What was the status of Latvian and Estonian aristocrats/chiefs in the 18th century?

Sep 2018
101
transitory
During the 18th century, in the territories of what is now Latvia and Estonia, what was the status of the descendants of indigenous nobility/chiefs? I am asking about all areas, such as those under Swedish control, Russian control, Duchy of Kurland-Semigalia, and Polish-Lithuanian control.

I am aware of a few indigenous groups, like the "Curonian Kings", who survived the German crusader era into the early-modern period. But I don't know what was the status of people like that, or other descendants of indigenous Latvian and Estonian nobility, by the 18th century?
 
Jan 2008
50
I'm not sure, but I believe that quite a few of the native Latvian and Estonian chiefs, along with their families, intermarried with the Baltic German nobility. They eventually became "Germanized", and over time took on a Baltic German identity. Also, many of the newly-arriving German crusaders were single men, and they took wives from among the leading native families. The Latvian and Estonian peasantry maintained their native identity and culture.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2018
101
transitory
I'm not sure, but I believe that quite a few of the native Latvian and Estonian chiefs, along with their families, intermarried with the Baltic German nobility. They eventually became "Germanized", and over time took on a Baltic German identity. Also, many of the newly-arriving German crusaders were single men, and they took wives from among the leading native families. The Latvian and Estonian peasantry maintained their native identity and culture.
I hadn't heard of it, but I wouldn't say it was impossible. Particularly from among those tribes who were Christianised early and/or sided with the Crusaders in the early days (like some of the Latgalians, e.g. Tālivaldis and his people).

what do you mean by "status" exactly?
Social and legal status, rank, privileges, etc.
 
Mar 2014
1,993
Lithuania
I don't know about Estonia, but Latvian local nobility was integrated into local German state pretty soon. They were reasonably content being part of that state. This was very different from Prussia that had massive uprisings and locals running away to Lithuania.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,708
SoCal
I don't know about Estonia, but Latvian local nobility was integrated into local German state pretty soon. They were reasonably content being part of that state. This was very different from Prussia that had massive uprisings and locals running away to Lithuania.
What local German state?