Janis Cakste

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Čakste, Jānis


Born Sept. 14, 1859, in Lielsesavas Volost (small rural district), Dobele District, Kurzeme Province, in what is now the Latvian SSR; died Mar. 14, 1927, in Riga. Latvian bourgeois political figure.

A member of a wealthy family, Čakste graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University in 1886 and began practicing law in Mitava (now Jelgava). In 1888 he became the publisher and editor of the bourgeois newspaper Těvija (Fatherland). In 1906 he was a deputy to the First State Duma, where he voted with the Constitutional Democrats (Cadets). In 1916 and 1917 in Petrograd he served as chairman of the bourgeois Latvian Central Committee for the Protection of Refugees.

Čakste was hostile to the October Revolution. He was a member of the kulak Peasants’ Union party, which later became semi-fascist, and he served as chairman of the People’s Council, a counterrevolutionary body of the Latvian bourgeoisie. He was also a leader of the movement that fought from February 1919 to January 1920 with the help of foreign interventionists to suppress Soviet power in Latvia.

After the establishment of the bourgeois dictatorship in Latvia, Čakste served from 1920 to 1922 as chairman of the Constituent Assembly. Čakste was president of the bourgeois Latvian state from 1922 to 1927.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.