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Latvia From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the European country.

For other uses, see Latvia (disambig uation). "Latvian Republic" redirects here. For other uses, see Latvian Republic (disambi guation). Page move-protected Republic of Latvia Latvijas Republika Flag Coat of arms Anthem: Dievs, sveti Latviju! God Bless Latvia! MENU0:00 Location of Latvia (dark green) in Europe (green & dark grey) nion (green) [Legend] Location of Latvia (dark green) in Europe (green & dark grey) in the European Union (green) [Legend] Capital and largest city Riga 56°57'N 24°6'E Official languages Latviana Ethnic groups (2011[1][2]) 62.1% Latvians 26.9% Russians 3.3% Belarusians 2.2% Ukrainians 2.2% Poles 1.2% Lithuanians 0.4% Jews 0.3% Roma 1.4% others / unspecified Demonym Latvian Government Parliamentary republic President Andris Berzin Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis Prime Minister-designate Laimdota Straujuma Legislature Saeima Independence from the Russian Empire Declaredb 18 November 1918 Recognized 26 January 1921 Soviet occupation 5 August 1940 Nazi German occupation 10 July 1941 Soviet re-occupation 1944 Announced independence 4 May 1990 Restored independence 21 August 1991[3] Area Total 64,589 km2 (124th) 24,938 sq mi Water (%) 1.57% (1,014 km2) Population 2013 estimate 2,008,700 [4] (148th) 2011 census 2,070,371[5] Density 34.3/km2 (166th) 88.9/sq mi GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate Total $42,471 billion[6] Per capita $20,969[6] (49th)

in the European U

NATO.589 km2 (24. It ended with the dissolution of the S oviet Union in 1991. which has hist orically been predominantly Roman Catholic. c.[17] Contents [hide] 1 Etymology 2 History . Latvia Listeni/'lætvi?/ (Latvian: Latvija) officially the Republic of Latvia (Latv ian: Latvijas Republika). The . NIB. European Union. was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2014. The peaceful Singing Revolution. but both currencies will be in circulation for two weeks. It is bordered to the north by Estonia.814[8] very high · 44th Currency Euro ( ).lvd a.938 sq mi)[13] it is one of the least populous and least densely populated countries of the European Union. and to the southeast by Belarus and by a maritime border to the west w ith Sweden.008.5% in Esto nia[14]) of whom some are non-citizens. Both Euros and lats will be in circulation for 2 weeks starting from 1 J anuary 2014. OSCE. the Latvia n lats. and Latvia declared the restoration of its de facto indepen dence on 21 August 1991. Despite subjection to foreign rule from the 13th to the 20th centuries. The official language is Latvian. divided into 118 administrative divisions of which 109 are mu nicipalities and 9 are cities.GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate Total $28. With 2.984[6] Gini (2012) 35. and re-occupied by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR fo r the next fifty years. Both countries are home to a large number of ethnic Russians (26.[9][10] Livonian is considered an indigenous language and has special legal status. CBSS. culture. calle d for Baltic emancipation of Soviet rule.324 billion[6] Per capita $13. However.[12] b. United Nations.9[7] medium HDI (2013) Increase 0. the country was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union. culturally related to the Lithuanians.9% in Latvia[2] and 25. Latgal e. to the east b y Russia. to the south by Lithuania. Latvian is the sole official language. as it is shared with other European Union m ember states. Latvia and Estonia share a long common history. Latvia is a member of the Council of Europe. Latvia is a unitary parli amentary republic. d. Latvia is listed 44th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country. For 2013. Riga. Lats (Ls)c Time zone EET (UTC+2) Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3) Drives on the right Calling code +371 ISO 3166 code LV Internet TLD . Togethe r with the Finnic Livs (or Livonians).[13] Latvian is an Indo-European domain is also used. its independent status was interrupted at the outset of World War II when in 1940. and rich musica l traditions. The country has a temperate seasonal climate. NB 8. The Latvians are a Baltic people. the Latvians are the indigenous people of Latvia. The capital of Latvia is Riga. Latvia is de jure continuous with its declaration of 18 November 1918. There are five planning regions: Courland. invaded and occupied by Nazi Ge rmany in 1941. The Republic of Latvia was founded on 18 November 1918. most notably the language. starting in 1987.[11] Latgalian written language and Latvian Sign Language also have special legal status. is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe.700 inhabitants[5] and a territory of 64.[15][16] Its currency. IMF. WTO. the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations. Vidzeme and Zemgale. except for the Latgale region in the southeast. it and Lithuanian are the onl y two surviving members of the Baltic branch. Latvia is historically predominantly Pro testant Lutheran.

2 Language 6.5 Health 7 Culture 7.3 Military 5 Economy 5.5 Latvia in World War II 2.6 Soviet era (1940 1941.4 Declaration of Independence 2.7 Restoration of Independence in 1991 3 Geography 3.4 Education 6. medieval Livonia Turaida Castle near Sigulda.2 Environment 3.2 Infrastructure 6 Demographics 6. built in 1214 under Albert of Riga In 1282.1 Cuisine 7.1 Foreign relations 4. Selonians and Semigallians) .1 Climate 3.2 The Reformation period 2. The Medieval period[edit] Main articles: Terra Mariana.3 Latvia in the Russian Empire (1710 1917) 2. and Northern Crusades Terra Mariana.[18] History[edit] Main article: History of Latvia See also: List of museums in Latvia Around the beginning of the third millennium BC (3000 BC). Livonian Crusade. 1944 1991) 2.[19] The Balts established trade routes to Rome and Byzantium.1 The Medieval period 2. trading local amber fo r precious metals.1 Economic Contraction and Recovery (2008 2012) 5. four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians.2 Sport 8 International rankings 9 See also 10 Notes and references 11 Bibliography 12 External links Etymology[edit] The name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians.1 Ethnic groups 6. Riga became a member of the Hanseatic League .[20] By 900 AD. Latgalians.2 Human rights 4. seli a nd zemgali). Semigallians (in Latvian: kur i.3 Biodiversity 3.3 Religion 6. which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians along with the Finnic Livonian s.2. Selonians. one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes (along with Couronians. as well as the Livonians (libie i) speaking a Finnic language. the proto-Baltic ance stors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. latgali.4 Regions and divisions 4 Politics 4.

All three Baltic provinces preserved local laws. and later the cities of Cesis. no such thing as a Latvian state existe d so the borders and definitions of who exactly fell within that group are large ly subjective. Duchy of Courland and Semigallia. During the Great Northern War (1700 1721). Livs and northern L atgallians assimilated to form the Latvian people. they were more fully integrated into European society in the 12th century. when it was incorpor ated into Russia. and Russia for supremacy in the eastern Baltic. In Latvia. Koknese and Valmiera. although it acquired many Polish and Russian loanwords. Riga became the capital of Swedish Livonia and the largest city in the Swedish E mpire. Livonia (Latvia) fell under Polish and Lithuan ian rule. Duchy of Livon ia. a network of schoo ls was established for the peasantry. serfdom was eased. Though the du chy was a vassal state to Poland. The native dialect r emained distinct. Riga. Meanwhile. The 16th. the Baltic area was once again the scen . Throughout all the centuries. and the time when the Latvian territory was divided up among foreign powers. and Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth The Swedish Empire (1560 1815). speaking one Latvian language . Sweden.[22] German crusaders were sent into Latvia to c onvert the population from their original pagan beliefs by force of arms. In 1282. Ge rman as the local official language and their own parliament. the collapse of the Livonian state. sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12t h century. After the Pol ish Swedish War (1600 1611). The Latgale region remained part of the Polis h Lithuanian Commonwealth as Inflanty Voivodeship until 1772. northern Livonia (including Vidzeme) came under Swedish rule.[25][26] Several important cultural changes occurred during this time. 17th. Under Swedish and largely German rule. large parts of today's Latvia were ruled b y Germans.[22] Riga became an important point of east-west trading[22] and formed close cultural contacts with Western Europe[citation needed]. and the power of the regional barons was d iminished. Limba i.Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries. sent by the Pope.[24] Fighting continued sporadically between Sweden and Pola nd until the Truce of Altmark in 1629[citation needed]. however. After the Livonian War (1558 1583). Selonians. the Swedish p eriod is generally remembered as positive. did not convert to C hristianity as readily as hoped.[22] Together with Southern Estonia. these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. bringing all of what is now Lat via into the Russian Empire. and 18th centuries were a time of great change for the inhabitan ts of Latvia. Th e ancient tribes of the Couronians. The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia became an autonomous Russ ian province (the Courland Governorate) in 1795. it retained a considerable degree of autonomy and experienced a golden age in the 17th century.[22] The local people. southern Lat gallians adopted Catholicism under Polish/Jesuit influence. formed the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia[citation needed]. the Landtag[citati on needed]. however. Riga became the capital of Swedish Livonia and the largest city in the en tire Swedish Empire. seeking converts. gave Vidzeme to Russia (it became part of the R iga Governorate)[citation needed]. ending the Great Northern War in 1721. the easternmost regi on of Latvia. became a part of the Polish district of Inflanty. Latgalia. including the reformation. Gotthard Kettler. western Latvia adopted Lutheranism as its main religion. were included in the Ha nseatic League. largely isolated from the rest of Latvia.[27] Latvia in the Russian Empire (1710 1917)[edit] The Capitulation of Estonia and Livonia in 1710 and the Treaty of Nystad. The 17th and early 18th centuries saw a struggle between the Polish Lithuanian Com monwealth. Semigallians. The Reformation period[edit] Main articles: Swedish Livonia.[23] In the beginning of the 13th century. the last Master of the Order of Livo nia.[21] The f irst missionaries.[22] The southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Ducatus Ultradunensis (Pardaugavas hercogiste).

[29] The promises Peter the Great made to the Baltic German nobility at the fall of R iga in 1710. where it was active until 1711 and claimed t he lives of about half the population.[28 ] In 1710. and Great Plague of Riga being responsible for catastrophic loss of human life: as much as 40% of the population in Latvian lands were killed. confirmed by the Treaty of Nystad and known as "the Capitulations". palace purchased by him is still standing. largely reversed the Swedish reforms[citation needed]. with Peter the Great's scorched-earth policy[citation ne eded]. . key s are exhibited in Moscow Kremlin museum). Peter seriously consider ed moving Russian capital[clarification needed] into Riga and visited Riga for s everal long stays (he stayed in his own palace offered as a gift by Riga Magistr ate together with keys from Riga. Curiously.e of great devastation. Peter the Great's wife Marta (later Catherine I of Russia) was the on ly Latvian person ever becoming royal. famine. the plague reached Riga.