The Baltic States: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania by Inese A. Smith, Marita V. Grunts

By Inese A. Smith, Marita V. Grunts

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This phase of Baltic literatures being produced largely by persons whose knowledge of the local languages came later in life would continue well into the nineteenth century, until the beginnings of the 'national awakenings' period. From the late medieval centuries onward, the Latvians and Estonians, and, more slowly, the Lithuanians, lost their indigenous political élites through death and assimilation. Certainly by the early seventeenth century, there was a very high correlation between being a member of one of these three peoples and being an enserfed peasant.

Page i The Baltic States: Estonia, Lativia, Lithuania Page ii WORLD BIBLIOGRAPHICAL SERIES General Editors: Robert G. Neville (Executive Editor) John J. Horton Robert A. MyersIan WallaceHans H. WellischRalph Lee Woodward, Jr. John J. Horton is Deputy Librarian of the University of Bradford and currently Chairman of its Academic Board of Studies in Social Sciences. He has maintained a longstanding interest in the discipline of area studies and its associated bibliographical problems, with special reference to European Studies.

Even by early 1990 in the Baltic republics the restoration of complete political independence was by no means a universally accepted goal of reform activity. The Slavic-language populations in each republic understandably had ambiguous feelings, and the Balts themselves differed on how quickly to move to an open break. Many spoke in terms of autonomy within a reformed USSR, just as in the first pre-independence period immediately preceding the 1918 declarations many had thought in terms of 'national autonomy in a free Russia'.

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