In the Middle Ages, Lithuania, unlike other Baltic countries (Latvia and Estonia), had already had its state: the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Magnus Ducatus Lithuaniae). It is generally accepted that the state of Lithuania found its way into the world maps, following the coronation of Mindaugas, ruler of the consolidated Lithuania, on 6 July 1253. The Papal Bull granted the State with the highest title of the monarchy, which meant that Lithuania was recognized by and accepted into the family of the Western Europe as an equal member of the political system.
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania stretched from the Baltic to the Black seas, covering nearly all the territory of current Lithuania and entire Belarus as of the mid-14th century, and a better part of the Ukraine as of the second-half of the 14th century, thus emerging as an important political power in Eastern and Central Europe.The success of the expansion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was essentially based on ethnic and religious tolerance towards those who were traditionally considered potential enemies.
First written Constitution
The Lithuanian Statutes having served as the legal framework testify to the fact that it was as early as the 16th century that Lithuania became an integral part of the Western Europe. The legal thought reached further heights at the end of the 18th century when a Constitution was adopted on 3 May 1791. It was the first constitution in Europe (preceding the French Constitution), and the second in the world after the US Constitution adopted in 1787. The Commonwealth Constitution was directly inspired by the Declaration des droits de I'homnte et du citoyen, adopted in 1789.