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Estonia

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Estonia

BACKGROUND

Information: A country.

Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia, is a country in Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia, and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia.

The Estonian national awakening began in the 1850s as the leading figures started promoting an Estonian national identity among the general populace. Its economic basis was formed by widespread farm buyouts by peasants, forming a class of Estonian landowners.

In 1917, after the February Revolution, the governorate of Estonia was expanded to include Estonian speaking areas of Livonia and was granted autonomy. After the German defeat in World War I, the Germans were forced to hand over power to the Provisional Government on 19 November. On November 28, 1918 Soviet Russia invaded, starting the Estonian War of Independence. On February 2, 1920, the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed between Estonia and Soviet Russia, with the latter pledging to permanently give up all sovereign claims to Estonia.

In 1938, Estonia declared neutrality, but this proved futile in World War II. On August 6, 1940, Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union as the Estonian SSR. The Soviets established a regime of oppression; most of the high-ranking civil and military officials, intelligentsia, and industrialists were arrested, and usually executed soon afterwards.

The introduction of Perestroika in 1987 made political activity possible again, starting an independence restoration process. Estonia declared restoration of independence on August 20, 1990.

Language: Estonian

Religions: Predominantly Orthodox Christian, Lutheran Christian


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