The Republic of Estonia on the 1920s

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02. February 1920

After the Peace Treaty of Tartu, Estonia was able to start building up its nationhood. According to the Treaty, all Estonians abroad received the right to return to homeland; the Soviet power also disbanded all Estonian communist troops, that were fighting on the Southern Front in the Russian Civil War. The War of Independence, lasting for 402 days and killing 3600 people, ended with victory for the Estonians. Now the opportunity rose to start building up the Republic of Estonia, that had been announced almost two years ago.

At first, the situation was difficult: the economy was in a bad shape; Estonia had not been acknowledged de jure by the Western countries, thus no official relations could be established with them. In few years time, however, things started to change: with the help of Otto Strandman and other economists, the economy was directed from the Eastern market to the Western, and by 1923, majority of the important world powers had acknowledged Estonia.

In the 1920s, Estonia was a democratic republic, following the parliamentary regulation. The Constitution was adapted in 1920. With it, a 100-seat Parliament was set up, which formed the government. The leader of the government fulfilled the duties of the head of the state. As none of the parties had a majority in the Parliament, the governments changed often. Yet, the number of people serving as the leader of the government, was few: Konstantin Päts, Jaan Tõnisson and Jaan Teemant and some other politicians, who sat on that seat less often.

On December 1, 1924, the Bolsheviks, probably connived by the Soviet Union, tried to take over in Tallinn. This attempt failed, and later on, much more attention was paid to the domestic security. Life remained stable until 1930, when Estonia was hit by the international economic crisis.

Source: M.Laur, A. Pajur, T. Tannberg "Eesti ajalugu II" Tallinn 1995 "Avita"


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