Just a single photo remains of Latvia's November 18, 1918 independence declaration in the Latvian National Theatre building – and this testifies to the fact that it was but a single step in the country's struggle to survive, explains eng.lsm.lv.

Latvian politicians started raising the prospect of an independent country in 1917. To be sure, there were squabbles – who wouldn't want the honor of having brought a new state to being? One of the contestants was the so-called Democratic bloc, a Rīga-based union of parties. The second was the Latvian Provisional National Council, established in Valka mostly by delegates of local governments, the land councils.

The National Council declared itself the only true representative of the will of the people and Latvia an autonomous, individual state entity. The National Council did not demand Latvia's independence yet. First of all, it did not control the Latvian territory and was de facto an underground organization mostly active in Petrograd (current St. Petersburg). The German army ruled over Courland and Rīga, while Vidzeme and Latgale was in the hands of the Bolsheviks.

Read the whole story about the independence of Latvia here.

18.11.2018, Centenary