- Estonian Provincial Assembly
The Estonian Provincial Assembly (Estonian: Maapäev) was elected after the February Revolution in 1917 as the national diet of the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia in Russian Empire. On November 28, 1917, after the October Revolution the Assembly declared itself the sovereign power on Estonia and called for the elections of the Estonian Constituent Assembly. On the eve of the German occupation of Estonia in World War I the council elected the Estonian Salvation Committee and issued the Estonian Declaration of Independence on February 24, 1918.
On April 12, 1917 the Russian Provisional Government issued an order on the provisional autonomy of Estonia. The Governorate of Estonia, comprising what is now northern Estonia was merged with the Estophone northern part of the Governorate of Livonia, to form the autonomous governorate. The Russian Provisional Government decreed that a provincial assembly, colloquially known as the Maapäev, be created with members elected by indirect universal suffrage.
Elections for the 62 deputies of the diet were held in many stages; members representing the rural communities were elected in two-tiered elections in May-June, while the town representatives were elected in July-August, 1917. The election process saw the creation and reorganization of Estonian national parties.
Six parties were represented at the diet, with three independent deputies and two deputies representing the Baltic German and Swedish-Estonian minorities.
Party Ideology MPs % of MPs Estonian Country People's Union
(Eesti Maarahva Liit)
Agrarianism, conservatism 13 23.6% Estonian Social Democratic Association
(Eesti Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Ühendus)
Social democracy 9 16.4% Party of Estonian Socialists-Revolutionaries
(Eesti Sotsialistide-Revolutsionääride Partei)
Social revolutionarism 8 14.5% Estonian Democratic Party
(Eesti Demokraatlik Erakond)
Centre-right 7 12.7% Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (bolsheviks)
(Venemaa Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Tööliste (bolševike) Partei)
Communism 5 9.1% Estonian Radical Socialist Party
(Eesti Radikaal-Sotsialistlik Partei)
Left-wing politics 4 7.3% Radical Democrats
Liberalism 4 7.3% Baltic Germans Minority interests 1 1.8% Estonian Swedes Minority interests 1 1.8% Independents — 3 5.5%
In the wake of the November revolution in St Petersburg, when the Bolshevik Estonian Military Revolutionary Committee staged a coup d’état, the Maapäev refused to recognize the new Bolshevik rule. The Bolsheviks then attempted to disband the Council. In its last meeting on 15th November 28, the Maapäev proclaimed itself the supreme legal authority of Estonia until the convening of the Constituent Assembly. The Committee of Elders was authorized to issue laws. The council was then dissolved by force on November 26th by the Bolsheviks, compelling leading politicians to go underground. At the Constituent Assembly election in early 1918, organised by the Bolsheviks, two-thirds of the voters supported the parties who stood for national statehood. The Bolsheviks then immediately proclaimed the elections null and void. On 19 February, the Committee of Elders of the Land Council decided to proclaim Estonian independence. A Salvation Committee (a three-member committee formed by the Maapäev as executive body for the time when the activities of the Assembly were hindered) with special powers was set up for that purpose. On 24 February 1918, after the Bolsheviks abandoned Tallinn and one day before German forces occupied the country's capital city, the Salvation Committee issued a formal declaration of independence of the Republic of Estonia.
- Autonomous Governorate of Estonia
- Salvation Committee
- History of Estonia
- List of Speakers of the Estonian Provincial Assembly
- Estonian War of Independence
- Treaty of Tartu (Russian–Estonian)
- Tartu rahu sepistaja Jaan Poska väärib monumenti (Estonian)
- Livland. Estland. Kurland. Œsel.
- 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...
- ^ Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. ISBN 9780810849044. http://books.google.com/books?id=XKWRct15XfkC&pg=PA447.
- ^ Suny, Ronald Grigor (1993). The Revenge of the Past. ISBN 9780804722476. http://books.google.com/books?id=-4efW7SvG0YC&pg=PA54.
- ^ Eesti Maapäev - kõrgema võimu kandja Eestis
- ^ Maesalu, Lukas, Lauer, Pajur and Tannberg, History of Estonia, AS BIT 2002, ISBN 9985206061
- Zetterberg, Seppo (1995). "Historian jännevälit". Viro – Historia, Kansa, Kulttuuri. Finnish Literature Society. ISBN 951-717-806-9.
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