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Estonia History Timeline

BC
  • (3000 BC) Estonian ancestors settled along the Baltic coast
800 AD - 1600
  • (800-1200 AD) Raids by Vikings around Baltic sea, included Estonia Vikings
  • (1219) Danes took North Estonia; first foreign occupation
  • (1227) Riga-based German crusaders conquered and Christianized pagan Estonia
  • (1341) German Knights of the Cross negotiated the acquisition of Tallinn from Denmark, took over all of Estonia
  • (1346) Danes sold northern Estonia to the German Teutonic Order for 19,000 silver marks
  • (1523) Reformation occurred; Estonia first used in liturgy
  • (1561) Swedes conquered Estonia, repelled Russians; established social reforms
  • (1632) University of Tartu founded by Gustav II Adolf, King of Sweden
1700 - 1800
  • (1710) Russia conquered Estonia, Germans retained local control
  • (1721) Great Northern War ended with defeat for Sweden, left Russia as a new major power in the Baltic Sea; an estimated 100,000 Estonians survived
  • (1816) Serfdom abolished
  • (1870) Petersburg-Tallinn railway finished; Tallinn major Russian Empire port; Tallinn population grew
1900
  • (1905) Revolution in Russia took place
  • (1918) Germany occupied Estonia
  • (1918-1920) Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania adopted Gregorian calendar; Estonia proclaimed independence from Russia; Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of Brest, which called for the establishment of five independent countries, including Estonia; Germany transferred supreme power in Estonia to the provisional government; Estonian War of Independence began; red army units driven out of Estonia; Estonia adopted a constitution
  • (1921) Tartu Peace Treaty between Estonia and the Soviet Union recognized a free and independent Estonian Republic; Estonia became a member of the League of Nations
  • (1934) Prime Minister Konstantin Pats lead bloodless coup, established authoritarian rule
  • (1938) Pats became president under new constitution
  • (1939) Soviet Union compelled Estonia to accept Soviet military bases
  • (1940) Soviet troops marched into Estonia; Soviet Union occupied Estonia
  • (1941) Germany occupied Estonia
  • (1944) Estonia reannexed by Soviet Union; tens of thousands of Estonians deported to Siberia and Central Asia
  • (1987) First open protests against Soviet rule occurred
  • (1988) Popular front campaigned for democracy; "singing revolution" brought a third of the population together in a bid for national unity
  • (1991) Communist rule collapsed; Soviet government recognized independence of the Baltic republics
  • (1992) Lennart Meri became president
  • (1994) Russian troops left; Estonia joined Partnership for Peace, allowed limited military cooperation with NATO; Estonia became first European country to introduce a flat tax (26%) on personal and corporate income
  • (1996) President Meri re-elected
  • (1997) Estonia began European Union membership negotiations
2000's
  • (2001) Arnold Ruutel, former member of the Central Committee of the Soviet-era Communist party, sworn in as president
  • (2002) Mart Laar resigned as prime minister; new coalition government, Siim Kallas, became prime minister; NATO summit in Prague included Estonia on list of countries formally invited to join the alliance; EU summit in Copenhagen formally invited Estonia to join
  • (2003) Estonian voted overwhelming in a referendum to join the European Union
  • (2004) Estonia admitted to NATO; Estonia joined EU; defense minister Margus Hanson resigned
  • (2005) Estonia and Russia signed treaty delineating border; Russia withdrew from treaty
  • (2006) Parliament ratified EU constitution; Toomas Hendrik Ilves elected president
  • (2007) Parliament passed a law prohibiting the display of monuments glorifying Soviet rule; Estonia became the first country to allow internet voting for national parliamentary elections; authorities removed a controversial Red Army war memorial in Tallinn, one person killed and 40 injured during protest
  • (2009) Estonian court acquitted four ethnic Russians accused of leading riots in response to the relocation of a Soviet-era war memorial in Tallinn; parliament approved move to double size of Estonian contingent serving in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force
  • (2011) Estonia changed currency from Kroon to Euro

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.