Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 38 (2019): Creating Modern Nation-States in the Eastern Baltic = Šiuolaikinių tautinių valstybių kūrimas rytiniame Baltijos jūros regione, pp. 117–128
Estonia was a post-imperial country where the question of how to develop a citizen loyal to the new nation-state arose after the First World War. Seen by some as being composed of the ‘best part of the Estonian nation’, the army was considered to be a good tool for the effective training of citizens. In order to fulfil the idea of the army as a ‘school of nation’, the crucial issues were the creation of its own military traditions, language policy, and the education of personnel. The leadership of the army tried to eliminate the influence of the former Imperial Russian army, invented new military traditions in the national spirit, and actively cultivated nationalist ideas. The article analyses the education of Estonian military personnel in this regard, discussing how nationalism, language policy, cultural training and history lessons helped to embody the vision of the army as the school of nation.
The article analyses issues related to the participation of national minorities in the Estonian War of Independence of 1918–1920. Due to the low numbers of national minorities, they were not treated as a serious problem in the Republic of Estonia during the war, but the question of their involvement was important in the principle of the strategy of active defence. This article is based on a doctoral thesis that was defended at Tallinn University in June 2018. The involvement of national minorities in the national units of the Estonian national army in the Estonian War of Independence is investigated from a cultural studies approach. The article aims to show the attitude of national minorities towards the Estonian state and the army, and to evaluate their role in the struggle by the Estonian army in the War of Independence.