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. 131–151
In the interwar years, Finland and Estonia were characterised by the fact that in both countries exceptionally broad linguistic and cultural rights were given to national minorities, compared with the situation in the rest of Europe. There were several factors behind this. One was the relationship between ethnic groups from a historical perspective. Another was each country’s internal debate on the kind of social order in general that was to be built. The third was how politics in Finland and Estonia was influenced by international trends and theories on how national minorities should be treated. The article analyses how national minorities were taken into account in the Finnish and Estonian constitutions which held true in the period between the two world wars, and why account was taken precisely in a certain way. At the same time, it considers what kind of views in this regard were presented by different political parties, what kind of debates were held in the parliaments of both countries, and how the matter was dealt with by other significant interest groups.