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By A. Kasekamp

The 1st designated learn of Estonian politics throughout the Nineteen Thirties, this ebook examines the Estonian Veterans' League which gained a majority in a referendum for its constitutional modification making a robust presidency. The Veterans seemed set to triumph within the 1934 elections, yet have been thwarted by way of the institution of an authoritarian regime. through the use of previously unobtainable archival documents, this research fills a substantial hole within the literature at the Baltic states and may be attractive to these drawn to fascism.

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The National Liberal Party reiterated most of the key themes of the Walwe Liit, such as the fight against political corruption and for the rights of war veterans. 4 The National Liberals won four seats in the 1923 general elections, making a particularly strong showing in Tallinn. Pitka himself, however, failed to win a seat. Embittered, he emigrated to Canada. The party did not survive the departure of its prime mover; it did not receive a single mandate in the next Riigikogu elections. 21 22 The Radical Right in Interwar Estonia While the ideological ancestry of the Veterans’ League can be traced to Pitka’s endeavors, its direct organizational predecessor was the Eesti Demobiliseeritud Sõjaväelaste Liit (‘Estonian Demobilized Soldiers’ League’), founded in Tartu on 8 February 1921.

30 The results of the elections altered the complexion of Riigikogu only slightly. 31 This new Riigikogu was to experience the sharpest of crises and the greatest turnover of cabinets: four in a space of two years. The new government featured the same coalition partners as the previous Jaan Teemant cabinet, but was headed by Karl Einbund, the man behind the unification of the two agrarian parties. 32 The summer of 1932 was a period of great activity for the League, and the time when it first attracted widespread public attention.

Seeing that the Farmers’ Party initiative was in danger of failing, the League joined the campaign to lower the quorum. Thus, the Veterans’ first foray onto the political stage was a proposal submitted to the Riigikogu by Sirk and Larka on 24 April 1931, almost identical to the bill submitted by the Farmers’ Party some five months earlier, that only a simple majority of those who cast a vote should be required. 13 The League’s threat of popular initiative should the bill fail prodded the committee into action.

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