1945-1949 since 1991

Latvia 1949-1991

In 1949 the collectivization of farmland in Lithuania was implemented. Latvian resistance against Soviet rule continued until 1956, when the failure of the west to come to the aid of Hungary's rebels discouraged Latvia's Forest Brothers. Soviet authorities responded with deportations; Latvia saw an influx of Russians, Ukrainians etc. The construction of a Soviet Naval Base at Liepaja (Libau) and of several factories brought many workers from all over the USSR into the country. As a result, in 1993 the Latvian population was composed to 53.5 % by ethnic Latvians, 33.5 Russians, 4.2 % Belorussians, 3.2 % Ukrainians etc.
During Soviet rule, official policy promoted the use of either Russian or Latvian (bilingualism). With the liberalization under Mikhail Gorbachev (since 1985), Latvian politicians, as their counterparts in Lithuania and Estonia, declared the Soviet annexation of 1940 as illegal and thus Latvia de jure being independent. The USSR throughout 1991 challenged this position, and the parliament building in Riga found itself temporarily under siege. With the recognition of Latvian independence by Russia (Yeltsin) and the dissolution of the USSR at the end of 1991, Latvian independence became political reality.

History of Latvia, from vernet.tv
Riga, History of, from vest_ang
History of Latvia 1939-1991, from Latvia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Article Forest Brothers, from Wikipedia
Article History of Latvia, Soviet Period, from Wikipedia
A.V. Berkis, Soviet Russia's Persecution of Latvia, from 1918 to the Present, posted in IHR
History, from about Liepaja
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Latvia
Historical Population Statistics : Latvia, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
REFERENCE David G. Kirby, The Baltic World 1772-1993, London : Longman 1995
Andrejs Plakans, The Latvians. A Short History, Stanford : Hoover Institution Press 1995 [G]
Frederic T. Harned, Latvia and the Latvians, pp.94-117 in : Zev Katz et al. (ed.), Handbook of Major Soviet Nationalities, NY : The Free Press 1975 [G]
The Fifteen Soviet Republics, pp.63-78 in : John Gunther, Meet Soviet Russia, I : Land, People, Sights, NY : Harper & Bros. 1962 [G]
Article : Latvia, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.402-403, 1951 pp.411-412, 1952 pp.412-413, 1953 p.409, 1954 p.414, 1955 p.457, 1956 pp.394-395, 1957 p.457, 1958 p.397, 1959 p.393, 1960 p.388 [G]
Article : USSR : Latvia, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1970-1971 pp.1432-1433, 1975-1976 pp.1436-1438, 1976-1977 pp.1434-1436, 1978-1979 pp.1254-1256, 1979-1980 pp.1263-1265, 1980-1981 pp.1259-1261, 1981-1982 pp.1267-1269, 1983-1984 pp.1263-1265, 1984-1985 pp.1261-1263, 1985-1986 pp.1262-1264, 1986-1987 pp.1261-1262, 1987-1988 pp.1265-1266, 1989-1990 pp.1275-1276, 1990-1991 pp.1278-1279, 1991-1992 pp.1277-1279 [G]
Article : Latvia, in : Americana Annual 1957 p.446, 1961 p.419, 1962 p.428, 1963 pp.385-386, 1964 p.383 [G]

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First posted on October 26th 2006, last revised on March 22nd 2007

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