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History of Latvia

Latvia is the largest of the three Baltic republics, the other two being Lithuania and Estonia. The Baltic region is important in history as a trading center. There were varying Latvian tribes that were self governing that lasted until the end of the 13th century. At this time it was conquered by the German Teutonic Knights.

Latvia also experienced invasions from the Poles the Swedes. This occurred until the 18th century when Peter the Great led Russia and conquered the region which was under full Russian control by 1795. This stranglehold on Latvia ended with the Bolshevik Revolution when it was decided by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk that Russia must give some territories back to the Baltic States. In 1796 the Bolsheviks then invaded Latvia but were ousted by a joint German-Latvian force.

The Germans left after the Treaty of Versailles as the Latvians tasted their first true independence in over 600 years. Russia took control over the country during World War II but in 1940 Latvia had signed a non aggression bilateral pact with both Russia and the Nazi Party. When the Nazis invaded The Soviet Union in 1941 the Nazis took control of Latvia.

Three years later as the war was ending Russia again took control of Latvia. Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, were all incorporated into the Soviet Union. It stayed under the control of the Soviet Union until the accession of Mikhail Gorbachev, in 1985. At this time Latvia wanted to gain its independence.

The campaign for independence began in 1988 when the Popular Front of Latvia (LFT) was created. The Latvian communist Party brought about an anti reform stance and wanted to establish presidential rule by decree. At the elections to the Supreme Soviet in 1990 the party of the Popular Front of Latvia gained a decisive victory.

The newly formed Supreme Court of Latvia created a series of resolutions towards full independence for Latvia. In 1990 the new state of independent Latvia was recognized and then admitted as a full member to the United Nations. In March of 1993 Latvia introduced a new currency which is called the "Lat".


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    Sandis Viksna
    The Daily Latvia . COM
The Daily Latvia - An Interactive Guide To Riga And Latvia

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