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The emancipation of the serfs took place in Courland in 1817 and in Vidzeme in 1 819[citation needed].

In practice, however, the emancipation was actually advant ageous to the landowners and nobility[citation needed], as it dispossessed peasa nts of their land without compensation, forcing them to return to work at the es tates "of their own free will". During the 19th century, the social structure changed dramatically[citation need ed]. A class of independent farmers established itself after reforms allowed the peasants to repurchase their land, but many landless peasants remained[citation needed]. There also developed a growing urban proletariat and an increasingly i nfluential Latvian bourgeoisie. The Young Latvian (Latvian: Jaunlatvie i) movement laid the groundwork for nationalism from the middle of the century, many of its leaders looking to the Slavophiles for support against the prevailing German-do minated social order[citation needed]. The rise in use of the Latvian language i n literature and society became known as the First National Awakening. Russifica tion began in Latgale after the Polish led the January Uprising in 1863: this sp read to the rest of what is now Latvia by the 1880s[citation needed]. The Young Latvians were largely eclipsed by the New Current, a broad leftist social and po litical movement, in the 1890s. Popular discontent exploded in the 1905 Russian Revolution, which took a nationalist character in the Baltic provinces. During these two centuries Latvia experienced economic and construction boom por ts were expanded (Riga became the largest port in the Russian Empire), railways built; new factories, banks and University were established; many residential, p ublic (theatres and museums) and school buildings erected; new parks formed; etc . Riga's boulevards and streets with beautiful buildings outside the Old Town da te from this period. Declaration of Independence[edit] Karlis Ulmanis World War I devastated the territory of what would become the state of Latvia, a long with other western parts of the Russian Empire. Demands for self-determinat ion were at first confined to autonomy, but the Russian 1917 Revolution, treaty with Germany at Brest-Litovsk, and allied armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918, created a power vacuum. The People's Council of Latvia proclaimed the ind ependence of the new country in Riga on 18 November 1918, with Karlis Ulmanis be coming the head of the provisional government. The War of Independence that followed was part of a general chaotic period of ci vil and new border wars in Eastern Europe. By the spring of 1919, there were act ually three governments Ulmanis's government; the Latvian Soviet government led by Peteris Stucka, whose forces, supported by the Red Army, occupied almost all of the country; and the Baltic German government of the United Baltic Duchy, hea ded by Andrievs Niedra and supported by the Baltische Landeswehr and the German Freikorps unit Iron Division. Estonian and Latvian forces[citation needed] defeated the Germans at the Battle of Wenden in June 1919, and a massive attack by a predominantly German force the West Russian Volunteer Army under Pavel Bermondt-Avalov was repelled in Novembe r. Eastern Latvia was cleared of Red Army forces by Latvian and Polish troops in early 1920 (from the Polish perspective the Battle of Daugavpils was a part of the Polish-Soviet War).[citation needed] A freely elected Constituent assembly convened on 1 May 1920, and adopted a libe ral constitution, the Satversme, in February 1922.[30] The constitution was part ly suspended by Karlis Ulmanis after his coup in 1934 but reaffirmed in 1990. Si nce then, it has been amended and is still in effect in Latvia today. With most of Latvia's industrial base evacuated to the interior of Russia in 1915, radical land reform was the central political question for the young state. In 1897, 61 .2% of the rural population had been landless; by 1936, that percentage had been reduced to 18%.[31] By 1923, the extent of cultivated land surpassed the pre-war level. Innovation a nd rising productivity led to rapid growth of the economy, but it soon suffered from the effects of the Great Depression. Latvia showed signs of economic recove

It is. on 16 June 1940 the government of the USSR handed the Latvian ambassador in Moscow a note. Occupation of Latvia by Nazi Germ any. the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a 10-year non-aggression pact. Finland and Estonia wer e assigned to the Soviet sphere.[35] In total 50.ry.000 and 30 . my wish that the residents of our country also show friendship towards the adv ancing military units .600 remaining to conclude business and 13. Pyotr Yakobi. Latvia was forced to accept a "mutual assistance" pact with t he Soviet Union.[citation needed] On 15 May 1934. any hardship is not in vain. The resulting people's assembly i mmediately requested admission into the USSR.[33] Latvia in World War II[edit] See also: Soviet occupation of Latvia in 1940. and the electorate had steadily moved toward the centre during the parliamen tary period. Karlis Ulmanis announced: Soviet forces are marching into our land this very morning.[32] After 1934. according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence". which was heavily exploited by Soviet propaganda.[36] Railcars with Latvians to be deported to the East during the June deportation of 1941 On 5 October 1939. which in turn stems from the ami cable relations that exist between Latvia and the Soviet Union. Latvia. and Latvian resistance movement Red Army troops enter Riga (1940) Early in the morning of 24 August 1939. And so now the down-trodden have raised their voice and demand a return of their rights that have been trampled on .000 choosin g to remain in Latvia.000 troops on Latvian territory.[39] Elections were held with single pr o-Soviet candidates listed for many positions.[citation needed] Those unhappy with the regime of Karlis Ulmanis included people who were anxious about the deteriorating economic situation and had no desire to end up under Na zi German rule.000 Baltic Germans left by the deadlin e of December 1939. The government has resigned.[citation needed] The well known Russian lawyer and public figure of Latvia. e stablishing a nationalist dictatorship that lasted until 1940.. The pact conta ined a secret protocol.[35] Most of those who remained left for Germany in summer 1940. with 1..[34] Thereafter. and demands were made for sending in additional Soviet troops and to change the government.[37] After staging border incidents. The Latvian government capitulated in the face of overwhe lming force. On 17 June Soviet troops invaded Latvian territory. Ulmanis staged a bloodless coup. I shall remain in my plac e..[34] In the North. Germany and the Soviet union in vaded their respective portions of Poland. was headed by Augusts Kirhen teins. therefore . most of the Baltic Germans left Latvia by agreement between Ulmanis' government and Nazi Germany under the Heim ins Reich programme. who have adapted themselves to the state pie.. Clearly. then a puppet government. wrote: Taken from the German model. granting the Soviets the right to station between 25. The Holocaust in Latvia. In his address by radio. U lmanis established government corporations to buy up private firms with the aim of "Latvianising" the economy.250 Latvians were deported or killed. part of the population accepted the news of their arrival with enthusiasm. called the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact. No opposition was shown towards the Soviet forces. in which Latvia was accused of breaching the articles of the agreement of 5 Oct ober 1939. This is happening wi th the knowledge and consent of the government. the authoritarian beginning in our country has turn ed into a government of national bureaucracy.[38] in which 34. State administrators were liquidated and replaced by Soviet cadres. revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945. Latvian partisans. you remain in yours.[38 ] Latvia. when a second resettlement[citation needed] scheme was agreed. After the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. which the Soviet Union granted.[40] The So . having satisfied a limited circle of citizens. on the contrary.

and Stalinism In 1944. 43. "TWO WORLDS": Anti-Sovietism propaganda board.[41] Reconstruction of shack from Gulag in museum Anywhere from 120.00 0 refugees leaving Latvia.000 to 250.000 rural residents ("kulaks") and Latvian patriots ("natio nalists") were deported to Siberia in a sweeping Operation Priboi in all three B altic states. New industry was created in Latvia. including a major machinery f actory RAF in Jelgava. at least 27. which was carefully planned and approved in Moscow already on 29 J anuary 1949. Valmiera and Olaine and some food and oil processing plants.[45] Between 136. Latvia was administered as part of Reichsko mmissariat Ostland. military personnel and their dependants from Russia and other Soviet republics started. with perhaps as many as 80.000 people arrived from other Soviet republics and the ethnic Latvian population had fallen to 62%. most of them conscripted by the occupying Nazi and Soviet authorities [citation needed].000 of them rec aptured by the Soviets or. heavy fighting took pla ce in Latvia between German and Soviet troops. both occupying forces conscripted Latvians into t heir armies. including approxima tely 75. Latvia. In the course of the war. chemical factories in Daugavpils. began to fight against the new occupier. and further deportations followed as the country was collectivised and Sovieticised. were imprisoned. 1941. as The Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. from 1945 to 1952. which ended in another German def eat. Rural a reas were forced into collectivisation.000 Latvians took refuge from the Soviet army by fleeing to Germany and Sweden. [32] On 25 March 1949. Polish.[32] More than 200.000 to 100. limiting the use of Latvian language in offic ial uses in favour of using Russian as the main language. depending on the sources. [49] Since Latvia had maintained a well-developed infrastructure and educated special ists.[32] Latvian soldie rs fought on both sides of the conflict. Soviet era (1940 1941. I n 1944.[48] An in flux of labourers. when Soviet military advances reached the area.000 Latvians. 1944 1991)[edit] Main articles: Occupation of Latvia by Soviet Union 1944 1945. Belorussian. Latvian paramilitary and Auxiliary Police units established by the occupation authority participated in the Holocaust as well.000 to as many as 300. soon joined by German collaborators.[50] Latv . in less than a year. part of the Latvian territory once more came under Soviet control.586 people were arrested. Estonian. By 1959 about 400. administrators. it became clear that Soviet forces were there to stay. Under German occupation. Summer. In the post-war period. Latvia was made to adopt Soviet farming methods. and about 945 were shot[citati on needed].000 Latvian citizens died during World War II. Latvian Soviet Soci alist Republic. and Latvian national partisans. Moscow decided to base some of the Soviet Union's most advanced manufactur ing in Latvia. After the German surren der.[42] Most sources count 200.[47] An extensive programme to impose bil ingualism was initiated in Latvia. repressed or deported to Soviet concentration camps (the Gulag ) in the post war years.viet Union incorporated Latvia on 5 August 1940. Most were deported for c ooperating with the German army[citation needed]. during few months immediately after the end of war.000 and 190. Lithuanian) were closed down leavi ng only two media of instructions in the schools: Latvian and Russian.000 Latvian Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation.[46] Some managed to escape arrest an d joined the partisans[citation needed]. in this way increasing the loss of the nation's "live resources".[4 3] returned by the West. including in the Latvian Legion of the Waffen-SS.[44] The Soviets reoccupied the country in 1944 1945. The S oviets immediately began to reinstate the Soviet system. electrotechnical factories in Riga. The Soviets dealt harshly with their opponents prior to the German invasion. All of the minority sc hools (Jewish.

ia manufactured trains. However. tools and equipmen t. [51] Population of Latvia reached its peak in 1990 at just under 2. bags and l uggage. decreasing the proportion of ethnic Latvians in the republic. To maintai n and expand industrial production. skilled workers were migrating from all over the Soviet Union. telephones. minibuses. aviation and agricultural equipment and long list of other goods. Latvia had its own film industry and musical records factory (LPs). watches. there were not enough people to operate the newly built factories[citation needed]. Restoration of Independence in 1991[edit] . shoes. furniture. ships. musical instruments. home appliances. electrical and diesel engines. mopeds. radios and hi-fi s ystems.7 million peo ple. textiles. clothing.