Estonian Labour Party

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The Estonian Labour Party (Estonian: Eesti Tööerakond, ETE) was a political party in Estonia. It was formed in 1919 by a merger of the Radical Socialist Party and the Social Travaillist Party, and ceased to exist in 1932, when it merged with other centrist parties to form the National Centre Party. It was a member of government coalitions between 1919 and 1925, and again from 1927 until 1931.[1]

History[edit]

The ETE had its roots in the Estonian Radical Socialist Party and the Social Travaillist Party, both of which were founded in 1917. The two parties collaborated closely and were collectively known as the "Labourites".[2] Both parties won seats in the Estonian Provincial Assembly elections later in the year, and together made up the second largest faction in the Assembly. In November 1917, the Labourites received 21% of the votes in the Russian Constituent Assembly elections. In late December 1917, after the partially successful Bolshevik coup d'état in Estonia, Labourites were the first to publicly demand independence for Estonia.[3] By the 1918 Constituent Assembly elections, their support had risen to 30.4%.

After Estonia declared independence on 24 February 1918, the Labourites were part of the Estonian Provisional Government, as were all the parties, that supported Estonian independence. In March 1918, Labourite leader Jüri Vilms went missing in Finland, where he was presumably executed.[4] He was replaced by Otto Strandman, Piip, Juhan Kukk, Theodor Pool and Seljamaa.[5]

The two parties formally merged in 1919,[2] and won a quarter of the seats in the 1919 Constituent Assembly elections, with Strandman heading the government formed on 8 May 1919. The party went on to win the 1920 parliamentary elections with 22 of the 100 seats in the Riigikogu. It finished third in the 1923 elections, fourth in the 1926 and 1929 elections.

In January 1932 the party merged with the United Nationalists Party (an October 1931 merger of the Estonian People's Party and the Christian People's Party) to form the National Centre Party.

Ideology[edit]

After its foundation, the Labour Party supported non-revolutionary social and agrarian reform.[2] In the Constituent Assembly it was influential in composing the radical land reform and the 1920 constitution. Socialist during its early years, the party gradually moved towards the centre.[2] It championed the separation of church and state.[2]

The party drew its support from artisans, civil servants, intellectuals, small landowners and the non-socialist working class.[2]

Heads of Government[edit]

Portrait Name Term of Office Cabinet Legislature
Took Office Left Office Days
Otto August Strandman
(1875-1941)
1st Prime Minister
9 May 1919 18 November 1919 194 Strandman I
ETE–ESDTP–ER
Constituent
Assembly
(1919)
Ants Piip.jpg Ants Piip
(1884-1942)
5th Prime Minister
26 October 1920 20 December 1920 92 Piip
ETE
I Riigikogu
(1920)
Ants Piip.jpg Ants Piip
(1884-1942)
1st State Elder
20 December 1920 25 January 1921
Juhan Kukk.jpg Juhan Kukk
(1885-1942)
3rd State Elder
21 November 1922 2 August 1923 255 Kukk
ETE–PK–ER
ETE–PK–ER–ESDTP
ETE–PK–ESDTP
Otto August Strandman
(1875-1941)
10th State Elder
(2nd term)
9 July 1929 12 February 1931 584 Strandman II
ETE–ARVK–PK–KRE–ER
IV Riigikogu
(1929)

Ministers[edit]

Government ministers of the Estonian Labour Party
Minister Term Title
Jüri Vilms 24 February 1918-13 April 1918 Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Court
Juhan Kukk 24 February 1918-12 November 1918 Minister of Finance and State Treasury
12 November 1918-27 November 1918 Minister of Finance and Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs
27 November 1918-28 July 1920 Minister of Finance
25 January 1921-27 April 1921 Minister of Commerce and Industry
27 April 1921-18 November 1921 Minister of Commerce and Industry and acting Minister of Labour
21 November 1922-2 August 1923 State Elder
Ferdinand Peterson 24 February 1918-27 November 1918 Minister of Roads
Otto August Strandman 12 November 1918-27 November 1918 Minister of Foreign Affairs
27 November 1918-9 May 1919 Minister of Agriculture
9 May 1919-18 November 1919 Prime Minister and Minister of War
26 October 1920-14 January 1921 Minister of Court and Foreign Affairs
26 March 1924-14 May 1924 Minister of Foreign Affairs
14 May 1924-16 December 1924 Minister of Finance
9 July 1929-12 February 1931 State Elder
Eduard Säkk 27 November 1918-9 May 1919 Minister of Roads
18 November 1919-28 July 1920 Minister of Roads
Theodor Pool 9 May 1919-18 November 1919 Minister of Agriculture and Nutrition
18 November 1919-30 July 1920 Minister of Agriculture
26 October 1920-25 January 1921 Minister of Agriculture
Ants Piip 9 October 1919-18 November 1919 Minister of Foreign Affairs
26 October 1920-20 December 1920 Prime Minister and Minister of War
20 December 1920-14 January 1921 State Elder and Minister of War
14 January 1921-25 January 1921 State Elder, Minister of War and acting Minister of Foreign Affairs
25 January 1921-26 January 1921 Minister of Foreign Affairs
26 January 1921-23 November 1921 Minister of Foreign Affairs and acting Minister of Roads
23 November 1921-16 December 1921 Minister of Foreign Affairs and acting Minister of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Roads
16 December 1921-20 October 1922 Minister of Foreign Affairs
15 December 1925-23 July 1926 Minister of Foreign Affairs
Lui Olesk 9 October 1919-18 November 1919 Minister of Court
26 October 1920-25 January 1921 Minister of Commerce, Industry and Roads
Karl August Baars 26 October 1920-14 January 1921 Minister of Finance
14 January 1921-25 January 1921 Minister of Finance and acting Minister of Court
1 April 1924-14 May 1924 Minister of Finance
Jüri Annusson 26 October 1920-25 January 1921 Minister of Education
Peet Johanson 26 October 1920-25 January 1921 Minister of Nutrition
Christjan Kaarna 16 December 1921-20 October 1922 Minister of Labour and Welfare
21 November 1922-2 August 1923 Minister of Labour and Welfare
26 March 1924-23 July 1926 Minister of Labour and Welfare
Aleksander Veidermann 21 November 1922-19 February 1924 Minister of Education
Ado Anderkopp 21 November 1922-19 February 1924 Minister of War
12 April 1930-12 February 1931 Minister of War
Tõnis Kalbus 15 December 1925-23 July 1926 Minister of Court
9 December 1927-4 December 1928 Minister of Court
4 December 1928-12 April 1930 Minister of Court and Internal Affairs
Alfred Julius Mõttus 9 December 1927-4 December 1928 Minister of Education
Mihkel Juhkam 4 December 1928-9 July 1929 Minister of War

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vincent E McHale (1983) Political parties of Europe, Greenwood Press, pp398–399 ISBN 0-313-23804-9
  2. ^ a b c d e f McHale, p383
  3. ^ XX sajandi kroonika, I osa; Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, Tallinn, 2002; p. 164
  4. ^ 23. aprilli tähtsamaid ajaloosündmusi Eestis
  5. ^ Luuakse Eesti Tööerakond