Latvian history can be divided into two periods:
In the thirteenth century, invading German knights founded a state on the territory of modern Latvia, where various local tribes resided. During the 16th and17th centuries, Latvia was ruled by a Polish-Lithuanian princedom and by Sweden. At the beginning of the 18th century, the Russian Empire acquired Latvia. Rising Latvian nationalism, World War I, and the Russian revolution provided the opportunity for the foundation of an independent Latvian state.
The first independent Republic of Latvia existed from 1920 to 1940. In 1940 Latvia was invaded by the USSR, and lost its independence. The Gorbachov Perestroika (restructuring) era and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union lead to the restoration of an independent Latvian Republic in August of 1991.
The following materials were used to create this section: