Latvia's Ordeal: Nation Building in War and Revolution


Zazerskaya, Tatiana Ph.D., St. Petersburg State University (Russia)

Based on research in Russian, French, and Belgian archives, Latvia’s Ordeal traces the complex story of Latvian state-building. Pinning hopes on the outcome of World War I, Latvia’s nationalist intelligentsia advocated self-determination and the establishment of a new state within ethnographic borders. Independence emerged in a complex domestic and international landscape. While part of Latvia’s ethnic territories were occupied by German troops, half of the population and much industry had been evacuated to the Russian interior. Proclaiming independence in German-ruled Riga on November 18, 1918, Latvian politicians hoped for Allied support as the German Empire fell apart.
Nevertheless, Latvia’s solemn declaration of independence was not enough. As the anxious Allies were awaiting the results of political and military confrontations between the still-deployed German troops, the Bolsheviks ruling in Riga, and military units of the anti-communist White Russian movement, the new Latvian state had to navigate a difficult path between these competing parties and their own people. Ultimately, a peace treaty with Soviet Russia was the only way to guarantee, at least temporarily, Latvia’s independence as a new nation-state.

Political Science, Nationalism, Imperialism, National Independence, Nation Building, Colonialism, Postcolonial Studies, Nation States, Latvia, Baltic Region, Russia, Russian Empire, Soviet Russia, Russian Civil War, World War I
Release Date: 
March 1, 2021
978-1680539530 Hardcover
Trim Size: 

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