Tullin Estonia

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Flag of Estonia  , Viimsi,
Monday, July 8, 2013

A winner today tour-wise with a guide who was seriously good with her knowledge of history and equally important to us, her excellent and confident use of English.

So the history in a nutshell of Estonia is like the old real estate war cry: Location, Location, Location. Situated at the Southern tip of the Gulf of Finland the harbour at Tullen was a much desired port, both for trading and defence. Early in the 13 th Century, Tullin was conquered by the Danes. During the 100 odd years of Danish rule, uprisings against the Danes were occasionally orchestrated. During this period trade became increasingly important and German traders from Gotland settled in Tullin. Eventually, the Danes sold their territory in Estonia to the Teutonic Knights, a group of Crusading Knights who were out to bring religion to the heathen Estonians. This period was one of great prosperity, lasting until the Livonian War when Russia went to war against the Teutonic order. (This is I understand, what we call the 30 years war, and of course, 'our' historical focus was not on Estonia. History light-weights like me can google if necessary, although it seems to have been pretty much a bun-fight without rhyme or reason unless it be to improve/retain your religious influence over some territory that you think you should be allowed to influence because your religion has a bigger army and/or the Pope orders you to.)

So your google research will remind you that in some ways this was a sort of world war in the sense that any known to Europe military power got involved, not to mention the inconvenienced military lightweights who were the pawns in these military chess games and could find themselves owned by whoever defeated their current ruler. So Estonia chose to seek the protection of Sweden when it looked like the Russians would defeat the Teutonic Order.

Then in the early 18th Century Russia went to war with Sweden, and around the same time 75% of Tullin died in an outbreak of bubonic plague. So there weren't many left to care that they were now ruled by Russia.

Then Russia went to war with itself in the early 20th Century, and Estonia in 1918 seized the opportunity for its own independence. 'In perpetuity' was the kind of independence they negotiated with Russia. But this did not stop Molotov and Ribbentrop do a 'virtual' carving up of not only Estonia but most of Europe between Russia and Germany to satisfy the empire aspirations of Stalin and Hitler.

The Allies put an end to Hitler's dreams, but Stalin, never one to stand by any treaty or agreement unless it was in his interest or otherwise forced, got most or more of what had been agreed, including Estonia. Stalin and a long line of communist leaders are dead and Estonia is still going strong, if a country with a population of 1.3 million people (the 154th country in the world in terms of population) can be described as going strong.
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