After the Partitions of Poland that took place in the end of the 18th century, large part of Lithuania was incorporated into the Russian Empire. After the January Uprising of 1863 against the Russian Empire, many Russian politicians were convinced that the Russification of Lithuania would help prevent further uprisings.
In May 1864, Alexander II of Russia banned Lithuanian language textbooks printed in the Latin alphabet. The ban was eventually extended to include all Lithuanian language publications printed in the Latin alphabet. It was illegal to print, import, distribute, and possess such publications. The use of Cyrillic script, on the contrary, was allowed and even encouraged by the government.
Instead of making the Lithuanians accept Russian cultural influence, the ban helped create an organized resistance. Lithuanians printed illegal books and periodicals outside the country and smuggled them across the border.
The ban was officially lifted on May 7 (April 24 O.S.), 1904. This day is celebrated in Lithuania as Lithuanian Press Restoration, Language and Book Day.Remind me with Google Calendar
- Cultural Observances, Anniversaries and Memorial Days
- Lithuanian Press Restoration, Language and Book Day, holidays in Lithuania, Lithuanian press ban