Krisjanis Valdemars

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Valdemārs, Krišjānis Martinovich

 

Born Nov. 20 (Dec. 2), 1825, in Vecjunkurs, now the Talsy Raion of the Latvian SSR; died Nov. 25 (Dec. 7), 1891, in Moscow. Latvian public figure, journalist, and economist. Ideologist of the Latvian bourgeoisie and prominent participant in the “Young Latvia” movement.

Valdemārs was the son of a well-to-do peasant. Upon graduating from the University of Dorpat (Tartu) (1858), he worked in St. Petersburg, and in 1867 he began to work in Moscow as a journalist and specialist on navigation. From 1862 to 1865, Valdemārs published and edited the first national Latvian bourgeois-liberal newspaper, Peterburgas avizes, around which the Young Latvians grouped themselves. Valdemärs advocated the capitalist mode of production; he was against the privileges of the Baltic German barons and burghers. He called upon Latvians to acquire knowledge and experience in trade and industrial enterprises and to struggle for national and economic independence while cooperating with Russia. Valdemärs was an advocate of the reforms that were being carried out by the government. (For example, he argued in favor of selling to the Baltic peasants the lands that they were then renting, and he favored improving the school system.) He was an opponent of the revolutionary democratic movement.

Valdemārs’s works include Three Hundred Short Stories (1853), The National Schools of Russia From the Viewpoint of the National Economy (1861), The Situation of the Peasants in the Baltic Area, Especially Those in Lifland (1862), and A Latvian-Russian-German Dictionary (1879).

WORKS

Raksti, vols. 1-2. Riga, 1936-37.

REFERENCES

Protiv idealizatsii mladolatyshskogo dvizheniia. Riga, 1960. (Collection of articles.)
Niedre, J. “Krišjāñis Valdemārs.” In Latviešu literatūra, [vol.] 2. Riga, 1953.

K. IA. STRAZDIN