Courland Governorate
Courland Governorate, also known as the Province of Courland, Governorate of Kurland , and Government of Courland , was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

, that is now part of the Republic of Latvia.

The governorate was created in 1795 out of the territory of the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia
Duchy of Courland and Semigallia
The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia is the name of a duchy in the Baltic region that existed from 1562 to 1569 as a vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and from 1569...

 that was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the province of Courland with its capital at Jelgava
-Sports:The city's main football team, FK Jelgava, plays in the Latvian Higher League and won the 2009/2010 Latvian Football Cup.- Notable people :*August Johann Gottfried Bielenstein - linguist, folklorist, ethnographer...

 (called Mitau at the time), following the third partition
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

 of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

. Until the late 19th century the governorate was not ruled by Russia but was administered independently by the local Baltic German
Baltic German
The Baltic Germans were mostly ethnically German inhabitants of the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, which today form the countries of Estonia and Latvia. The Baltic German population never made up more than 10% of the total. They formed the social, commercial, political and cultural élite in...

 nobility through a feudal Regional Council .

The governorate was bounded in north by the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, the Gulf of Riga
Gulf of Riga
The Gulf of Riga, or Bay of Riga, is a bay of the Baltic Sea between Latvia and Estonia. According to C.Michael Hogan, a saline stratification layer is found at a depth of approximately seventy metres....

 and the Governorate of Livonia; west by the Baltic Sea; south by the Vilna Governorate
Vilna Governorate
The Vilna Governorate or Government of Vilna was a governorate of the Russian Empire created after the Third Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795...

 and Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 and east by the Vitebsk Governorate and Minsk Governorate
Minsk Governorate
The Minsk Governorate or Government of Minsk was a governorate of the Russian Empire. The seat was in Minsk. It was created in 1793 from the land acquired in the partitions of Poland, and lasted until 1921.- Administrative structure :...

. The population in 1846 was estimated at 553,300.

It ceased to exist during the World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 after the German Empire
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 took control of the region in 1915. Russia surrendered the territory by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

 on March 3, 1918.

List of governors

Between 1800 and 1876 overall authority in Courland was handed to the governor-general of the Baltic Provinces (German: Generalgouverneur der Ostseeprovinzen).
  • 1795 - 1796 Peter Ludwig Freiherr von der Pahlen (temporary governor-general of Courland and Pilten)
  • 1796 - 1798 Gustav Matthias Jakob von der Wenge
  • 1798 - 1800 Carl Wilhelm Heinrich von der Osten
  • 1800 - 1808 Nikolay Ivanovich Arsenyev
  • 1808 Jakob Maximilian von Brieskorn (acting governor on 18-21 May 1812)
  • 1808 - 1811 Johann Wilhelm Baron von Hogguer
  • 1811 Jakob Maximilian von Brieskorn (acting governor in August-September 1812)
  • 1811 - 1816 Friedrich Wilhelm Graf von Sievers (in exile in Riga during Napoleonic invasion of Courland in July-December 1812)
  • 1812 Jules de Chambaudoin and Charles de Montigny (French intendants of Courland, Semigallia and Pilten on 1 August-8 October 1812)
  • 1812 Jacques David Martin (French governor-general of Courland on 8 October-20 December 1812)
  • 1816 - 1824 Emannuel von Stanecke
  • 1824 - 1827 Paul Baron von Hahn
  • 1827 - 1853 Christoph Engelbrecht von Brevern
  • 1853 Aleksandr Petrovich Beklemishev (acting governor on 10 May-14 June 1853)
  • 1853 - 1858 Pyotr Aleksandrovich Valuyev
  • 1858 Julius Gustav von Cube (acting governor on 10-21 May 1858)
  • 1858 - 1868 Johann von Brevern
  • 1868 - 1885 Paul Fromhold Freiherr von Lilienfeld
  • 1885 Aleksandr Alekseyevich Manyos
  • 1885 - 1888 Konstantin Ivanovich Pashchenko
  • 1888 - 1891 Dimitriy Sergeyevich Sipyagin
  • 1891 - 1905 Dimitriy Dimitriyevich Sverbeyev
  • 1905 - 1906 Woldemar von Böckmann
  • 1906 - 1910 Leonid Mikhailovich Knyazev
  • 1910 Nikolay Dmitriyevich Kropotkin
  • 1910 - 1915 Sergey Dimitriyevich Nabokov
  • 1915-1917 Tatishchev, Pyotr Vasilyevich Gendrikov, Strakhov (in exile in Tartu after German invasion of Courland in July 1915).

In March 1918 the Baltic provinces were transferred to German authority following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...



  • By the Imperial census of 1897. In bold are languages spoken by more people than the state language.

{| align="center" class="wikitable plainlinks TablePager"
! |Language
! |Number
! |percentage (%)
! |males
! |females
Latvian language
Latvian is the official state language of Latvia. It is also sometimes referred to as Lettish. There are about 1.4 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and about 150,000 abroad. The Latvian language has a relatively large number of non-native speakers, atypical for a small language...

|507 511
|240 672
|266 839
|51 017
|23 372
|27 645
Yiddish language
Yiddish is a High German language of Ashkenazi Jewish origin, spoken throughout the world. It developed as a fusion of German dialects with Hebrew, Aramaic, Slavic languages and traces of Romance languages...

|37 689
|18 137
|19 552
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

|25 630
|16 319
|9 311
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

|19 688
|9 985
|9 703
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

|16 531
|8 833
|7 698
Belarusian language
The Belarusian language , sometimes referred to as White Russian or White Ruthenian, is the language of the Belarusian people...

|12 283
|6 356
|5 927
Romani language
Romani or Romany, Gypsy or Gipsy is any of several languages of the Romani people. They are Indic, sometimes classified in the "Central" or "Northwestern" zone, and sometimes treated as a branch of their own....

|1 202
that didn't name
their native language
|2 478
|1 993
|674 034
|326 252
|347 782

See also

  • Reval Governorate
    Reval Governorate
    The Governorate of Estonia or Estland, also known as the Government of Estonia or Province of Estonia, was a governorate of the Russian Empire in what is now northern Estonia.-Historical overview:...

  • Riga Governorate
    Riga Governorate
    The Governorate of Livonia or Livland Governorate, also known as the Government of Livonia or Province of Livonia, was one of the Baltic governorates of the Russian Empire, now divided between the Republic of Latvia and the Republic of Estonia.It was originally called the Riga Governorate after...

  • Saint Petersburg Governorate
    Saint Petersburg Governorate
    Saint Petersburg Governorate , or Government of Saint Petersburg, was an administrative division of the Russian Empire, which existed in 1708–1927....

  • Courland
    Courland is one of the historical and cultural regions of Latvia. The regions of Semigallia and Selonia are sometimes considered as part of Courland.- Geography and climate :...

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