Various leaders opted to adopt a secular title, Count, Duke etc., as they adopted Lutheran Protestantism – secularization of the state.
The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a runaway success for quite some time, also at the expense of the lands of the German order.
The Hansa declined when the early modern states went up, and global trade shifted. Direct competition from the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular, meant Lübeck was supplanted as the hub of Baltic trade.
Lübeck's last hurra was in the mid-16th c., when it went to war alongside Denmark against Sweden in the "Nordic Seven Years War" 1563-70. As it happened Sweden had built the largest navy in Europe (also one of the first comprised of all purpose-built warships, it also pioneered victory-through-superior-fire-power and stand-off-gunnery as a naval tactic) and proceeded to defeat the Danes and Lübeckers for control of the Baltic (admiral Klas Horn ended up on control of the Sound, exacting toll on Sweden's behalf from all passing traffic).
So Lithuania ended up as a partner of the Commonwealth with Poland, while Livonia ended stuck on to it as a vassal. Estonia otoh cast around for a powerful protector, and ended up with internal factions supporting Novgorod and Sweden respectively, who then fought it out, which meant Estonia ended up under Swedish protection.
"How'd the Teutonic territories subsequently become Protestant, though?"
That was the grand mother of all management buy out who shocked all of Europe
Albert of Prussia ,of the house of Hohenzollern Brandenburg was the grand master of the order of Brothers of the German house of Saint Mary in Jerusalem , commonly known as the Teutonic order ,
he converted to Protestantism, declared himself a hereditary Duke of the order property and gave his subordinate knights feudal tittles and lands
as grand master all had to obey him totally
a few rebelled against such a flagrant larceny
That was a clear piece of robbery , he was only an administrator
since Europe was in the throes of the reformation with peasant revolts and large confiscation of church property
there was very little the pope or the Emperor could do about it
the protestant princes were rather pleased , the order military forces could have been used against them
the polish crown didn't mind , the order was their vassal , the new Duke renewed the allegiance in 1525
eventually a remain of the order survived from the few possessions located in the German Empire
from then on it slowly faded away , becoming an honorary fossil until dissolved in 1810 by Napoleon
Had Germany won WWI (by keeping the US neutral and making concessions in the West so that it could keep its territorial gains in the East), and had Germany been able to hold on to Latvia and Estonia for the next 100 years, what would these territories have looked like right now?
Would they have been a backwater just like East Prussia was? Or would they have become much more prosperous than East Prussia?
Also, had Germany tried to actively recruit massive numbers of Jews from Mitteleuropa to settle in Latvia and Estonia between 1918 and 2018 (in the event of a German WWI victory), would a lot of Jews have taken Germany up on this offer? For the record, this would have included getting a nice piece of land in Latvia or Estonia if you would have moved there.
The Jewish population was only large in Courland and Riga. Jews were forbidden from settling outside of the Pale of Settlement unless they converted to Christianity. Thus, Livonia and Estonia both had few Jews.
"The Jewish population was only large in Courland and Riga. Jews were forbidden from settling outside of the Pale of Settlement unless they converted to Christianity. Thus, Livonia and Estonia both had few Jews. "
Estonia pre-war population was about 3000 , 2000 fled to the Soviet Union , the rest was exterminated
Latvia pre war population was about 200.000 by the Wansee conference Latvia was declared "Free of Jews" they were all killed BEFORE the holocaust with the enthusiastic collaboration of the locals
Lithuania pre war population was around the same 200.000 , total extermination befell them with the eager cooperation of the locals
of around less than 500.000 only a few survived either by fleeing to the Ussr or being liberated from the camp by the Soviet army