Estonia History

Estonia History

According to a2zcamerablog, Estonia is a country located in Europe. The primitive and independent life of the Estonians was altered at the beginning of the century. XIII, from the invasions of the Germans, who imposed on them Christianity and the presence of the religious-chivalric order of the Sword – holders. The latter, with the Danes who landed in Estonia to help them following an alliance pact, had by now subdued the whole country in 1227.This period also dates back to the foundation of the capital, Tallinn (1219), which in 1248 became part of Hansa. The revolt of the indigenous population, forced to work in harsh conditions for the benefit of the invaders, did not cause any change: the Danes (mid-14th century) ceded their lands to the Teutonic Order that had absorbed the Sword holders. Better the dominion of the Swedes, than in the century. XVI settled in Estonia in place of the Teutonic Order and took the side of the local population against the Balto-German barons. In 1721, with the occupation by the Russians, the intolerable pressure of the old landowners reaffirmed in the region. Estonian peasants, partially freed by Tsar Alexander I, reached a more humane condition only in the second half of the century. XIX, thanks to their tenacious resistance in the face of economic oppression and Russification.

The struggles for social reforms were also useless; political power was entirely in the hands of the feudal lords, who alone represented Estonia in the 1st Duma Russian (1906). Still fighting on two fronts – Russification on the one hand, Germanization on the other – Estonia proclaimed its autonomy in 1917 and independence in 1918. At the end of 1919 a radical agrarian reform succeeded in breaking up Germanic landowning. and many German owners fled the country. If, between the two wars, Estonia managed to keep itself in balance between Russia and Germany, in 1940 it was incorporated into the USSR as a federated state. Invaded by German forces between 1941 and 1944, at the end of the war it was again integrated into the USSR. The choice of exile for ca. 70,000 Estonians, who fled mostly to the United States, Canada and Sweden. The opposition to the established power, which had extreme expression in the “Brothers of the Forest” (resistance movement whose last exponent in the bush was killed in 1978), was opposed by the Muscovite authorities with the Russification of the territory: in fact, strong immigration was promoted (mainly of Russians and Belarusians) who brought workforce to the newly established industries thanks to the greater education and technical preparation provided by the local population; at the same time, deportation measures were also adopted towards Siberia and Central Asia, which involved between 1940 and 1954 ca. 141,000 people. After becoming a land of economic-productive experiments, Estonia in the sixties and seventies achieved a moderate economic growth, such as to confirm it among the richest republics of the Soviet Union (per capita income about 20% above the average). With the advent of the perestroika the proud national sentiment, for a long time discriminated also in its linguistic component, regained vigor managing to express itself openly: to the aggregation of reformist exponents of the Communist Party of the Republic, and therefore from the support for perestroika, in October 1988 the formation was reached of a Popular Front (Estimaa Rahvarinne) and subsequently, also through it, to a radicalization in a secessionist sense, according to an evolution common also to the other Baltic Republics.

From the declaration of sovereignty of March 1990, the parliamentary deliberation (May of the same year) for the restoration of independence after a transitional period was passed, while the Baltic Council (active between 1934 and 1939) was reconstituted with Latvia and Lithuania.. In conjunction with the attempted Moscow coup in August 1991, Estonia definitively proclaimed its independence, also asserted as an act of absolute dissociation from the threatened authoritarian turn. The support, albeit indirect, provided from the first moment to the defense of the Soviet democratization process was therefore worth to Estonia, to the in the aftermath of the failed coup, the recognition by the newly established Moscow State Council of the acquisition of full sovereignty (6 September 1991). The Republic, presided over by A. Rüüytel, had therefore quickly re-established formal diplomatic relations with various countries, starting with the Western ones, while asking for entry into the main international organizations and joining, since September 1991, to be part of the UN and OSCE In June 1992 the Estonians voted for a new Constitution and on that occasion a citizenship law was confirmed that excluded Russian speakers from the vote. In the political elections, the nationalist and right-wing parties obtained an overwhelming majority, and the new Parliament elected Lennart Meri (re-elected in 1996) as president of the Republic. Meanwhile, the important steps forward in the economic field led the European Commission to include the country, unique among those in the Baltic area, in the first group of future EU members. Estonia also signed, in early 1998, an agreement with Latvia, Lithuania and the United States, under which the latter pledged to support its entry into NATO. Meanwhile, the policy of affirming nationality and the Estonian language proceeded regardless of the protests within the OSCE and Russia. In the 1999 legislative elections the Center Party prevailed but was unable to form a majority, so that a coalition government was created headed by the right-wing leader Mart Laar, who was succeeded, in 2002, by Siim Kallas, also from the center right. In the meantime, former Communist Arnold Ruutel (2001) was elected president. In December 2002, at the Copenhagen summit, Estonia concluded the negotiations for EU membership, approved by the population in a referendum in 2003. Also in 2003, Juhan Parts was appointed prime minister. In March 2004 the country joined NATO and in May it joined the European Union. In September 2006, Parliament elected Toomas Hendrik Ilves as president. In March 2007, the political elections were held, won by the party of the outgoing premier Andrus Ansip, who took office again the following month. The center-right ruling coalition won the legislative elections in March 2011, reconfirming the supremacy of Ansip’s party (Reformist Party). The subsequent elections of 2015 saw the supremacy of the Reform Party and the confirmation of Taavi Rõivas in government.

Estonia History

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