|Conventional short name:|
|Subdivision of:||Lithuania (Republic of the Two Crowns)|
|Time zone:||UTC +2|
|Code:||>3 (or L3)|
Palenkė (Venedic: Suslewia) is a province of Lithuania.
Palenkė is Lithuania's smallest province on border with Veneda. Its name derives from itsgeographical position ("Palenkė" means "a land close to Veneda"). Important railway and road connections between Vilnius and Warsina crosses Palenkė. Historical Palenkė consisted only of the western part of the province.
Palenkė became a culturally distinct territory in 14th century. Then it was part of Lithuania. After the Union of Krėva between Lithuania and Veneda the region became colonised by Veneds and the Venedic law applied to them. In addition to that many cities of Palenkė received autonomy. Palenkė remained in Lithuania, but it was a source of conflicts for Lithuania and Veneda to some extent. After Union of Lublin Palenkė was ceded to Veneda. Non-Venedic populations of the region venedised over the next centuries.
It should be noted that at this time only the western part of the modern province was called "Palenkė". The eastern part of the modern province (including Gardinas) was part of other voivodships and remained in Lithuania after the Union of Lublin (and was only made part of Palenkė after the Second Great War).
The further development of Palenkė started in the 19th century. Industrialization in general and the Vilnius-Warsina railroad that crossed the region in particular were the main reasons. Cities such as Jalbkliw (which was close to the middle of the Vilnius-Warsina railroad) expanded rapidly. The people immigrating to the cities included Veneds, but also Lithuanians and Slavs from eastern regions of the country. Lithuanian national revival of mid-19th century meant that venedisation slowed down and the non-venedised Lithuanian communities, both old and new, continued to speak the language. In fact Palenkė was made an example of the dangers of venedisation by the leaders of national revival (as the area was eventually detached from Lithuania in the Union of Lublin).
After the First Great War the Germans allocated Palenkė to Lithuania (officially it was restituted, as Germans and some Lithuanians regarded the land to be illegally taken under the Union of Lublin by Veneds). The region was largely included into Balstogės apskritis, capital of which was Balstogė (a Lithuanian name of Jalbkliw). Balstogės apskritis, however, also included areas populated by Eastern Slavs as it was common in the interwar Lithuania to establish multi-ethnical apskritys so that there would be less seccesionism based on administrational division. Despite of that, situation was far from calm in Palenkė. Protests took place. They were not akin to the Slavic uprisings of eastern Lithuania, but the dislike of Lithuanian rule was entrenched in the region. The land reform which expropriated manors of Venedic nobility also contributed to this. Veneda unofficially regarded Palenkė as illegally occupied area and frequently accused Lithuania in the international community of discrimination. Lithuania used to respond that the colonization and venedization of Palenkė were illegal in the first place and that the protests of local Venedic minority are not happening because they are discriminated against but because they are not permitted to discriminate Lithuanians and Slavs anymore.
Military rule was established in Balstogės apskritis in 1928, but the area returned to civil rule in 1934-1938. Economically Palenkė was hit by the closure of Lithuanian-Venedic border (and therefore the important Vilnius-Warsina railway). Some local Veneds emmigrated to Veneda in 1920s. People of Palenkė also participated in the Lithuanian colonization campaign, many of them settling in Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis. In 1930s Palenkė was calmer politically than eastern Lithuania and it had a trained workforce. As such, in 1930s Palenkė saw an economical revivival, especially after the First Slavic Uprising of 1936 virtually removed investments from eastern Lithuania and wreaked havoc there. By the year 1939 Palenkė was among richer regions of Lithuania.
During the interwar period Lithuania developed railroads of the region, also established Lithuanian schools and pagan temples. The establishemnt of pagan temples however later was halted as it was met by protests not only from local Veneds, but also from local Lithuanians, many of whom were Christians.
During the Thunderstorm War Palenkė was the last ethnically non-Lithuanian region of European Lithuania to fall to the Russians. A major battle occured near Balstogė. It was occupied by Russia. In 1943 the German occupation began and in 1947 Russian occupation again, with Palenkė being ceded to newly-established Snorist Lithuanian State. According to Act of Return expulsion of Veneds to the overcrowded Grand Duchy of Veneda was initiated. Empty homes of deported Veneds were to be populated by Lithuanians expelled from the eastern Lithuania which was now annexed to Belarus and Ukraine. However Act of Return was not implemented to such extent in Palenkė as in East Prussia or Skuodia and therefore only a part of Venedic community was relocated by 1949, when Treaty of Visby removed Snorism from the area. Republic of the Two Crowns, a united Venedic and Lithuanian state, was established.
According to the agreement between Lithuanian and Vened governments Palenkė remained in Lithuania. This, together with ethnic Lithuanian Lithuania Minor being made part of Veneda's Prusi province is sometimes seen as an attempt to make the Republic of the Two Crowns more rigid as it would be more difficult to dissolve it if each country would have ethnic minorities of yhe other country's titular nation. Palenkė was established as a province of Lithuania, but in addition to the historical region of Palenkė, it also includes other areas to the east and north, such as Gardinas, which now became capital of the province. As such, the province became even more multiethnic.
There are three large ethnic communities, almost equal by size. Lithuanians mostly inhabits the northern part of the province, Belarussians - the eastern part and the Veneds - southwestern part (but there are ethnic islands). Cities are multiethnic. Since interwar the policy was to make Lithuanian lingua franca. This policy was applied less rigorously in the RTC until the comeback of nationalists at least. There are cities where Venedic is more common than Lithuanian. In general, both Venedic and Lithuanian, sometimes also Belarussian, is required when applying for many jobs, but the level of profficiency in Lithuanian among Veneds is usually lower in cities than the level of profficiency in Vened among Lithuanians.
- Lithuanians - 36,1%
- Veneds - 30,1%
- Belarussians - 27,7%
- Ukrainians - 2,2%
- Others - 3,9%
Religiously many local Lithuanians are Roman Catholics, unlike in other regions of Lithuania.
Kingdom's Christian Honour faction is currently in power.
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This page was created by Abdul-aziz.