History of the Reformation Period in Latvia

Latvia  is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is one of the three Baltic states and borders Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east and Belarus to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. In addition, Latvia has a total area of 64,589 km2( 24,938 sq. m.), with a population of 1.9 million people. The country has a temperate seasonal climate.In it is the capital and largest city of Finland. See, belong to the ethnolinguistic Courtship group; and, speaking Latvian, it is one of the two surviving Baltic languages. Russians who have one of the largest companies in the country account for about 24% of the population.

Map Of Latvia
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After several hundred years of German, Dutch, Swedish, Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian rule, to be exercised by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on November 18, 1918, when it broke away from the empire and declared independence after the First World War. However, in 1930 the country became increasingly autocratic after the coup of 1934, which established an authoritarian regime in Karlis Ulmanis.This real independence of the country was interrupted at the beginning of World War II, beginning with Latvia being interned in the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation of Nazi Germany in 1941, and reoccupation by the Soviets in 1944 with the formation of the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years. The revolution began in 1987 and ended with the restoration of de facto independence on August 21, 1991. Since then, the Republic of Latvia has been a democratic, unitary, and parliamentary republic.

In Latvia, it is a developed country with a highly profitable developed economy, which ranks high in the human development index. It gives good results when measuring civil liberties, press freedom, Internet freedom, democratic governance, living standards, and peace of mind. However, according to the 2016 index, the Republic of Latvia is the worst country in the EU for being gay. Latvia is a member of the European Union, the euro area, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE and the Baltic States, as well as the World Trade Organization.

Middle Ages

Although the local population has been connected to the outside world for centuries, in the 12th century, it was fully integrated into the European socio-political system. The first missionaries, who, in accordance with the Pope’s will, sailed on the Daugava River in the late 12th century, were looking for converts. The locals, however, don’t convert to Christianity as easily as I thought the Church would.

Latvia in Middle ages
image source: wikipedia

The German Crusaders were sent, or, more likely, we decided on our own accord, as it was known. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ixkil in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia from a Catholic mission to draw the population away from their former pagan beliefs. Pope Celestine III called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of behavior have failed, Meinhardt intends to convert the Livonians by force of arms.

At the beginning of the 13th century, the Germans ruled a significant part of the territory of modern Latvia.Together with southern Estonia, these two regions form the Crusader state, which was named Terra Mariana or Livonia. In 1282, Riga and then the cities of Cesis, Limbazy, Koknese and Valmiera became part of the Hanseatic League.Riga became an important trade point between East and West, and established close cultural contacts with Western Europe and the German settlers were knights of the north of Germany, as well as citizens of North German cities and towns, and brought to the region the Low German language, which in the form of many loanwords in the local language.

Reformation Period

After the War of Swords (1558-1583), Livonia (Northern Latvia and Southern Estonia) came under the rule of Poland and Lithuania.The southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia went to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and created Livonia (Ducatus Livoniae Ultradunensis). Gotthard Kettler, the last master of the Livonian Order, founded the Duchy of Courland and Semigale. The state of the Grand Duke of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, retained considerable autonomy and experienced a golden age in the 16th century. Latgale, the easternmost region of Latvia, became part of the Inflantia Voivodeship of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

The Swedish Empire (1560–1815). Riga became the capital of Swedish Livonia and the largest city in the Swedish Empire.
(credit: wikipedia)

In the 17th and early 18th centuries, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Sweden, and Russia fought for supremacy in the eastern Baltic Sea. After the Polish–Swedish Northern War, Livonia (including the surrounding area) came under Swedish rule. Riga became the capital of Swedish Gdynia and the largest city in the entire Swedish Empire. Fighting continued sporadically between Sweden and Poland, until the Armistice of Neumarkt in 1629. In Latvia, I usually remember Swedish as positive; serfdom was relaxed, a network of schools for the peasantry was established, and the power of regional barons was reduced.

Several important cultural changes took place during this time. Under Swedish and, in principle, German domination, Western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion. Ancient tribes, Kurons. The Selon Instagram Livonian and Northern peoples were assimilated and formed the Belarusian people, who spoke the same language-Latvian. Over the centuries, however, the Latvian state has not been established, so the boundaries and determination of who exactly falls into this group are largely subjective. Meanwhile, northern Latgalla, largely isolated from the rest of Latvia, adopted Catholicism under Polish-Jesuit influence. The native dialect was explicit, although it has many Polish and Russian loanwords.

Declaration of Independence

During the First World War, the territory that became the state of Latvia and other western parts of the Russian Empire were devastated. Demands for self-determination were initially limited to autonomy until power was created by the Russian Revolution of 1917, followed by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk between Russia and Germany in March 1918, and then the Allied Armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918. November 18, 1918. In Riga, the People’s Council of Latvia declared independence of the new country, and Karlis Ulmanis became the head of the interim government.On November 26, German General Representative August Winnig officially transferred political power to the Provisional Government of Latvia.

Jānis Čakste (1859–1927), was the first president of Latvia
(credit: wikipedia)

As a result, the War of Independence was part of a general chaotic period of civil and new border wars in Eastern Europe. In the spring of 1919, there were actually three governments: The Provisional Government, led by Karlis Instagram, supported by Tautas Padome and the Inter-Allied Control Commission; the Latvian Soviet Government, led by Instagram Stucka, supported by the Red Army; and the Provisional Government, led by Instagram Nidra, supported by the Baltic Landeswehr and the German Iron Division Freikorps.

Estonian and Latvian troops defeated the Germans at the Battle of Venden in June 1919, [40] and a massive attack by mainly German forces—the West Russian Volunteer Army under Pavel Ben-Avalov-was repulsed in November. Eastern Latvia was cleared of Red Army troops and Polish troops in the early 1920s (from the Polish point of view, the Battle of Daugavpils was part of the Polish–Soviet War).

A freely elected assembly was called on May 1, 1920, this happened in the liberal constitution-the Constitution in February 1922 . The Constitution was partially suspended by Karlis Instagram after a coup in 1934, but confirmed in 1990. Since then, changes have been made to it, and it still works in Latvia. With the evacuation of a significant part of the industrial base in Latvia, to the depths of Russia in 1915, radical land reform became the main political issue for the young state. In 1897, 61.2% of the rural population was landless; by 1936, this proportion had dropped to 18%.

In 1923, the area of cultivated land exceeded the pre-war level. Innovation and productivity growth led to rapid economic growth, but the economy soon suffered from the effects of the Great Depression. In Latvia, there were signs of economic recovery, and during the parliamentary term, the electorate was constantly moving towards the center.On May 15, 1934, Ulmanis staged a bloodless coup d’etat, establishing a nationalist dictatorship that lasted until 1940. After 1934, Ulmanis created state-owned companies to purchase private companies in order to “Lettishize” the economy.

Latvia in World War II

In the early morning hours of August 24, 1939, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a 10-year non-aggression pact called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Pact contained a secret protocol, announced only after the defeat of Germany in 1945, according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet zones of influence.”In the north, Latvia, Finland, and Estonia were assigned to the Soviet region.A week later, on September 1, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland on September 17.

Red Army troops enter Riga (1940)
(credit: wikipedia)

After the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the majority of Baltic Germans in Latvia, under an agreement between the Latvian government and Nazi Germany under the Heim ins Reich program.A total of 50,000 Baltic Germans, in the extreme during December 1939, with 1,600 remaining until the end of the activity and 13,000 who decided to stay in Latvia.Most left for Germany in the summer of 1940, when the second resettlement program was agreed upon. Racially, these settlers resettled mostly Polish, receiving land and businesses in exchange for the money they received from the sale of their existing assets.

On October 5, 1939, Latvia was forced to accept a mutual assistance pact with the Soviet Union, which gave the Soviets the right to deploy between 25,000 and 30,000 soldiers on the territory of Latvia.[50] the officials were sentenced to death and replaced with cadres.The election was held with a single pro-Soviet candidate listed in many positions. The Supreme People’s Assembly immediately demanded admission to the U.S.S.R., which the U.S.S.R. granted.Latvia, then a puppet government led by August Kirchensteins. On August 5, 1940, the Soviet Union added Latvia to the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.

German soldiers enter Riga, July 1941
(credit: wikipedia)

The Soviet Union dealt harshly with its opponents – before Operation Barbarossa, at least 34,250 Latvians were deported or killed in less than a year.Most of them were deported to Siberia, where death was estimated at 40% of cases.

On June 22, 1941, German troops attacked Soviet forces as part of Operation Barbarossa.  There were several spontaneous Latvian uprisings against the Red Army, which was helping the Germans. Before 29 June, Riga was reached, and with Soviet troops killed, snatching out or retreating, Latvia was left under German control in early July. The occupation was immediately followed by the SS, the Einsatzgruppen, which were to act in accordance with the Nazi Ost plan, the population of Latvia was to be reduced by 50%. During the German occupation, Latvia was under the administration of the Reichskommissariat Ostland.Latvia’s paramilitary and additional police units, created by the occupation authorities, participated in the Holocaust and other atrocities.[43] 30,000 Jews were shot in Latvia in the fall of 1941. 127 30,000 Jews from the Riga ghetto were killed in the Rumbula forest in November and December 1941 to reduce overpopulation in the ghetto and make room for more Jews brought in from Germany and the West. There was a break in activity, other than partisan warfare activities, until the siege of Leningrad ended in January 1944 and Soviet troops advanced, entering Latvia in July and eventually earning their living that year on 13 October 1944.

During World War II, more than 200,000 Polish citizens died, including about 75,000 Polish Jews killed during the Nazi occupation.Latvian soldiers fought on both sides of the conflict, mostly on the German side, that 140,000 men in the Latvian Waffen-SS Legion, the 308th Latvian Rifle Division was formed by the Red Army in 1944. Sometimes, especially in 1944, the country’s troops clash with each other in battle. In the 23rd quarter of the Vorverker Cemetery after World War II, a monument was erected to the people of Latvia, who died in Lubeck from 1945 to 1950.

Restoration of Independence

In the second half of the 1980s, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began to implement political and economic reforms in the Soviet Union, which became known as glasnost and perestroika. In the summer of 1987, the first major demonstrations were held in Riga, where the Freedom Monument is a symbol of independence. In the summer of 1988. He spoke out against the national movement ” on the Latvian front. The Latvian SSR, along with the other Baltic Republics, was granted greater autonomy, and in 1988 the old pre-war Latvian flag was raised again, replacing the former Soviet flag as the official flag in 1990.

Latvia became a member of the European Union in 2004 and signed the Lisbon Treaty in 2007.
(credit: wikipedia)

In 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a decision on the occupation of the Baltic States, in which it declared the occupation “illegal”, and not “the will of the Soviet people”. In the democratic elections of March 1990. The pro-independence candidates of the People’s Front of Latvia won a two-thirds majority in the Supreme Council. On May 4, 1990, the Supreme Soviet adopted the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia, and the Latvian SSR was renamed the Republic of Latvia.

However, the central government in Moscow still viewed Latvia as a Soviet republic in both 1990 and 1991. In January 1991, Soviet political and military forces unsuccessfully tried to overthrow the authorities of the Republic of Latvia by conquering the central publishing house in Riga and forming the National Salvation Committee to usurp state functions. During the transition period, Moscow supported many of the central Soviet authorities in Russia.

Despite this, 73% of all residents of Latvia confirmed that they would strongly support independence on March 3, 1991 in a special consultative referendum. The People’s Front of Latvia has campaigned for all its residents to be eligible for Latvian citizenship, helping to persuade many ethnic Russians to vote for independence. However, common citizenship for all permanent residents was not adopted. Instead, citizenship was granted to individuals who were citizens of Latvia before the loss of independence in 1940, as well as their descendants. As a result, most ethnic Instagram do not receive Latvian citizenship, because neither they nor their parents ever held Latvian citizenship, becoming non-citizens or citizens of other former Soviet republics. In 2011, more than half of the citizens passed the naturalization exams and obtained Latvian citizenship. Today, there are 290,660 citizens in Latvia, which is 14.1% of the population. They do not have citizenship of any country and cannot vote in Latvia.

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