Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The end of Estonian democracy - follow-up

It must be the Christmas season - a miracle is occuring, one that is more believable than immaculate conception. The miracle? I'm posting twice in one day. This hasn't happened in months.

The reason? Someone actually commented on my blog, and asked a question. Comments are like getting presents when it's not Christmas or your birthday - totally unexpected, and I don't get them a lot.

The response to the question (which had to do with the end of Estonian democracy) - Estonia signed a mutual friendship treaty with the USSR in late 1939. This was the death-sentence for Estonian independence. The Soviets took this opportunity to effect changes in the Estonian government, influencing policy. In June 1940, the Soviets invaded. There was no coup. There was no massive uprising against the Soviets.

The main point of paper, in fact (and I'm quoting from my paper) is this:

The reduction of democratic freedoms in Estonia acted not as a catalyst for the Soviet takeover, but rather as a sedative, permitting a relatively smooth transition away from independence without any significant protests from a population already unaccustomed to the freedoms of speech, press and organization.

In short, Estonian democracy ended not with a bang, but with a whimper.


Blogger Matt said...

Thank you for the reply Nixie. I’d have to agree with you that the lack of a democratic tradition in that area probably played a role in the ease of the Soviet take over. However, I think, and perhaps your paper elucidates, that there were other contributing factors. Finland, who also has a history of being dominated by their neighbors, fought the Soviets to a stand still just a few months later. I suspect the other factors at work were symptoms of Stalin’s expansionism. The ports on the Baltic, coupled with his desire to have uninterrupted access to his newly acquired possessions in Poland, sealed the fate of the Baltic states (that and the fact that their army had neither the size nor the space to fight the Soviets effectively). Feel free to drop on by my blog (nokhu.blogspot.com) if you’d like, it’s mostly political but somehow I doubt that would bother you…

1:07 AM  

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