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The Survival of LATVIA. Britta Suppes Geog. 308 Spring 2003. Latvijas Republika. Country Basics. Size: 24, 938 sq. mi. Population: 2.5 million Language: Latvian Religion: #1 Protestant, #2 Roman Catholic #3 Russian Orthodox Capital: Riga Government: Parliamentary Democracy.

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The survival of latvia l.jpg

The Survival ofLATVIA

Britta Suppes

Geog. 308

Spring 2003



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Country Basics

  • Size: 24, 938 sq. mi.

  • Population: 2.5 million

  • Language: Latvian

  • Religion:

    • #1 Protestant,

    • #2 Roman Catholic

    • #3 Russian Orthodox

  • Capital: Riga

  • Government: Parliamentary Democracy


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  • Ethnic Composition:

    • -Latvian 57.6%

    • -Polish 2.5%

    • -Russian 29.6%

    • -Ukrainian 2.7%

    • -Belarusian 4.1%


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I. HISTORY

  • Tribal Development,

    900 A.D.

    • Latgallians

    • Couronians

    • Selonians

    • Semigallians


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2

  • 1 - Lithuanians,

    • 2 - Couronians,

    • 3 - Semigallians,

    • 4 - Selonians,

    • 5 - Samogitians,

    • 6 - Nadruvians,

    • 7 - Prussians,

    • 8 - Jotvingians,

    • 9 - Skalvians,

    • 10 - Latgallians,

    • 11 - lithuanizated Baltic tribes

3

4

10


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  • Germanic Crusaders, 1200s

    • Establishment of Riga, 1201

    • Catholic Missionaries

    • Tribal development ceases

    • Territory marked by German castles

Riga, 1547

The seal of Bishop Albert, founder of Riga


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Segulda Order Castle Ruins, built 1212

Turaida, Ruins of Bishop Albert’s Castle


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  • Swedish Rule, 1600s

    • Polish-Swedish War, 1600-1629

    • Protestant religion introduced

    • Occupation of Riga

    • Revival of economy; serfdom abolished

The Swedish Gate, built after the

Swedes gained occupation of Riga


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  • Russian Rule, 1700s

    • The Great Northern War (1700-1721)

      • Russia vs. Sweden

    • Vidzeme and Riga under Russian Rule

    • Latgale and Kurzeme annexed by Russia

Peter the Great


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  • National Awakening

    • The movement of New-Latvians

    • Nov., 18, 1918, Proclamation of Independence

    • Economy booming

A monument of Latvia’s first president, Janis

Cakste

Proclamation of Independence


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  • WORLD WAR II and SOVIET ANNEXATION

    • 1940, annexation by USSR

    • Holocaust of 90% of Latvian Jews

    • 1941-1945, German invasion and “liberation”

    • 1945, re-annexation by USSR

    • Death, deportation, devastation of Latvian people

    • Latvia made an S.S.R

    • Annexation never recognized by U.S.

Latvian SSR flag and Coat of Arms


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  • SOVIET ANNEXATIONS

    • 1/3 of ethnic Latvians killed, deported, or relocated

    • Collective farming implemented

    • Latvia Industrialized

    • Hundreds of thousands of Soviets relocated to Latvia

      • Reduce ethnic Latvians pop. From 77% to 50%

      • Industrial workers and military

      • Primarily in Latgale and Riga

    • Russian Orthodox religion brought with


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II. Latvian Majority vs. Russian Minority

  • Eastern border shared with Russia

  • Annexation of Latvia and Russian Rule (1700-1918)

  • Russification of Latvia in Soviet era (1940-91)

  • Ethnic Russians concentrated in cities

    • Riga, Daugavpils, Latgale region


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Latvian language proficiency test

Since 1992 Law on Languages

Language inspectors authorized to enter companies and test employees

“Language Police”

Russians are learning Latvian in school

Most Latvians are bilingual

Russians as majority pop. in Riga

Street signs, etc. all in Latvian

Names “Latvianized”

Naturalization process

Russians born in Latvia are considered “aliens” and must acquire citizenship

EU recognizes Latvian as the official language of Latvia

EU also recognizes lesser used languages and promotes minority protection

Russian Minority and Language Tensions


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  • Restoration of the Declaration of Independence

    • Self-ruled country after almost 800 years of foreign occupation

    • 700,000 Soviets in Latvia become stateless

    • All former (pre-1940) citizens have citizenship restored

      • Regardless of ethnicity

    • Latvians become majority at 57.6% (2000 est)

    • Russians become minority at 29.6% (2000)


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III. Restoration of Latvia since 1991

  • Political Stability

    • Parliamentary Democracy

      • President

      • Prime Minister

    • Constitution

    • New gov’t determined for a rapid recovery

    • Freedom allowed access to the outside world


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  • Economic Security

    • Transition from agriculture to service sector

      • 56% to 71% in 2001

      • Unemployment only 7.6%

    • Trade relationships cultivated with Baltics and Europe

    • Access to major trading routes

      • Daugava River

    • Ice free ports on the Baltic Sea

      • Liepaja, Ventspils, Bay of Riga

    • Natural resources

      • Amber, Peat, Dolomite, Limestone, and timber

    • Admittance to NATO and EU, 2004

Ventspils free port


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  • Natural Environment

    • Clean up of Soviet environmental degradation

    • Appreciation of natural environment in Latvia

      • Renewed pride in country

    • Goals established to improve air, water, and land

    • Est. of National Parks, Nature Areas, and Protected Areas

    • Large scale efforts of preservation and conservation

    • Eco-tourism

Gauja Nat. Park


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  • Cultural Restoration

    • Latvian language established as State Language

    • Minorities given the opportunity to learn Latvian

      • Many older Russians have not learned yet

    • Tribal Regions recognized

      • Vidzeme

      • Kurzeme

      • Latgale

      • Zemgale


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3

4

1

2

1. Kurzeme

2. Zemgale

3. Vidzeme

4. Latgale


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KURZEME

-Western and Eastern Kurzeme Uplands

-Untouched forested bands

-White sandy beaches on Baltic Sea

-Venta River

-Ecotourism


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VIDZEME

-Vidzeme Uplands

-Bordering Estonia

-Daugava River in the South

-Gulf of Riga to the west

-Riga located in this region

-Elevated and hilly landscape

-Gauja National Park and River

-Sandstone Bluffs


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ZEMGALE

-Extends from the Gulf of Riga down to Belarusian border

-Middle lowland area by Daugava River

-Contains the majority of arable land; most profitable

-Oldest and tallest pine trees


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LATGALE

  • -Uplands, lowlands, peat bogs, marshes,

  • forests, lakes

  • “The Land of Blue Lakes”

  • Primary region of Russian inhabitation

  • Catholicism still widely practiced from

    • Germanic rule


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IV. SURVIVAL OF LATVIA

  • Ethnic Latviansresilient under 800 years of foreign rule and occupation.

  • Able to gain independence and become a recognized country and nation.

  • Resistance of Western European culture despite influence of traders and invaders

Freedom Monument


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  • Basic Latvian Phrases

    • YES = JÁ jah

    • NO = NÉ neh

    • PLEASE = LÚDZU loohdzoo

    • THANK YOU = PALDIES paldeeasssœnœm

    • GOOD MORNING = LABRÍT labreet

    • GOOD AFTERNOON = LABDIEN labdeean

    • GOOD NIGHT = AR LABU NAKTI ar laboo nakti

      • GOOD-BYE = UZ REDZÉSANOS ooz redzehshanwasWHAT IS YOUR NAME? = KÁ JÚS SAUC? kah yoohss sowts

      • MY NAME IS... = MANI SAUC... mani sowts


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  • Folklore important to Latvian nationhood

    • Oral records of Latvian culture

    • Rich with literature, symbolism, tradition

    • Continue to act as an essential part of contemporary Latvia

    • Over 1.2 million texts identified

    • Over 30, 000 songs identified


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