The Chronology

The short chronology of Latvian history.

9000 BC first human settlers enter Latvia’s territory.

90002000 BC Stone Age

2000-1000 BC Early metal’s age

1000-1200 AD Iron Age

3000 BC:The territory around the Baltic Sea is inhabited by Finno-Ugric people the ancestors of Finns, Estonians and Livonians.

2000 BC First Baltic peoples enter the territory of Latvia

9-10 century Viking raids in Latvian territory. First state foundations in the territory of Latvia. Latvia is inhabited by Baltic tribes of Couronians, Semigallians, Selonians and Latgalians.

1270ies German merchants are making first trips to the creek of the Daugava.

Somewhere around 1184 German monk Meinard starts his mission in Livonian land.

1198  German crusaders fight battle with Livonians. Bishop Berthold dies in battle.

1199-1229 The reign of Bishop Albert. German Crusaders conquer Latvian land.

1201 Bishop Alberts founds Riga as the new base for crusaders.

1209 Latgalian ruler Visvaldis of Jersika surrenders to crusaders.

1210 Curonians attack Riga from the sea.

1236 Lithuanians and Semigallians defeats the Crusaders at the battle of Saule. The crusader order of The Brothers of Sword perishes in battle. The new Livonian Order is formed as an integral part of the Teutonic order.

1260 Curonians and Samogotians of Lithuania defeats crusaders in the battle of Durbe.

1287 Semigallians are victorious at the battle of Garoza (near Jelgava)

14-15 century The Reign of Livonian Confederation. Conflicts between Livonian Orde and the city of Riga. Rulers and wars with Lithuanians.

1330 Livonian Order captures Riga takes full power over the city.

1419 The Livonian Lantag is gathered. The first representative assembly of landlords and city rulers.

1491-1535 The reign of the Master of the Livonian Order Valter von Pletenberg.

1503 The peace deal with Russia secures the Livonian peace for many decades.

1521 Reformation starts in Livonia

1525 First book printed in Latvian

1558-1583  The Livonian War. Russia, Sweden and Poland-Lithuania battles for Livonian land.

1561 The Confederation of Livonia ceases to exist. The Duchy Courland and Semigallia are formed as a vassal state of the Polish and Lithuanian commonwealth. Latgalia and Vidzeme becomes a Duchy of Livonia (Pārdaugava) as part of the Polish – Lithuanian Commonwealth. War in Livonia still continues until 1583.

1577 Ivan IV the Terrible army destroys Cesis and the rest of Vidzeme.

1584-1589 The calendar revolt in Riga against the Polish government.

1585 First book in Latvian by P. Canisius- the Lutheran catechism.

1600-1629 the War between Poles and Swedes.

1629 truce between Poles and Swedes. Riga and Vidzeme is taken over by Sweden

1632  The foundation of University of Terbata (Tartu). The first university in Baltic Region.

1642-1682– The reign of Duke Jekabs of the Duchy of Curland and Semigallia.

16851691 first translation of Bible in Latvian by Ernests Gliks.

1700-1721 Great Northern War.

1721 The peace between Sweden and Russia. Vidzeme and Riga becomes part of Russian Empire.

1772 Latgalia becomes part of Russia.

1775 The Academy of Peter is founded in Jelgava.

1795 The last Duke of Curland Peter Biron steps down; Courland and Semigallia becomes a part of Russia.

1796 Garibl Merkel releases his influential work The Latvians.

1802 Kauguri peasants’ revolt.

1812 Napoleon’s army enters Latvia.

1817, 1819 Slavedom is abolished in the provinces of Courland, later in Vidzeme.

1822 The first Latvian newspaper “The Latvian newspapers” is published.

1841-1848 Peasant revolts in Vidzeme. Massive conversion to Orthodox Church and emigration to Russia.

19 Century 50ies-70ies- The emerging of intellectual new Latvians movement. The beginning of the Latvian nationalism.

1861 Slavedom is abolished in Latgalia

1868 The foundation of Riga Latvian Society.

1873 First Song and Dance festival.

19 Century 90ies– The New Current movement brings Marxism to Latvia.

1905 1907 Revolution takes place in Latvia.

1914-1918 First World War.

The summer of 1915 German army invades the Latvian territory. The formation of Latvian Rifleman Battalions to fight the German army.

The end of 1916 Christmas’s battles.

1917-1918-Revolution in Russia. German army occupies Latvia completely.

1918 November 18 The proclamation   of the Republic of Latvia.

1918 December-1920 August- Latvian Soviet government lead by Peteris Stučka operates in various places in Latvia.

1918-1920 The War for Freedom.

1919 University of Latvia is founded.

1919 June 22-23 – Estonian-Latvian forces defeat German Iron Division.

1919  November 11 Latvian army victorious over the Russian-German Bermont army.

1920 August 11 Latvian- Soviet peace treaty.

1920 May 1 The first Latvian parliament starts work.

1922 February 15 Latvian constitution the Satversme is ratified. The parliament Saeima starts work.

1922 Lats the  new national currency is introduced

1921 January 26 Latvia is officially recognized by world’s elite nations.

1929 World economic crisis hits Latvia.

1934 May 15 Karlis Ulmanis takes power with a coup and stops work of the Saeima and Satversme.

1939 August 23 Nazi Germany and Soviet Union signs non-aggression pact. Latvia becomes a sphere of interest of the Soviet Union.

1939 October 5 Soviet Union forces Latvia to sign Support agreement which permits making Soviet war bases in Latvian territory.

1940 June 15 Soviet special units’ attacks on the Latvian border guard station at Maslenki and one other. Five people including 2 civilians were killed, 37 taken captive.

1940 June 17 Soviet Army enters Latvia and occupies Latvia completely. Kārlis Ulmanis government looses power. He is in formally in charge until August 20. Later deported to North Caucasus.

1940 June 20 New Soviet controlled government is installed (so called “Peoples Government”)

1940 July 14-15 Soveits organize so called elections of the “Peoples Saeima” with only one allowed list to vote.

1940 July 21 “Peoples Saeima” formally makes a decision to join the Soviet Union

1940 August 5 Latvia is officially annexed by the Soviet Union. US and other western countries don’t accept that.

1941 July 14 Thousands of Latvian people are deported to Siberia.

1941 July 22 Nazi Germany attacks Soviet Union and occupies Latvia.

1941-1942 Massive extermination of Jews, Gypsies and mentally ill patients by the Nazi’s.

1941 August 3 First Latvian division in the Red Army is formed

1943 By Hitler’s orders the formation of Latvian Waffen-SS legion begins.

1944-1945 Soviet Army enters Latvia. The bitter battles take place at Courland

1945-1991 Latvia is part of the Soviet Union as the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic.

1945-1956 Armed Latvian National partisan resistance against the Soviet Regime takes place many parts of Latvia.

1949 March 25 Mass deportation to Siberia.

1956-1959 The Kruschev destalinazition policies springs up the national communist movement suppressed in 1959

1965-1985 The Brezhnev policy of stagnation adds certain economic and political stability within Latvia

1986 New Soviet leader Mihail Gorbachev declares new changes in Soviet policy. The beginning of perestroika and glastnostj.

1987 July 14 “Helsinki 86” movement places flowers at the Monument of Independence commemorating the deportation of 1940. The mass movement of protests against the Soviet occupation starts.

1988 July The Latvian National Independence Movement is formed

1988 October Latvian Popular Front is formed

1989 August 23 The Baltic Way takes place in both three Baltic States as a commemoration demonstration to the Molotov – Ribentrop pact.

1989 After removing the monopoly rights of the communist party, national democratic forces get elected in the Latvian Supreme Soviet and starts course for independence

1990 May 4 The Declaration of Independence is signed pawing way to complete independence.

1991 January Soviet government tries to halt the restoration of independence. Barricades are set in Old Riga to protect the Latvian government. Numerous shootings take place at the center of Riga, the Soviets fail to quell the national movement.

1991 August 21 Following the failure of the communist coup in Moscow, Latvia restores full independence.

1991 December Soviet Union collapses and Russian Federation recognizes Latvia as a sovereign state.

1994 Russia removes all armed forces of Latvia.

1995 Bank crisis causes economic instability.

1999 Vaira Vīķe- Freiberga is elected as the first female president.

2004 Latvia becomes part of the European Union and NATO.

2008 World economic crisis hits Latvia.

2009 January 13 Economical instability causes violent anti government riots in Old Riga.

2009 June  Pro-Russian party Harmony Center secures win in Riga municipal elections. Nils Ušakovs becomes the first Russian to be Major of Riga.

2011 May 28 The President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers dismisses the parliament and calls for emergency elections. A few days later he himself looses the president seat by not being elected for the second term by the parliament that he dismisses. The new president Andris Bērziņš replaces him.

2011 The Pro-Russian party “Harmony Center” wins the elections but fails to enter the leading coalition.

2012  The referendum for Russian as the second official language takes place. The majority of voters turns down the two language solution.

2013 The Latvian government officially applies for joining Eurozone. The currency change is planned for 2014.