Estonia, officially the Republic of Estonia,
one of former Soviet Union Republics, is a country in Northern
Europe in the Baltic region. It is bordered by Latvia and Russia.
Estonia became a part of Swedish Empire from the
16th century to 1721, when it was ceded to the Russian Empire. The Estophile
Enlightenment Period in 1750-1840 led to the Estonian national awakening in the
middle of the 19th century. In 1918 the Estonian Declaration of Independence
was issued. The following War of Independence had won Estonian independence
Prior to the Second World War, Estonia
was occupied and annexed by the Soviet Union.
During the World War II Estonia was occupied by Third Reich, then re-occupied
by the Soviet Union in 1944, became a one of its republics. Estonia regained independence in 1991 after the
collapse of the USSR.
Till late 1930s the countries
name was often written as Esthonia by most of the western countries. The Estonians
are a Finnish people closely related to the Finns, with the Estonian language
sharing many similarities to Finnish. With only 1.3 million inhabitants, it
comprises the one of the smallest population among the European Union