Lithuania became a Grand Duchy in the early part of the thirteenth century. In 1386 the Grand Duke Jogaila embraced Christianity and married the Polish Queen Hedvig, thus becoming King of Poland. During the reign of Vytautas (Vitold) the Great (1392–1430) Lithuania reached the zenith of her power and prosperity, her frontiers extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea. After the death of Vytautas the Great, Polish influence gradually increased in Lithuania, and in 1569 the Lithuanians were forced to unite with the Poles at Lublin, the Lithuanians retaining their own treasury, laws, courts of justice, and army. Both countries elected the same king and had a common Seim (parliament).
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