Autonomous Governorate of Estonia
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The local autonomy in Estonia (Russian: Эстляндия) was established as a result of the Russian Revolution of 1917. For the duration of control by Imperial Russia, Estonia was divided between two governorates (guberniyas). The Governorate of Estonia in the north corresponded roughly to the area of Danish Estonia and the northern portion of Governorate of Livonia that had a majority of ethnic Estonians. These two areas were amalgamated on 12 April [O.S. 30 March] 1917) by administrative reforms of the Russian Provisional Government.
Elections for a provisional parliament, Maapäev was organized, with the Menshevik and Bolshevik fractions of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party taking a share of the vote. On 5 November 1917, two days before the October Revolution in Saint Petersburg, Estonian Bolshevik leader Jaan Anvelt led his leftist gang in an anti-democratic coup in Tallinn, attempting to usurp political power in governorate from governor Jaan Poska on 9 November. On 28 November [O.S. 15 November] 1917 the Maapäev, refusing to recognize the attempted Bolshevik coup d'état, proclaimed itself to be the only legally elected and constituted authority in Estonia. However it was soon driven underground by the Bolsheviks. On 5–7 April 1919, during the Estonian War of Independence elections for the Estonian Constituent Assembly were arranged, anti-Bolshevik parties again winning the majority.
In February, after the collapse of the peace talks between Soviet Russia and the German Empire, mainland Estonia was occupied by the Germans. Bolshevik forces retreated to Russia. On 23 February 1918, one day before German forces entered Tallinn, the Salvation Committee of the Estonian National Council Maapäev emerged from underground and issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence. Although it took nearly 9 months for Estonia to be liberated from German occupation, the day after that date is still celebrated as Estonia's independence day.
- Jaan Anwelt
- Tartu rahu sepistaja Jaan Poska väärib monumenti (Estonian)
- On 28 November 1917, the Estonian Diet (the Maapäev) declared itself fee supreme power in Estonia.
- On 28 November 1917, the Land council proclaimed itself the highest power in Estonia...
- On This Day – 28 November 1917
- Though the popularly elected Provisional National Council, had proclaimed itself the highest authority in Estonia as early as 28 November 1917...