Governorate of Estonia

Governorate of Estonia
Эстляндская губерния
Estlyandskaya guberniya
Governorate of Estonia
Governorate of the Russian Empire

Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Location of Reval or Est(h)onia
Courland Governorate, Governorate of Livonia, Governorate of Estonia of the Russian Empire
Capital Reval
 - Established (de facto) June 9, 1719
 - Established (de jure) September 10 1721
 - Renamed 1796
 - Autonomy granted April 12 1917
 - (1897) 412,716 
Political subdivisions 5

The Governorate of Est(h)onia[1] (Russian: Эстляндская губерния or Estlyandskaya guberniya, Estonian: Eestimaa kubermang) or Estland, also known as the Government of Estonia or Province of Estonia, was a governorate of the Russian Empire in what is now northern Estonia.


Historical overview

Until the late 19th century the governorate was not ruled by Russia but was administered independently by the local Baltic German nobility through a feudal Regional Council (German: Landtag).[2]

The Governorate was also known as Duchy of Estonia that Russia inherited from Sweden in 1721.[3] The Russian Tsars held the title Duke of Estonia (Russian: Князь Эстляндский, Knyaz' estlyandskii), during the Russian era in English sometimes also referred to as Prince of Estonia.[4]

Initially named the Reval Governorate after the city of Reval, today known as Tallinn, it was created in 1719 out of territories conquered from Sweden in the Great Northern War. The former dominion of Swedish Estonia was formally ceded to Russia in the Treaty of Nystad in 1721. During subsequent administrative reordering, the governorate was renamed in 1796 into the Governorate of Estonia. While the rule of the Swedish kings had been fairly liberal with greater autonomy granted for the peasantry, the regime was tightened under the Russian tsars and serfdom was not abolished until 1819.

The governorate consisted the northern part of the present-day Estonia approximately corresponding to Harjumaa including the city of Tallinn, Western Virumaa, Eastern Virumaa, Raplamaa, Järvamaa, Läänemaa and Hiiumaa. After the Russian February Revolution on 12 April [O.S. 30 March] 1917) it was expanded to include northern Livonia, thereby forming the Autonomous Governorate of Estonia. Tallinn remained under Soviet control until February 24, 1918, when German troops occupied Estonia and Estonian independence was declared.


Leaders of Governorate

  • 1710–1711 Rudolph Felix Bauer – General-Governor
  • 1711–1719 Prince Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov – General-Governor
  • 1719–1728 Count Fyodor Matveyevich Apraksin – General-Governor
  • 1728–1736 Friedrich Baron von Löwen
  • 1736–1738 Sebastian Ernst von Manstein
  • 1738–1740 Gustaf Otto Douglas
  • 1740–1743 Woldemar von Löwendahl
  • 1743–1753 Peter August Friedrich von Holstein-Beck (1696–1775)
  • 1753–1758 Prince Vladimir Petrovich Dolgorukiy
  • 1758–1775 Peter August Friedrich von Holstein-Beck – General-Governor
  • 1775–1792 Count George Browne – General-Governor
  • 1783–1786 Georg Friedrich von Grotenhielm
  • 1786–1797 Heinrich Johann Baron von Wrangell
  • 1797–1808 Andreas von Langell
  • 1808–1809 Peter Friedrich Georg von Oldenburg (1784–1812)
  • 1809–1811 Vacant
  • 1811–1816 Grand Duke Paul Friedrich August von Oldenburg (1783–1853)
  • 1816–1819 Berend Baron Üxküll
  • 1819–1832 Gotthard Wilhelm Baron Budberg von Bönninghausen
  • 1832–1833 Otto Wilhelm von Essen
  • 1833–1841 Paul Friedrich von Benckendorff
  • 1842–1859 Johann Christoph Engelbrecht von Grünewaldt
  • 1859–1868 Wilhelm Otto Cornelius Alexander Ulrich
  • 1868–1870 Mikhail Nikolaiyevich Galkin-Vraskoy
  • 1870–1875 Prince Mikhail Valentinovich Shakhovskoiy-Glebov-Strezhnev
  • 1875–1885 Viktor Petrovich Polivanov
  • 1885–1894 Prince Sergey Vladimirovich Shakhovskoy
  • 1894–1902 Yefstafiy Nikolaiyevich Skalon
  • 1902–1905 Aleksey Valerianovich Bellegarde
  • 16 Mar 1905 - Oct 1905 Aleksey Aleksandrovich Lopukhin
  • 1905–1906 Nikolay Georgiyevich von Bünting
  • 1906–1907 Pyotr Petrovich Bashilov
  • 1907–1915 Izmail Vladimirovich Korostovets
  • 1915–1917 Pyotr Vladimirovich Veryovkin


  • According to the Imperial census of 1897.[5] In bold are languages spoken by more people than the state language.

Livonian Confederation Terra Mariana Estonian SSR Duchy of Livonia (1721–1917) Duchy of Livonia (1629–1721) Duchy of Livonia (1561–1621) Duchy of Estonia (1721–1917) Duchy of Estonia (1561–1721) Danish Estonia Danish Estonia EU Estonia Ancient Estonia History of Estonia

See also


  1. ^ The Baltic States from 1914 to 1923 By LtCol Andrew Parrott
  2. ^ Smith, David James (2005). The Baltic States and Their Region. Rodopi. ISBN 9789042016668. 
  3. ^ Bojtár, Endre (1999). Foreword to the Past. Central European University Press. ISBN 9789639116429. 
  4. ^ Ferro, Marc; Brian Pearce (1995). Nicholas II. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 9780195093827. 
  5. ^ Language Statistics of 1897 (Russian)
  6. ^ Languages of which number of speakers in all Governorate were less than 1000

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