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The Baltic Germans are ethnic German inhabitants of the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, .. Under German-Soviet treaties, Germany gained control over Courland, Riga, Saaremaa (Ösel), Livonia and Estonia. .. of German Baltic Nobility · Estonian Manors Portal the English version introduces well- preserved manors.
Table of contents
- German retail Lidl begins to construct logistics center in Riga
- Baltic German Symposium of Pathology
- The Germans from the Baltics
- Latest news
- DW Newsletter
Towns turned into prospering trade and handicraft centres. At the beginning of the 14th century, the rulers of Lithuania, with the aid of German colonists, founded many cities with the German system of laws, including Vilnius, which would become Lithuania's capital.
As early as the s Estonian towns embraced the Lutheran Reformation, thus revealing their close ties with Germany proper. Preaching in the vernacular also increased and the first Estonian-language religious books were compiled by German Lutheran pastors. The landed gentry, with some hesitation, also accepted Lutheranism.
German retail Lidl begins to construct logistics center in Riga
For the Baltic German nobility, however, the result of this devastating war was favourable. The Swedish province of Estland was formed. Later, southern Estonia and northern Latvia, which belonged to Poland, were also conquered by Sweden to form the Livonian province Livland. The privileges of the Baltic Germans were largely preserved under the Swedish rulers. Both Poland and Sweden regarded the German nobility's councils and guilds as the legitimate representatives of the provinces and recognised the supremacy of the German language and German law.
However, the Livonian nobility never reached as strong a position as that of the province of Estonia. At the end of the 17th century a considerable part of the land was repossessed by the state.
Baltic German Symposium of Pathology
Then, conflict between the Swedish King Charles XI and the Livonian nobility led to the abolishing of their self-government rights. During the 17th century the Baltic provinces made rapid cultural progress. In Tartu Dorpat a university was founded in The Baltic German intelligentsia began to emerge, consisting of Lutheran pastors, gymnasium or university teachers, and civil officials.
The continuing close contact with Germanic religious thought and with other Western countries also contributed to the enhancement of cultural life, particularly in Tallinn. In the late 17th century the first German newspapers were published in Tallinn and Riga. Due to the efforts of the Lutheran pastors, Christianity now made greater headway among the Estonian and Latvian peasants. Encouraged by the Swedish state, the development of the Estonian literary language began, with the compilation and publication of grammar and religious books.
Rural schools for peasants were also founded. This promising development was halted by the Great Famine of and the devastating Northern War - which followed. Number of Germans. The Northern War, nevertheless, had positive results for the Baltic nobility. The capitulation treaties, confirmed by Peter the Great, granted the nobility all their land possessions, the right to self-government, special laws and the supremacy of the German language and the Lutheran church. In short, all the former rights of the city councils and nobles' corporations were confirmed.
The control of local affairs now lay firmly in the hands of the German elite. The Baltic noblemen were appreciated by the Russian Emperors as loyal and efficient officials. In the Russian army, in the administrative and the diplomatic service, they occupied an enormous number of important posts. Sixty-nine generals of Baltic origin participated in the Napoleonic wars. Loyal service was one of the reasons why the Russian emperors tolerated the far-reaching autonomy of the Baltic aristocracy in the Baltic provinces.
In , after the third division of Poland, the province of Courland was annexed by Russia.
Self-government existed with slight differences in all three Baltic provinces. The main self-governing body of the nobles' corporations was the diet, which consisted of all the owners of the larger manor estates. The diet ruled on all the crucial problems of provincial life, and also had the right of legislative initiative.
Diets elected the highest police officials and judges, as well as the secular members of the Lutheran church. Towns were governed by German town councils, recruited from the merchants' guilds and intelligentsia. Within the Russian empire, until the imposition of strict Russification in the s, the Baltic Germans enjoyed rapid cultural progress.
The Germans maintained close contact with German philosophical trends and new ideologies from Europe.
The Germans from the Baltics
After the Northern War, no university remained in the Baltic provinces, but young intellectuals from German universities began to settle in the Baltics as teachers, pastors, and officials. At the same time local youth were sent to study in German universities. The economic progress of the manor estates, based on cheap labour, duties, grain production and the sale of alcohol and meat to the Russian market, enabled noblemen to pursue cultural endeavours.
A network of German schools was established. The towns, although they never reached the prosperity of Hanseatic times, turned into cultural centres with schools, printing plants, theatres, libraries, bookshops, German reading or music societies, clubs, and so on. Local youth from less wealthy families now also had the opportunity to study, and the educational level of all Baltic Germans began to rise. The proportion of intellectuals among the German nobility increased markedly; the "Literatenstand", joining of lawyers, physicians, artists and journalists, emerged.
From then on, social changes began to take place with ever-increasing speed.
One major change was the emergence of a class of small landowners among the Estonians and Latvians. In addition, the expansion of industry, trade, and transport in the Baltics began in the s.
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The Baltic German classes had to face the emancipation, both social and national, of the Estonians and Latvians. The Baltic Germans seemed to adapt successfully to the era of industrialisation. English capital of Latvia. German Hauptstadt von Lettland. Context sentences Context sentences for "Riga" in German These sentences come from external sources and may not be accurate. English A week ago, I was in Riga and saw for myself just how much is required if trust in our neighbours is to grow.
More by bab. English rifle-blast rifleman riflemen rifles rifling rift rift valley rifts rig rig-out Riga rigged rigged market rigged up rigger riggers rigging rigging grip rigging up right right about Translations into more languages in the bab. Hangman Hangman Fancy a game?
The early crusaders, tradesmen and craftsmen often married local women, as there were no German women available. Some noble families, such as the Lievens , claimed descent through such women from native chieftains. New German arrivals came to the area.
During this time the Low German Plattdeutsch of the original settlers was gradually replaced by the High German Hochdeutsch of the new settlers. In cases where intermarriage occurred, members of the other ethnic groups frequently assimilated into German culture, adopting language, customs, and German family names. They were then considered Germans, leading to the ethnogenesis of the Baltic Germans. Barclay de Tolly and George Armitstead , who emigrated from the British Isles, married into and became part of the Baltic-German community.
Small numbers of Ethnic Germans began to settle in the area in the late 12th century when traders and Christian missionaries began to visit the coastal lands inhabited by tribes who spoke Finnic and Baltic languages. Systematic conquest and settlement of these lands was completed during the Northern Crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries which resulted in creation of the Terra Mariana confederation, under the protection of Roman Popes and Holy Roman Empire. During the next three centuries German-speaking soldiers, clergymen, merchants and craftsmen constituted the majority of the quickly growing urban population, as the native inhabitants usually were prohibited from settling there.
Membership in the Hanseatic League and active trade links with Russia and Europe increased wealth of Baltic German traders. As the military power of the Teutonic Knights weakened during the 15th century wars with the Kingdom of Poland , Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Grand Duchy of Moscow , the Livonian branch in the north began to pursue its own policies. When the Prussian branch of the Order secularized in and became a Polish vassal state as the Duchy of Prussia , the Livonian branch remained independent while searching for a similar way to secularize.
Livonia became mostly Protestant during the Reformation. The secularized land was divided among the remaining knights who formed the basis of Baltic nobility. The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia existed as a German-speaking country until , while the northern part of Duchy of Livonia was conquered by Sweden which controlled parts of Estonia between and and Swedish Livonia between and , having signed an agreement with the local Baltic German nobles not to undermine their political rights and autonomy. It remained the only institution of higher education in the former Livonian territories and became the intellectual focus of the Baltic Germans.
At the end of the 17th century Sweden introduced the land reduction in its Baltic provinces and properties held by German nobility became the property of the Crown. That effectively turned serfs into free peasants, but it would be overturned when Russia conquered these territories in and restored the rights of German landowners under the Treaty of Nystad. The Baltic provinces remained autonomous and were self-governed by the local Baltic nobility.