Estonia: Return to Independence

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Westview Press, May 20, 1993 - History - 268 pages
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After breaking free from the Bolsheviks in 1918, Estonia enjoyed independence until 1940, when the country was subsumed by the Soviet Union. Not until 1991 was Estonia able to make its next successful bid for sovereignty. In this book, Rein Taagepera traces the evolution of Estonia from prehistory to the present, when a radical turn of events in the former Soviet Union once again altered the destiny of this Baltic nation.The author explores in depth the remarkable changes in Estonia since 1980, framing his analysis within the larger picture of the Soviet Union and its demise. He also examines the issue of ethnic tensions between Estonians and Russian colonists and speculates on how unrest will affect the future of the country. Throughout his analysis, the author weaves in such key questions as: Why did Sovietization fail? How did Estonia’s quest for autonomy affect Soviet dissolution? What role will the country play on the global stage? What will Estonia’s future hold?

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Estonias Role in the World
From Prehistory to World War I
Independence and World War II
Soviet Occupation
History Starts to Move
The Quest for Autonomy
The Quest for Independence
Independence in an Interdependent World
Basic Data and Chronology
References and Bibliography
About the Book and Author

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Page 59 - In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the USSR In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilna area is recognized by each party.
Page 202 - Assembly, whose composition shall be delegated by the highest legislative organ of state power, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Estonia, and by the representative body of the citizens of the Republic of Estonia, the Congress of Estonia, for the purpose of drafting the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia, to be submitted to popular referendum, 3.
Page 79 - NKGB became the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs) and MGB (Ministry of State Security) respectively.
Page 88 - ... patiently and purposefully things that had never had any place in my own plans and had, it seemed, no connection at all with the clearly outlined direction of my life. From childhood on, I had somehow known that my objective was the history of the Russian Revolution and that nothing else concerned me. To understand the Revolution I had long since required nothing beyond Marxism.
Page 201 - Proceeding from the continuity of the Republic of Estonia as a subject of international law...
Page 88 - I listened to the principles of the Estonian Constitution, which had been borrowed from the best of European experience, and to how their hundred-member one-house Parliament had worked. And, though the why of it was not clear, I began to like it all and store it all away in my...
Page 3 - Cultural minorities of a given minimum size were given the right to establish their own schools and cultural institutions, governed by elected councils with legislative and taxing powers. The jurisdiction of these cultural councils was defined in terms of membership in a cultural community regardless of geographical residence. The Russian and Swedish minorities did not set up such cultural councils, mainly because they were geographically concentrated and could therefore use local self-governmental...
Page 79 - SSR , 111 (Riga, 1957), p. 596; Carson, p. 499. Why was it now that people joined the forest brotherhood, although they had submitted peacefully to the Soviet invasion of 1940? Why did they decide to resist under the much less favorable postwar occupation conditions? Patriotic idealism was an important motive. In 1940 it had been tempered by the desire not to die, but by 1945 war and both occupations had engendered a feeling that one might die soon anyway. Life as a fugitive had become familiar to...

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About the author (1993)

Rein Taagepera is professor of social science at the University of California at Irvine and was a member of Estonia’s 1991 Constitutional Assembly.

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