History Of Latvia
Ancestors of Latvians were Fino-Ugric peoples and the Balts, who lived on the present territory of Latvia before the common era. In 1198, these lands became the object of a crusade declared by the Pope. After several battles Latvia along with Estonia became part of the Roman Empire under the name of Livonia and took the baptism. In 1282, Riga and later Cēsis, Limbaži, Koknes and Valmiera in the Union of North German trading cities (“Hanseatic League”), which contributed to the rapid development of the region. After the defeat of the Teutonic Knights in 1410 at Grunwald, Latvia was transferred to Poland.
In the second half of the 16th century the territory of Latvia claimed four States: Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Lithuania. The greatest success in diplomacy has reached Sweden and, at the beginning of the 17 century, she conquered the country. Latvia became one of the most developed parts of Sweden, and its main city of Riga. At this time there was gradually consolidating individual peoples (latgallians, selonians, Semigallians and Curonians, Livonians) into a single, speaking the same language, the Latvian people. After the defeat of Sweden in the Great Northern War Latvia became owned by the Russian Empire. In 1817-1819, in much of the present-day Latvia was abolished serfdom, and in 1887, the legislation was introduced the teaching of the Russian language in all schools.
During the first world war, the territory of the country was occupied by Germany. Latvian fighters, called “Latvian arrows”, fought on the side of Russia and his heroism were known throughout Europe. In 1918, the German troops were withdrawn from the territory of Latvia, and the post-war confusion was a good background for the establishment of an independent State. At the end of the year 1918 Latvia proclaimed its independence. January 26, 1921, independent Latvian Republic was recognized by the world community and was admitted to the League of Nations.
Since the start of the second world war, when Germany attacked Poland, the USSR decided to secure its borders and began to demand from Latvia, to provide for the needs of the Red Army military ports, airfields and other military infrastructure. In October 1939, signed by the Latvian-Soviet Treaty of mutual assistance, which resulted in the Baltic countries are former Soviet military bases. However, later the Soviet Union begins to make her ultimatums, one demanding the resignation of the Government. June 17, 1940, Latvia was annexed by the SOVIET UNION. In July of the same year was elected the people’s Saeima and proclaimed the establishment of the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic and adopted a Declaration on joining in the USSR. In August 1940 Latvia was one of the Socialist Republics of the USSR. June 22, 1941, Germany attacked the USSR-Latvian territory within one and a half weeks came under German control and remained there until July 1944 onwards. After the victory of the Red Army at the Yalta Conference in January 1945, the SOVIET border was fixed as of June 1941 year, that is, all the great powers recognized the incorporation of Latvia into the USSR.
August 24, 1991, after the coup, the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin signed the Decree on the recognition of the independence of Latvia. In May 1992 the year Latvia joined the International Monetary Fund in April 2004, became a member of NATO, and from May 1, 2004, Member of the European Union.