The post-independence hangover is often more dangerous to new states than the movement to achieve independence. Latvia is a particularly good case in point of the disappointments and disillusionment of a mass movement. At the apogee of the Latvian Popular Front's campaign for the reestablishment of independence, 94 per cent of the ethnic Latvian community supported them. 1 Many of those 94 per cent did not realise what they were creating, or what to expect from the wheels set in motion by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nationalist aspirations and dreams of greater freedoms merged painlessly with the opulent prosperity that the West seemed to offer. The hangover came from the disparity between the hopes for the future in 1991, and the everyday difficulties of 1999. The performance of Latvia in a few short years, however, has been quite impressive. The ongoing challenge for Latvia is to involve its citizenry (and non-citizenry) in continued progress and tend to state responsibilities that do not return profits.