The Duchy of Estonia, Estonia, Estland, Danish Estonia, is a small Duchy occupying the North coast of Livonia. Its capital is Tallinn. It is the second smallest country on the Baltic Sea and has a population of about 750,000. It borders Saaremaa to the West, Livonia to the South and Novgorod to the East. To its North lies the Gulf of Finland and Finland beyond it.
Its current Head of State is Duchess Eliisabet II.
Its currency is the Estonian Kroona (EEK).
Its official language is Estonian. Northern Russian, Livonian and Finnish are also spoken.
Originally under Kievan influence, Estonia passed to Novgorod after the division of Kievian lands. They exercised nominal control during the 11th century but let the native tribes reassert themselves during the 12th.
Danish incursions began in 1197 with Canute VI's crusade. They established a dukedom on Osel (Saaremaa) before continuing eastwards. At the Battle of Lyndanisse the collected armies of Estonia were defeated allowing The entire northern coast to be claimed. This battle also saw the adoption of the Danish flag when it 'fell from the sky'.
Harassed by the Livonian Order and rebellion Osel was handed over to the Bishop of Osel (which quickly rebelled and formed Saaremaa) whilst a program of castle building was started in the remaining territories. As Danish interests turned to Pomerania, Estonia was generally under-manned and often threatened by the Livonian Order who considered it still to be heathen and worthy of further crusade. However the threat from them was largely negated by Novgorod in 1242 when it defeated the Livonian host at Lake Peipus and the subsequent splintering of authority there.
Throughout the early medieval period, Denmark never overtly tried to integrate the Duchy into the Danish state, unlike Pomerania, instead fostering a modicum of independence. The Ducal line, although originally from the House of Estridsson, soon became Estonian-ised and subtle marriage and diplomacy allowed territorial gains to the South and East. This hands off approach allowed trade to flourish and for the duchy to remain largely to peace with its neighbours.
Incorporation into the Kalmar Union led an increasingly assertive but also cash-strapped Denmark to raise taxes and largely take-over the duchy's trade. This coupled with the billeting of ever greater armies in the area led to spreading resentment amongst the native Estonians and there were several unsuccessful peasant revolts in the early 16th century.
The Reformation, like that of Finland and Saaremaa, was largely bloodless, though the confiscation of the lands of the bishop of Reval was held off until the Livonian nobles had been largely converted too.
During the Great Baltic War Estonia was invaded and occupied by Svealand and used as a base to strike Novgorod from. Novgorod occupied the duchy after the Svealandic retreat for several years until the Kalmar Union re-invaded. The decisive Battle of Narva (1772) that largely brought the war to a close was fought on Estonian soil. The Estonian people suffered disproportionately during the war and as much as 30% of the population perished either in warfare or the famine that followed.
By the Treaty of Lubeck Estonia returned to Danish rule, although it was given large autonomy. There was a brief movement to add large tracts of Ingria to the Duchy but instead Novgorod was made to pay reparations.
As Kalmar attitudes to Novgorod changed Estonia was given full independence from Denmark by the Treaty of Rae (1846), though a Kalmar army remains barracked on its territory.
Estonia is a member of the 4th Kalmar Union.
Estonia is a constitutional monarchy. The current head of state is Duchess Eliisabet II and although the office retains little practical power the Ducal family is well liked. The Prime Minister is Andrus Part. Elections for the Riigikogu are held every 4 years.