Estonia was first christianised when the German "Livonian Sword Brethren" and Denmark conquered the land by 1227. Subsequent foreign powers that controlled Estonia at various times included Denmark, Sweden, Poland and finally Russia in 1721. Following the collapse of Imperial Russia after the October Revolution, Estonia declared itself an independent republic on 24 February 1918. After the Estonian War of Independence and Treaty of Tartu signed in 2 February 1920 Estonia maintained this independence for twenty-two years with a parliamentary government. The parliamentary government was disbanded in 1934 and the country was ruled by decree by president Konstantin Päts until the parliamentary elections in 1938.
The country was occupied by Soviet troops in June 1940, as a consequence of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Many of its political and intellectual leaders were killed or repressed. The country was occupied by the German from 1941 to 1944 when Soviet forces reconquered it. Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991, with the Singing Revolution and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Estonia joined NATO on 29 March 2004.
Estonia is a country in Northern Europe. It is separated from Finland in the north by the narrow Gulf of Finland and from Sweden in the west by the middle part of the Baltic Sea. Estonia has land borders with its fellow Baltic country Latvia to the south and Russia to the east.
Estonia lies on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea on the level northwestern part of the rising east European platform. The average elevation reaches only 50 m, and the country"s highest point is the Suur Munamägi in the southeast (318 m).
Oil shale (or kukersite) and limestone deposits, along with forests which cover 47% of the land, play key economic roles in this generally resource-poor country. Estonia boasts over 1,400 lakes (most very small, with the largest, Lake Peipus, being 3,555 km²), numerous bogs, and 3,794 kilometers of coastline marked by numerous bays, straits, and inlets. The number of islands and islets is estimated at some 1,500, with two of them large enough to constitute their own counties, Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.
Estonia is a constitutional democracy, with a president elected by its unicameral parliament (elections every four years). The government or the executive branch is formed by the prime minister, nominated by the president, and a total of 14 ministers. The government is appointed by the president after approval by the parliament. Legislative power lies with the unicameral parliament, the Riigikogu or State Assembly, which consists of 101 seats. Members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms.
到了1227年，在被日尔曼"Livonian Sword Brethren"兵团和丹麦征服后，爱沙尼亚第一次成为一个基督教国家。 后来在不同时期被丹麦、瑞典、波兰以及最后在1721年，被俄国所占领。十月革命后，随着沙俄帝国的瓦解，爱沙尼亚于1918年2月24日宣告成为独立的民主共和国。在爱沙尼亚独立战争及1920年2月2日签订的塔尔图条约后，爱沙尼亚在议会政府的统治下保持了22年的独立主权地位。议会政府在1934年解散，该国由总统康斯坦丁・帕茨（Konstantin Päts）颁布的法令治理，直到1938年举行议会大选。
根据纳粹德国和苏维埃联盟在1939年签订的莫洛托夫－里宾特洛甫条约（Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact），苏联军队在1940年6月占领了爱沙尼亚。该国许多政治领导人和知识分子被杀害或镇压。这个国家在1941年到1944年期间被德国占领，直到苏联再次夺回爱沙尼亚。 随着歌唱革命（Singing Revolution）和苏维埃联盟政权的瓦解，1991年8月20日爱沙尼亚再次宣告独立。2004年3月29日，爱沙尼亚加入北大西洋公约组织。