Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party
The Estonian Social Democratic Workers' Party (Estonian: Eesti Sotsiaaldemokraatiline Tööliste Partei) was a political party in Estonia between 1917 and 1925. The party, founded on the platforms of patriotism, Estonian independence, and social justice, wrote the first Estonian constitution.
Social democracy in Estonia was born at the beginning of the 20th century. Estonian social democracy was influenced by West-European ideas of social democracy as well as by Russian ideals. During 1905 revolution social democratic ideas spread and Estonian social democrats formed their party in the summer of 1905 in Tartu.
At this time, the party was named the Estonian Social Democratic Workers Unity (Eesti Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Tööliste Ühendus). The social democrats was the most persecuted party during the czarist era. Their newspapers were closed, their politicians were forced to emigrate (Peeter Speek and Mihkel Martna) or prosecute in underground (August Rei).
In 1917, when parties were again allowed, social democrats formed Estonian Social Democratic Association (Eesti Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Ühendus). Their views were patriotic and they fought for Estonian independence and social justice. They changed their name into Estonian Social Democratic Workers Party (Eesti Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Tööliste Partei) and they won Constituent Assembly elections with 41 of the 120 seats. In the parliamentary elections the following year the party was reduced to third place, before emerging as the second-largest party in the 1923 elections.
In 1990, the Estonian Socialist Party's Foreign Association merged into the newly formed Estonian Social Democratic Party.