Baltic States Fight for Independence (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Baltic states fight for independence and organize their own governments, allowing the three nations to consolidate a national political consciousness that later withstands a half century of Soviet rule.
Summary of Event
The emergence of the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia at the end of World War I had an impact on the history of Eastern Europe throughout the twentieth century. An expression of the ideas of national self-determination, the creation of the states was made possible by the collapse of the two major East European empires, czarist Russia and the German Reich.
Before World War I, the territory that became the three states was a part of the Russian empire. The German offensive of 1915 basically occupied Lithuania and western Latvia. Eastern Latvia and Estonia therefore took part in the political revolutions sweeping Russia in 1917, from the collapse of the czarist order in March to the Bolshevik seizure of power, under the leadership of V. I. Lenin, in November. While new democratic ideas came to Estonia and Latvia in 1917, German authorities considered ways of incorporating Lithuania and western Latvia into the German empire. In February and March of 1918, German troops moved into eastern Latvia and Estonia. Thoughts of national independence for all three nations began to develop behind both the Russian and the German lines, but these became feasible only...
(The entire section is 1457 words.)
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