In no sense could it be considered a homogeneous political unit, for in Lithuania the majority of the population were Russian in nationality, language and religion, whereas in Poland the great majority of the inhabitants were Polish and Roman Catholic. Gradually, it is true, the Lithuanian nobles, who possessed all the land and held the peasantry in a state of serfage, adopted Polish nationality and culture, but this change did not secure homogeneity, because the masses clung obstinately to their old nationality and religion, and all the efforts of the Church of Rome to bring them under papal authority proved fruitless.
The Eocene covers wide tracts from Lithuania to Tsaritsyn, and is represented in the Crimea and Caucasus by thick deposits belonging to the same ocean which left its deposits on the Alps and the Himalayas.
Here lay the principality of Lithuania and beyond it the kingdom of Poland, two loosely conglomerated states which had been created by the Piast and Gedymin dynasties in pretty much the same way as the tsardom of Muscovy had been created by the descendants of Rurik.
During Olgierd's reign the southern boundaries of Lithuania touched the Black Sea, including the whole tract of land between the mouth of the Bug and the mouth of the Dnieper.
The old Calvinist nobility of Lithuania were speedily reconverted; a Uniate Church in connexion with Rome was established; Greek Orthodox congregations, if not generally persecuted, were at least depressed and straitened; and the Cossacks began to hate the Pans, or Polish lords, not merely as tyrants, but as heretics.
But the christianizing of Lithuania was by no means to the liking of the Teutonic Knights, and they used every effort to nullify Gedymin's far-reaching design.
They are larger, but still small, in White Russia, Lithuania and the region of the lakes; but in the steppe governments they are very appreciably bigger, some of the Cossack stanitsas or settlements exceeding 20,000, and many of them numbering more than 10,000 inhabitants each.
This solidarity was still further strengthened by the Union of Horodlo (October 2, 1413) which enacted that henceforth Lithuania was to have the same order of dignitaries' as Poland, as well as a council of state, or senate, similar to the Polish senate.
See Jozef Ignacz Kraszewski, Lithuania under Witowt (Pol.) (Wilna, 1850); Augustin Theiner, Vetera Monumenta Poloniae (Rome, 1860-1864); Karol Szajnocha, Jadwiga and Jagiello (Pol.) (Lemberg, 1850-1856); Teodor Narbutt, History of the Lithuanian Nation (Pol.) (Wilna, 1835-1836); Codex epistolaris Witoldi Magni (ed.
The conversion of Lithuania deprived the Order of its mission: the union of Lithuania to Poland robbed it of the security which it enjoyed while they were disunited, and gave new strength to Poland, a constant enemy to the Order which had deprived it of any outlet on the Baltic. Internally, too, the Order suffered.