Latvia Where Freedom Is Really Important

Today, Latvia is an independent country, the EU and NATO member. While most nations take such things in their stride, they really matter to Latvians as the country enjoys a rare period of freedom from foreign occupation. Troubled history of Latvia saw the occupation by the Germans, Poles, Lithuanians, Swedes, the Russia of Peter the Great, Germany again, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union again in 1944 until 1989. Too often the invasion was followed by slaughter and mass deportations with foreign workers and troops moving into Latvia in large numbers. The modern history of Latvia began in 1180 with the arrival of Christian missionaries. The most violent approach worked and the foundations of Riga Cathedral were in place by 1211. Four hundred years later, Sweden was the great power that controlled most of the Baltic, its rule has ended Russian 1721. Vaught between the German and Russian armies in the Great War of 1914, the country was devastated. When the Bolshevik Revolution forced Russia on the conflict to concentrate on the slaughter of the class at home, Latvia, like neighboring Estonia and Lithuania, it took the opportunity to declare independence, and a war Indepence two consecutive years. Latvians eventually triumphed and a period of relative tranquility followed that lasted twenty years.

In 1941, the Soviet Union and then the Germans - this time as Nazis - were back! More than 200,000 Latvians perished in the 2nd World War. The Jewish population of 70,000 was virtually wiped out by the Nazis while Latvians were forced into both the German and Soviet armies. The Russians eventually reconquered the country and was annexed to the Soviet Union in 1944. With the Russians taking many jobs, just over half of the population was of Latvian origin in the 1960s glasnost and the incredible changes in the Soviet Union introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980s, gave the Latvians their opportunity to seize greater independence once. On 4 May 1990, came the Declaration of the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia. There was a worrying transition period before full independence arrived August 21, 1991, although Russian troops hung around for three years. After its traumatic history, Latvia wanted to ensure future membership in NATO and the European Union. Independence has been so long coming, it's easy to see why any disrepect shown national monuments by unthinking visitors will be tightened strongly. Riga is experiencing a boom as visitors flood into Latvia. Unlike the "invasions" earlier for once the foreign visitors are welcome

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