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Latvian nationalist ideas and intellectuals 19th century-1939

Ieva Zake, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This research studies small and young nation nationalisms that emerged from the breakdown of imperial states after WWI. The focus is on political philosophies that are generated by the nationalist-oriented intellectuals. It is asked here if small nation nationalist ideas are different from those of large nations and to what extent nationalist conceptions are due to intellectuals' political position and ideals. The evidence was collected from the nationalist writing of Latvian intellectuals from around 1860 until 1939. It was concluded that the prevalence of certain themes in Latvian nationalist philosophy was due to the nationalist intellectuals' notions of perfect national existence and their attitude toward and involvement in the political process. The results also showed that Latvian nationalist ideas differed from those of large nation nationalisms. Most importantly, small nation nationalist philosophies turned out to be particularly flexible and able to borrow ideas from other political contexts as well as adapt to changing political reality.

Subject Area

Sociology|European history

Recommended Citation

Zake, Ieva, "Latvian nationalist ideas and intellectuals 19th century-1939" (2004). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3152837.