24 February 1918

Estonian Declaration of Independence.

The Estonian Declaration of Independence was proclaimed on February 24, 1918, by the Estonian Provincial Assembly in Tallinn, Estonia. The declaration marked the end of over two centuries of foreign rule and established Estonia as an independent republic.

The declaration was a response to the political chaos that emerged after the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the aftermath of the revolution, Estonia was briefly occupied by both German and Soviet forces, but in late 1917, the Estonian Provincial Assembly declared itself the supreme authority in the region.

The declaration itself was written by a committee of Estonian leaders, including Konstantin Päts, Jüri Vilms, and Konstantin Konik. It declared Estonia to be an independent democratic republic with a government elected by the people.

The declaration was not immediately recognized by foreign powers, and Estonia had to fight for its independence in the Estonian War of Independence, which lasted from 1918 to 1920. The war was ultimately successful, and Estonia was recognized as an independent state by the Soviet Union in the Treaty of Tartu in 1920.

The Estonian Declaration of Independence remains an important symbol of Estonian national identity and is celebrated as a national holiday in Estonia every February 24th.