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Estonia


Republic N of Latvia and E of Russia, bordered on the N by the Baltic Sea and the Gulfs of Riga and Finland. Its capital is Tallinn. Settled by Estonians before recorded history in the area, it was attacked in the 13th century a.d. by Danes and the Livonian Brothers of the Sword who partitioned the country between them. The Livonians bought the Danish portion in 1346 and ruled Estonia until 1561, when their order was dissolved. By the Treaty of Altmark between Russia and Sweden in 1629, all Estonia passed to Sweden. In 1721, by the Treaty of Nystad, it passed to Russia, though German burghers continued to control the country’s urban wealth. In the 19th century many Estonians emigrated to Canada and the United States. Estonia declared herself independent in February 1918 but was immediately occupied by Germany. Independence was fully recognized in 1920 by the Peace of Tartu. The Nazi-Soviet Pact of August 1939 again placed Estonia under Russian control; and, though occupied by the Germans during World War II, Estonia was incorporated into the Soviet Union after that war. Estonia became an independent nation again in 1991. In 1994, the Russian army withdrew from the country. Estonia applied to join the European Union in 1995 and a referendum to join was passed by a twothirds majority of voters. In 2004, Estonia joined NATO.


     

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