Country Briefs: Estonia covers an area of around 45,000 square kilometers and is relatively larger than countries such as Slovenia, Holland, Denmark, and Switzerland and is smaller in size to New Hampshire and Massachusetts taken together. But the population of this country is one amongst the smallest in the world, around 1.5 million people.
Geographically, Estonia is bordered by Gulf of Finland in the north, Baltic Sea in the west, Russia in the east and Latvia towards the south.
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia. It is the largest city in this country. The attractions at Tallinn are not just historically significant but these also lure people from all over the world.
History reveals that Estonia came to existence around thirteen thousand years ago when the ice from the last glacial era melted away. Civilization commenced in Estonia in 8th century, near the Sindi town on banks of Pamu River.
Estonia was conquered by Denmark in 1227. The German Livonian Brothers of the Sword, christianized Estonia. In the years that followed Estonia was variously ruled by Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Russia.
But the different invasions could not actually transform much of the Estonian population especially the higher and middle class that continued to remain Baltic German. But the Second World War proved disastrous for these people as Hitler and Stalin forced them to push off from their land.
Estonia gained independence on 24th February 1918 after the authority of imperial Russia declined due to the October revolution. Estonia enjoyed its freedom for twenty-two years. Meanwhile Estonia faced the Estonian Liberation War or the Estonian War of independence from 1918 to 1920 and Estonian government signed the Treaty of Tartu on 2nd February 1920.
The Estonian parliament Riigikogu continued to be the same even after the collapse of Soviet Union. But in 1934 Riigikogu was disbanded and Konstantin Pats became the president by decree. He retained the position till 1938, the time fresh parliamentary elections took place in Estonia.
In 1939 Germany and Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that was meant to decide the fate of several independent countries such as Estonia, Latvia, Poland etc. these countries were to be divided into spheres of interest of the concerned parties.
TAs a result of this pact Estonia was occupied by soviet troops in 1940. The Soviet troops did not only repress and killed several Estonian leaders but also deported president Pants to Russia.
From 1941 to 1944 Estonia was captured by German Third Reich but the Soviet troops soon re-conquered it.
However the wave of nationalism arose and the Singing Revolution happened in 1988 and continued till 1990. This revolution along with the collapse of Soviet Union fetched independence to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. So on 20th august 1991 that Estonia regained liberation.
On 29th March 2004 Estonia joined NATO and the European Union later.
Lately in 2005 Estonia has entered into a border agreement with Russia.
At present Estonia is a successful nation that has excelled greatly in many spheres.
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2, an international standard.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4, a U.S. government standard.
- NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.
- Population: 2002-01-01 estimate.