Jauna Strava

Jaunā Strāva


(New Tendency), a revolutionary democratic movement among the Latvian intelligentsia of the 1890’s. The Jaunā Strāva originated under the influence of the growing workers’ movement. The preconditions for its emergence were a general dissatisfaction with the social and political system, which had been marked by tsarist oppression and oppression by the Baltic barons, and disappointment with the activities of the Latvian bourgeois nationalists.

In 1893 adherents of the Jaunā Strāva established contacts with workers’ circles, conducted propaganda for social democratic ideas, and organized discussions exposing the policies of the Russian autocracy and the nationalism of the Latvian bourgeoisie. The leading element of the movement was its left wing, which included P. Stučka, J. Rainis, and F. Roziņš. An absence of organizational unity, however, weakened the movement’s effectiveness. The ideological center of the movement was the newspaper Dienas lapa (Daily Bulletin).

The Jaunā Strāva exerted a great influence on the development of the democratic traditions of the Latvian people and contributed to an upsurge of Latvian national culture. The movement ended in 1897 after the government closed down Dienas lapa and arrested the leaders.