Ideology in the Development of Latvian Co-operatives from the 19th Century to 1934




Latvia, co-operatives ideology, International Co-operative Alliance


In this paper I will examine the ideology or the basic ideas upon which the co-operative movement in Latvia developed from its beginnings to 1934. The notion of co-operatives in Latvia entered mainly via literary sources in the early 19th Century. In particular, the translation into Latvian of the works of such people as the social reformist Heinrich Zschokke, the social reformer Johann Friedrich Oberlin and others. The ideas of the German co-operators Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen also had a lasting impact on the development of Latvian co-operatives from the second half of the 19th Century. During the interwar period of Latvian independence, such Latvian writers as Vilis Siliņš and Klāvs Lorencs, who had gained their experience of co-operatives abroad, were influential in the development of Latvian co-operatives in the 1920s. In addition, many books and pamphlets on co-operation were translated into Latvian and published during this period. These included the writings of Charles Gide from France, Johann Friedrich Schär and D'Henry Faucherre from Switzerland, Albin Johansson and Anders Hedberg from Sweden and Emma Freundlich from Austria, as well as others. Many new co-operative ideas were brought back to Latvia after Latvian participation at meetings of the International Co-operative Alliance and similar organisations, as well as attendance by Latvian co-operators at the International Co-operative Summer School held by the International Co-operative Alliance. After the coup d’état in 1934, the co-operative movement became an instrument of the state and fulfilled the instructions from the state. In general terms, it can said that the intellectual impulses from Western Europe motivated and activated the formation and development the Latvian co-operative movement, especially in the interwar period to 1934.


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Daugavas Vārds


Kooperatīvais Kredits


Latvijas Sargs




How to Cite

Karnups, V. P. (2023). Ideology in the Development of Latvian Co-operatives from the 19th Century to 1934. Humanities and Social Sciences Latvia, 31(1), 26–35.