concept has been reflected partly for the last several decades in the works of the researchers F. Shabuldo, E. Gudavichius, O. Rusyna. F. Leontovich, to some extent O. Yefimenko, N. Molchanovsky and V. Zaikin had been the critics of this theory. A completely different version was proposed by the modern researcher Z. Norcus. In his view GDL was an empire in the form of government.
Taking into account the fact that the issue of Grand Duchy of Lithuania state structure is not completely studied, we consider it is necessary to prepare an appropriate historical and legal research.
Grand Duchy of Lithuania, state structure, federation, unitary state, empire, historiography, historical and legal researches.
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