Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA <p>Ajalooline Ajakiri on eelretsenseeritav akadeemiline ajakiri, mis ilmub Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo ja arheoloogia instituudi juures.<br> “Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal” is peer-reviewed academic journal of the Institute of History and Archaeology, University of Tartu.</p> en-US janet.laidla@ut.ee (Janet Laidla) Ivo.Volt@ut.ee (Ivo Volt) Wed, 22 Dec 2021 10:18:42 +0200 OJS 3.1.2.4 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Conditions for opening steamship routes in Russia’s Baltic provinces and Finland 1837–70 https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.01 <p>Russia’s Baltic provinces and Finland differed from Russia’s interior areas due to their long coastline. On the one hand, it helped to connect those areas, but on the other hand, the Baltic Sea played a crucial role in connecting Russia to Europe. In 1837–70, 16 passenger steamboat routes had been established that called at Estonian ports. Due to Estonia’s geographical position, entrepreneurs from Turku, Riga and St Petersburg as well as from Tallinn operated those lines. With the exception of studies on migration policies, the roles of institutions and legislation have not been addressed in depth in maritime history studies. Therefore this article focuses on the following questions: how legislation impacted the establishment of steamboat companies, and how the state organised steamboat traffic.</p> <p>Steamship companies were the first transportation organisations to operate as joint-stock enterprises. Joint-stock laws started developing in Russia in the first decades of the 19th century. The first legislation regulating steamship companies that operated between Baltic Sea ports was adopted in 1835. A comprehensive act regulating all joint-stock companies followed in 1836. According to the 1836 law, which was in force until 1917, the establishment of a joint-stock company depended a great deal on the state. Both the tsar and the Ministry of Finance had to approve the company statutes. Both had the right to make changes in the statute’s clauses or in proposals for capital formation. The Grand Duchy of Finland followed its own separate path. Joint-stock companies in Finland were exempted from this legislation until 1864 because Finland adhered to the Swedish Law of Entrepreneurship and Shipping from the 18th century. Due to those circumstances, personal relations and the company’s own contribution played a key role in joint-stock companies.</p> <p>Statutes approved by the Ministry of Finance and the tsar provided companies with the opportunity to apply for benefits and prerogatives like tax relief or monopoly rights for certain routes for fixed time periods. Such various supportive measures were highlighted to foster the development of steamship connections on routes of national importance. The state could take part in the establishment process as well, as the case of the Osilia steamship company demonstrates. In cases where there was insufficient establishing capital, and to encourage the establishment of companies, the state bought a certain number of stocks in the company.</p> <p>Russian merchant shipping legislation and organisation was introduced for the first time in contemporary Estonia at the beginning of the 18th century after the Great Northern War, whereby Estonian territory was incorporated into Russia. The organisation of both merchant and passenger shipping was divided between different authorities in Russia. The aim of establishment ministries in the first decade of the 19th century was to set up a system where tasks were clearly divided and unambiguous. In reality, this goal was not put into practice for the whole system. Hence merchant shipping was still divided between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of the Navy, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in addition local authorities. Local authorities became the link between the companies and state authorities because they were familiar with local circumstances and could provide consultative information.</p> Teele Saar Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.01 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Bishop Platon’s role in leading the spiritual resistance of orthodox Estonians during the German occupation in 1918 https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.02 <p>At the start of the 20th century, the church strongly influenced the value judgements and the world of thoughts and ideas of people in our region. Primarily two confessions, the Lutheran and Orthodox faiths, have to be considered in the Estonian context. Starting from the Reformation that took place in the 16th century, the Lutheran faith prevailed in Estonia. Baltic Germans and most Estonians belonged to this confession. The Orthodox faith rose to the agenda only in connection with the extensive religious conversion movement of the 1840s. The Riga Vicar Diocese (covering the governorates of Livland and Courland) was established in 1836 as part of the Pskov Diocese and became an independent diocese in 1850. The Governorate of Estland was part of the St Petersburg Diocese until 1865. Thereafter it became part of the Riga Diocese. By the start of the 20th century, Orthodox believers accounted for a fifth of Estonia’s population. It is unclear how large a part of all Orthodox believers in Estonia consisted of Estonians at that time. In 1914, there were 210 Orthodox congregations in the territory of Estonia and Latvia: 99 Estonian, 49 Latvian, 29 Russian, and 33 mixed congregations. It is quite evident that Estonians accounted for the greater portion of the members of Estonian Orthodox congregations and that Estonians dominated as clerics in them as well. In 1918, 74 Estonian Orthodox priests served in at least 75 Estonian Orthodox congregations, in other words 75% of Estonian congregations in Estonia.</p> <p>After the February Revolution, large-scale changes took place in the summer of 1917 in the organisation of the entire Orthodox Church of Russia. The most important innovations were the restoration of the church council and of the position of patriarch. Estonian Orthodox believers wished to give local Orthodox church life more of an Estonian character: church services in the Estonian language, christening using typically Estonian names, instruction in the Estonian language in Orthodox schools similarly to Lutheran schools, publication of spiritual literature in Estonian, and other such matters. Yet the most important issue for the Estonian congregations in the Riga Diocese was the restoration of the Tallinn Vicar Diocese headed by an Estonian bishop. The Russian Orthodox Church Synod granted permission for this in July of 1917.</p> <p>Estonian Orthodox believers made proposals to two men who had been educated at the Riga theological seminary as well as the theological academy to apply for the position of Tallinn’s Vicar Bishop. Aleksander Kaelas (1880–1920), a philosophy lecturer at Moscow University, declined the offer. Paul (Pavel) Kulbusch (1869–1919), the priest of the St Petersburg Estonian congregation, also thought twice about the proposal before agreeing: ‘I knew what condition our homeland was in and was familiar with its Orthodox church life. Besides, it was foreseeable what would henceforth happen in our country due to the war: plenty of sadness and hardship could be expected.’ Additionally, the arrival of German forces in Estonia could be expected soon. Kulbusch was elected Vicar Bishop of Tallinn at a plenary assembly of the Riga Diocese that took place in Tartu on 10 August 1917 and was ordained on 31 December.</p> <p>During and after the First World War, new nation-states were created as empires collapsed. As part of this process, the Republic of Estonia was born on 24 February 1918. Estonians could not yet start building their independent state because German forces shortly captured all of Estonian territory. The occupying authorities did not recognise Estonia’s independent statehood and set Estonia’s annexation to Germany, the country’s colonisation by Germans, and the Germanisation of Estonian cultural life as its objectives. Very little is still known about Estonian cultural life from that time. Its study will help to better understand the aspirations of Estonians in preserving their national-cultural self-awareness in 1918 under the conditions of Germanisation. The German occupying authorities were particularly ill-disposed towards everything associated with Russianness. Thus, the position of the Orthodox Church deteriorated, and the position of the Lutheran Church, which was associated with Baltic Germans, became stronger.</p> <p>In January of 1918, Patriarch Tikhon appointed Vicar Bishop Platon provisional acting Bishop of Riga as well. Tikhon and Platon thought that Platon would probably remain alone in his work during German rule without the support of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was not known if henceforward it would be possible at all to move about between Estonia and Russia and to exchange information. Hitherto in historical literature, it has been believed that Estonia’s regular communication with the church authorities in St Petersburg and Moscow was cut off due to the German occupation. In reality, it was possible even later on in certain cases to cross the border either with the permission of the German military authorities or illegally. Bishop Platon nevertheless succeeded in sending Archdeacon Konstantin Dorin, the secretary of the Provisional Council of Riga Diocese, to Moscow to see Patriarch Tikhon in the summer of 1918. Dorin’s report on his trip reveals the mutual esteem and trust that the leaders of the Estonian and Russian Orthodox churches felt regarding one another.</p> <p>The financial situation of the Orthodox Church deteriorated significantly in 1918 compared to 1917. On the one hand, the wartime economic difficulties affecting all of Estonia influenced this. These difficulties became even more pronounced during the German occupation, when reserves of raw materials, fuel, and food were even taken from Estonia to Germany. On the other hand, Estonian Orthodox clerics were left without any stable income due to the political changes. After the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks seized control of Russia’s finances, including those of the Orthodox Church. Starting on 1 January 1918, the church no longer received any money from the state. The Orthodox Church in Estonia was able to operate only thanks to donations from Orthodox believers.</p> <p>Bishop Platon rendered very considerable services in supporting the spiritual resistance of Orthodox Estonians during the German occupation with his tours of the country, his memorandums, and the promotion of the Orthodox Church more broadly. In 1918, Platon visited 71 congregations in cities (Tartu, Võru, Valga, Pärnu, Viljandi, Riga), conducted tours in Tartu and Võru counties, and around Võrtsjärv Lake. Considering the fact that there were 118 congregations in Estonia’s Orthodox rural deaneries in 1915, the number of congregations that he visited accounted for over half of the congregations. The bishop was most frequently in Tartu, visiting Tartu’s Alexander congregation, the cleric of which was Anton Laar, who was Platon’s confidant and a member of the Provisional Council of Riga Diocese. Platon’s words gave clerics strength of soul to remain with their congregations in that difficult time in both worries and joys. According to Platon, the aim of his visits to congregations was to bring the people together, to affirm national self-awareness and their belief in the victory of goodness and fairness, and to encourage the people at a difficult time. Thereat Platon supported all nationalities, both Estonians and Russians.</p> <p>The First World War ended on 11 November 1918 and in essence, the German occupation in Estonia also ended on that date. Bishop Platon held Estonia’s independence in high esteem, writing on 14 November 1918: ‘Now, on historical days, when the idea of Estonian independence has finally managed to assert itself, although initially provisionally, every Estonian wishes that this loveliest idea of Estonia will also be permanently secured. In this sense, I as well, as the head of the Estonian Orthodox Church and hence the spiritual leader of 1/5 part of the Estonian people, support with all my might the firm undertaking of the Estonian people: to arrive at its complete independence.’ Other Orthodox clerics also rejoiced together with the entire Estonian people regarding the end of the German occupation. Unfortunately, the end of the German occupation did not yet bring peace to Estonia. Shortly, the armed forces of Soviet Russia crossed the Estonian border, and the Estonian nation and church, power and spirit were in mortal danger. The Bolsheviks executed Bishop Platon in Tartu on 14 January 1919. He was declared a martyr-saint in 2000.</p> Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.02 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Selective obligation: education in one’s mother tongue in interwar Estonia https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.03 <p>The school system in interwar Estonia was based on the idea that every child should receive their primary education in their mother tongue. It was deemed not so much as a right for every ethnic group to have education in their mother tongue, but as an obligation to children and their parents. There are only a few studies on education in one’s mother tongue during the interwar period and these do not focus on the long-term impact of this obligation on society. Thus, this article will explain how society adapted to the obligation to learn in one’s mother tongue in schools and how this obligation relates to education in one’s mother tongue for ethnic minorities, since the initial and main idea of education in one’s mother tongue was only to make sure that Estonian children learned in Estonian schools. To answer these questions, legal documentation, newspaper articles, statistics as well as appropriate archival sources are analysed.</p> <p>The assumption that the priority for state authorities and politicians was the development of Estonian language education was confirmed. The right to education in one’s mother tongue for ethnic minorities was rather a symbolic declaration and the state dealt with this question only reluctantly. Schools for ethnic minorities were established and maintained mostly at the initiative of minority elites. The state at the same time considered them too costly and viewed them as existing at the expense of Estonian schools. Against this background, it is natural that the idea of obligatory education in one’s mother tongue was revised year by year, but this was only done in relation to the schools of minorities. While the first Primary Schools Act required that all children had to attend schools teaching in their mother tongue with only substantiated exceptions, then later school acts enabled children of minorities to go to Estonian schools. At the same time, the obligation requiring that Estonian children attend Estonian schools remained unchanged.</p> <p>The obligation for Estonian children to go to Estonian-language schools was not revised even years after the country won its independence, although it was clear that the number of Estonian children in minority schools was small, as was the number of minority schools all over the country. Despite these facts, the polemic and outrage in society regarding the illegal choices made by some parents only grew. Numerous parents who officially identified themselves as Estonian preferred German or Russian schools. In the case of Russian schools, this might be explained by the territories gained after the Tartu Peace Treaty and the large number of Estonians who repatriated from Russia in the 1920s and whose children had previously attended Russian schools.</p> <p>This did not apply to German schools. Some parents used the opportunity to change their official ethnicity or joined the national registry of the German Cultural Self-Government to gain the right to send their children to German schools. The authorities were aware of these mostly successful attempts but did not have many instruments of influence at their disposal to prevent this from happening. At the same time, there was a widespread belief among politicians, which the press also supported, that these attempts should be stopped at all costs. Furthermore, since politicians had for many years already declared the need for obligatory education in one’s mother tongue, it would not have been easy to abandon this principle even though there were not many reasons to adhere to it.</p> <p>The issue of education in one’s mother tongue was easily politicised due to its controversial nature. However, politicians did not shape public opinion but rather took advantage of already widespread attitudes. In this regard, there was on the one hand a generally accepted understanding that it was disgraceful for Estonians to prefer minority schools. But on the other hand, there was also a small number of parents who wished to have the right to choose the language of instruction for their children themselves. They were not numerous enough to achieve a more liberal education policy but at the same time they were sufficiently numerous to induce the state to adopt a new law on determination of ethnicity which considerably reduced personal right to decide on one’s ethnicity and consequently to choose one’s preferred school.</p> Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.03 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Report on the political and social situation in Petseri County in 1927 https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.04 <p>The issue of Petseri County is still an important element of national continuity. The Tartu Peace Treaty transferred the rural municipalities of the Petseri region, which had previously belonged to the Governorate of Pskov, to the administration of the Republic of Estonia. This severed relations with eastern regions from the period of the Russian Empire. This detour brought rapid impoverishment in some communities, giving rise to a series of social problems in the region such as unemployment, alcoholism, etc. That is why anti-state sentiments emerged in the interwar period, primarily in the eastern part of Petseri County, which was populated mainly by Russian citizens whose interests were more closely linked to Russia’s interior regions. Pro-Soviet political forces exploited such sentiments.</p> <p>The published report is part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs archival collection (National Archives, RA, ERA.14.1.1395). It was drawn up in 1927 by Assistant Commissioner of the Political Police Nikolai Nuder at the request of Minister of Internal Affairs Jaan Hünerson. The reason for writing the report was the government’s aim to re-establish the position of Petseri County Commander, which had existed in the first years of independence, in order to supervise local institutions and to bind Petseri more closely with the Estonian state. S. Sommer’s comment on the report has been identified at the end of the publication. The value of the source lies in its relatively wide-ranging problematics, reflecting a clash of political and social, national and community interests in the region. In addition to the problems described, the report proposes possible solutions, yet without presenting more specific action plans. The document’s focus is on the eastern regions of Petseri County in particular, demonstrating the region’s weaker coherence with other Estonian territories. In addition to political and social aspects, the source also draws attention to man and the changing environment around him. In this case, rapid population growth and the paludification of areas along Lake Pskov led to a decrease in people’s living space in the region.</p> Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.04 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200 Tõnu Tannberg (koost), Eesti sõjaajalugu: valitud peatükke Vabadussõjast tänapäevani https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.05 Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.05 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200 In memoriam Aleksander Loit (1925–2021) https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1.06 Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1.06 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200 In memoriam Ulla C. Johansen (1927–2021) https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.07 Copyright (c) 2021 University of Tartu, authors https://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2021.1-2.07 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 00:00:00 +0200