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History of Estonia

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The first known settlement in Estonia of hunters and fishermen is the Bull settlement by the Pärnu river about 11,000 years ago.

During the Bronze Age there were larger permanent settlements, some with fortifications and there was local metal working. Long distance trade by sea was happening by the second half of the 1st millennium.

Northern Estonia belonged to Denmark in the 14th century. The cities belonged to the Hanseatic League. Richer people spoke Low German, but people in the country spoke Estonian.

Wars swept over the country at the end of the Middle Ages:

From 1720 to 1917 Estonia was part of the Russian Empire, but it was mostly run by Baltic Germans. They owned most of the land and businesses, controlled the serfs, and dominated all the cities.

There was a brief independence in 1917 after the start of the Russian revolution. In 1918 the Red Army invaded. The Estonian War of Independence was ended in February 1920. The Treaty of Tartu was signed by the Republic of Estonia and the Russian SFSR.