province of Russia, stretching along the southEnd of Article: ESTHONIA (Ger. Ehstland and Ehshland, Esthonian Eestimae and Meie-maa, also Viroma and Rahvama; Lettish Iggaun Senna)
See also:coast of the Gulf of Finland, and having Lake
See also:Peipus and Livonia on the S. and the
See also:government of St
See also:Petersburg on the E . An
See also:archipelago of islands, of which
See also:Dago is the largest, belongs to this government (Oesel belongs to Livonia) . The
See also:area is 7818 sq. m., 503 sq. m. of this being insular . The
See also:surface is low, not exceeding roo ft. in altitude along the coast and alongside Lake Peipus, while in the interior the
See also:elevation ranges from 200 to 300 ft., and nowhere exceeds 450 ft . It was entirely covered with the bottom
See also:moraine of the
See also:great ice-
See also:sheet of the Glacial Epoch, resting upon
See also:Silurian sandstones and limestones . In places sands and
See also:clays overlie the glacial deposits . The
See also:principal stream is the Narova, which issues from Lake Peipus, flows along the eastern border, and empties into the Gulf of Fin-
See also:land . The other drainage
See also:arteries are all small, but many in number; while lakes and marshes aggregate fully 221% of the
See also:total surface . The
See also:climate is severe, great
See also:cold being experienced in winter, though moist west winds exercise a moderating influence . Nevertheless the
See also:annual mean temperature ranges between 390 and 430 Fahr . In1878 the
See also:nobility, mostly of German descent, owned and farmed 52% of the land; 42% was farmed, but not owned, by the peasants, mostly Esths or Ehsts, and only 3% was owned by persons outside the ranks of the nobility . Since then one-
See also:fourth of the peasantry have been enabled to
See also:purchase their holdings, more than
See also:half a million acres having passed into their possession .
See also:Agriculture is the chief occupation, and it is, on all the larger holdings, carried on with greater scientific knowledge than in any other
See also:part of Russia . Of the total area about 16.6% is under cultivation; meadows and grass-lands amount to 41.7%; and forests cover 19% . The principal crops are
See also:rye, oats,
See also:barley and potatoes, with large quantities of vegetables .
See also:Cattle-breeding flourishes, and
See also:meat and
See also:butter are constantly increasing items of export . The manufactories consist chiefly of distilleries (over 13,500,000 gallons annually),
See also:cotton (at Kranholm falls on the Narova), woollen,
See also:flour, paper and saw mills, iron and machinery
See also:works, and match factories . Fishing is active along the coast, especially for anchovies . The province is intersected by a railway
See also:running from St Petersburg to Reval, with branches from the latter city westwards to Baltic
See also:Port and southwards into Livonia, and from Taps south to Yuryev (Dorpat) . The chief seaports are Reval, Baltic Port, Hapsal, Kunda and Dago,
See also:Esthonia is divided into four districts, the chief towns of which are Reval (pop. in 1897, 66,292), the capital of the province; Hapsal, a lively watering-place (3238); Weissenstein (2509); and Wesenberg (556o) . The population, which consists chiefly of Ehstes (365,959 in 1897), Russians (18,000), Germans (16,000), Swedes (5800), and some Jews, is growing fairly fast: in 187o it numbered 323,960, and in 1897 413,747, of whom 210,199 were
See also:women and 76,315 lived in towns; in 1906 it was estimated at 451,700 . Ninety-six per cent. of the whole belong to the Lutheran
See also:Church .
See also:Education is, for Russia, relatively high . The Esths, Ehsts or Esthonians, who
See also:call themselves Tallopoeg and Maamees, are known to the Russians as Chukhni or Chukhontsi, to the Letts as Iggauni, and to the Finns as Virolaiset .
They belong tb the Finnish
See also:family, and consequently to the Ural-Altaic division of the human
See also:race . Altogether they number close upon one million, and are thus distributed : 365,959 in Esthonia (in 1897), 518,594 in Livonia, 64,116 in the government of St Petersburg, 25,458 in that of
See also:Pskov, and 12,855 in other parts of Russia . As a race they exhibit manifest evidences of their Ural-Altaic or Mongolic descent in their
See also:short stature,
See also:absence of
See also:beard, oblique eyes, broad
See also:face, low forehead and small mouth . In addition to that they are an under-sized,
See also:people, with long arms and thin, short legs . They cling tenaciously to their native language, which is closely allied to the Finnish, and divisible into two, or according to some authorities into three, principal dialects—Dorpat Esthonian and Reval Esthonian, with Pernau Esthonian . Reval Esthonian, which preserves more carefully the full inflectional forms and pays greater
See also:attention to the
See also:laws of euphony, is recognized as the
See also:literary language . Since 1873 the cultivation of their
See also:tongue has been sedulously promoted by an Esthonian Literary Society (Eesti Korjameeste Sells), which publishes Toimetused, or " Instructions " in all sorts of subjects . They have a decided love of
See also:poetry, and exhibit great facility in improvising verses and poems on all occasions, and they sing, everywhere, from
See also:morning to
See also:night . Like the Finns they possess
See also:rich stores ofnational songs . These, which bear an unmistakable family likeness to those of the great Finnish epic of the Kalevala, were collected as the Kalevi Poeg, and edited by Kreutswald (1857), and translated into German by Reinthal (1857–1859) and
See also:Bertram (1861) and by Lowe (1900) . Other collections of Esthnische Volkslieder have been published by
See also:Neuss (1850–1852) and Kreutzwald and Neuss (1854); while Kreutzwald (1866) and Jannsen (1888) have published collections of legends and
See also:national tales . The earliest publication in Esthonian was a Lutheran catechism in the 16th century .
See also:translation of the New Testament was printed at Reval in 1715 . Between 1813 and 1832 there appeared at Pernau twenty volumes of Beitrage zur genauern Kenntniss der esthnischen Sprache, by Rosenplanter, and from 184o onwards many valuable papers on Esthonian subjects were contributed to the Verhandlungen der gelehrten esthnischen Gesellschaft zu Dor pat . F . J . Wiedemann, who laboured indefatigably in the
See also:registration and preservation of matters connected with Esthonian language and lore, published an Esthnisch-deutsches Worterbuch (1865; and ed. by Hurt, 1891, &c.), and in 1903 there appeared at Reval a Deutschesthnisches Worterbuch, by Ploompun and Kann . The Esthonians first appear in
See also:history as a warlike and predatory race, the terror of the Baltic
See also:seamen in consequence of their piracies . More than one of the Danish
See also:kings made serious attempts to subdue them . Canute VI. invaded their
See also:country (1194–1196) and forced
See also:baptism upon many of them, but no sooner did his war-
See also:ships disappear than they reverted to their former heathenism . In 1219 Waldemar II. undertook a more formidable crusade against them, in the course of which he founded the
See also:town and episcopal see of Reval . By his efforts the
See also:northern portion of the race were made submissive to the Danish
See also:crown; but, though conquered, they were by no means subdued, and were incessantly in revolt, until, after a great
See also:rebellion in 1343, Waldemar IV . Atterdag sold for 19,000 marks his portion of Esthonia in 1346, to the
See also:order of the Knights of the Sword . These German crusaders had already, after a quarter of a century's fighting, in 1224 gained possession of the regions inhabited by the
See also:southern portion of the race, that is those now included in Livonia .
See also:time for nearly six
See also:hundred years or more the Esthonians were practically reduced to a state of serfdom to the German landowners . In 1521 the nobles and cities of Esthonia voluntarily placed themselves under the
See also:protection of the crown of Sweden; but after the
See also:wars of
See also:Charles XII., Esthonia was formally ceded to his victorious
See also:Peter the Great, by the peace of Nystad (1721) . Serfdom was abolished in 1817 by
See also:Alexander I.; but the
See also:condition of the peasants was so little improved that they
See also:rose in open revolt in 1859 . Since 1878, however, a vast
See also:change for the better has been effected in their economic position (see above) . The determining feature of their
See also:recent history has been the attempt made by the
See also:Russian government (since 1881) and the Orthodox Greek Church (since 1883) to russify and convert the inhabitants of the province, Germans and Esths alike, by enforcing the use of Russian in the
See also:schools and by harsh and repressive
See also:measures aimed at their native language . See Merkel, Die freien Letten and Esthen (182o) ;
See also:Parrot, Versuch einer Entwickelung der Sprache, Abstammung, £&c., der Liwen, LOtten, Eeslen (1839); F . Kruse, Urgeschichte
See also:des esthnischen Volksstammes (1846); Wiedemann, Grammatik der esthnischen Sprache (1875), and Aus dem innern and dussern Leben der Esthen (1876); Koppen, Die Bewohner Esthlands (1847); F .
See also:Muller, Beitrage zur Orographie and Hydrographie von Esthland (1869–1871); Bunge, Das Herzogthum Esthland unter den Konigen von Danmark (1877); and
See also:Seraphim, Geschichte Liv-, Est-, and Kurlands (2nd ed., 1897) and various papers in the Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen . (P . A . K.; J . T .
BE.; C .
ESTIENNE (or ETIENNE; the French form of the name; ...
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