Estonia (Estonian: Eesti), officially the Democratic Republic of Estonia, is a state in the Baltic Region of 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 the Russian FSR. The territory of Estonia is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. The Estonians are a Finnic people, and the official Estonian language is closely related to Finnish.
Since the 18th Century Estonia was part of the Russian Empire. Briefly occupied by Germany during World War I (June-September 1918), it declared its independence from Russia (January 1919), Followed by the Estonian War of Independence (January 1919–1920) that involves fighting the White forces and the Red Army. Finally, by Proclamation of the Rights of the Peoples of Russian and the Treaty of Narva, Russian FSR recognizes Estonia's Independence.
The Estonian Provisional Assembly redacts the State Constitution that is approved by referendum, followed by elections to the Riigikogu. On of the first measures approved by the Riigikogu to to confirm the land reform and expropriation of Baltic German land owners, decreed by the provisional government.
Constitution and government
According to Constitution of 1920 (Reformed in 1932): The legislative power resides in the State Assembly (Riigikogu). It consists of 100 members elected every 4 years. The basis of all elections is proportional representation. The elections are on regional districts without any threshold until 1926 that established a 3% of votes to gain a seat. Constitutional reforms must be approved by referendum. The right to vote is given to men and women over 20 years of age and older in all elections, referendums and popular initiatives.
The Head of State and Government is the Riigivanem, elected by the Riigikogu. He presides the Council of Ministers. The Riigivanem and the Council of Ministers at the pleasure of the Riigikogu. The 1932 reform established the post of President has Head of State elected every 4 years with the powers of veto and dissolution of the Riigikogu. The President is elected by the Electoral Assembly integrated by the Riigikogu and the representatives from local councils. The Prime Minister (Peaminister) is Head of Government and must have the approval of the Riigikogu.
The judiciary is in charge of the Supreme Court (Riigikohus) of the Chief Justice and 18 judges elected by the Riigikogu. The Chief Justice is appointed by the parliament for nine years on nomination by the president. The rest of the judges are elected every three years by thirds by the Riigikogu on nomination by the President.
Territorial division and local government
A county (maakond) is the basic administrative subdivision of Estonia. The government (Estonian: maavalitsus) of each county is led by a county governor (Estonian: maavanem), who represents the national government at the regional level. Governors are appointed by the government for a term of five years. Each county is further divided into municipalities which are of two types: urban municipality, or town (linn), and rural municipality, or parish (vald). A Municipality (omavalitsus) is the smallest administrative subdivision of Estonia. The council (volikogu) is a representative body elected by the residents of a municipality for a term of four years. The members of the council elect a chairman volikogu esimees), who organises the council’s work and represents the municipality. The government (valitsus) is an executive body formed by the council. It is headed by a mayor (linnapea in towns, vallavanem in parishes), who is appointed for a four-year term. The mayor cannot be the chairman of the council. Other members of the government are chosen by the mayor with the approval of the council.
On Estonia's independence its economy was based on agriculture, but there was a significant knowledge sector (University of Tartu and Tallinn Technical Institute) known for scientific contributions) and growing industrial sector, similar to Finland. Products such as butter, milk and cheese are the main agricultural exports. Oil shale energy, telecommunications, textiles, chemical products, banking, services, food and fishing, timber, shipbuilding, electronics, and transportation are key sectors of the economy. The ice-free port of Muuga, near Tallinn, is a modern facility featuring good transshipment capability, a high-capacity grain elevator, chill/frozen storage, and brand-new oil tanker off-loading capabilities. The railroad serves as a conduit between the West, Russia, and other points to the East.
The main trade partners are Finland, FSR, Latvia and the Scandinavian countries. In 1931 it joined the Nordic Monetary Union. Since 1938, along Finland. Latvia and Lithuania, is member of the Trade Cooperation Board, making them preferential trade partners with the ICSS.