Population. – According to the census of March 1, 1934, the residents totaled 1,126,413 with an almost insensitive increase compared to the previous census (1922), which numbered 1,107,059 people.
This small increase, lower than that of any other European state, is due to the low birth rate, which, already low in 1921 (20.3 per thousand), has undergone a significant decrease (15.4 per thousand in 1934).
As regards agricultural production, the figures have not changed significantly. On the other hand, livestock farming is increasing: cattle 676,250 (1934), 725,400 (1935); sheep 552.070 (1934), 593.150 (1935); pigs 281.660 (1934), 289.190 (1935); equines 211,510 (1934), 217,810 (1935); and the production of butter, which feeds a notable export.
Foreign trade, which, following the world crisis suffered a very significant contraction, reaching its lowest figures in 1932, slowly regains its pre-crisis values, as shown in the following table.
The 1257 km railway network. (1930) rose to 1891 (1934) following the construction of the Tartu-Petseri and Rapla-Virtsu trunks.
Political order. – According to the new constitution which entered into force on 1 January 1938 (see below), the President of the Republic, who remains in office for six years, represents the state internationally, negotiates and ratifies treaties, is the head of the armed forces. In addition to issuing regulations, it participates in the legislative power, promulgating laws and issuing decrees with the force of law. It may, when it deems it opportune, bring together the National Assembly in extraordinary sessions, and dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and the National Council before the end of the legislature. For the most important issues, it can hold a referendum popular. He has the right of pardon. To be eligible for president, you must be 45 years old and meet the requirements to be electors. Two hypotheses are envisaged for the election of the president: if the Chamber of Deputies, the National Council and the Assembly of representatives of local governments present different candidates, the electoral body is called upon to designate one; if, on the other hand, the three bodies designate the same candidate, they meet in a single assembly and the candidate is elected if he obtains three-fifths of the votes.
In Estonia, the bicameral system is in force. The National Assembly is in fact composed of the Chamber of Deputies and the National Council. The Chamber of Deputies is made up of 80 members elected by universal suffrage and by secret ballot from among citizens who qualify to be electors and have reached the age of twenty-two.
The National Council, with a corporate structure, consists of 40 members with at least 40 years of age. Of these, 10 are appointed by the president, 20 are chosen from among the representatives of professional corporations, municipalities, public institutions, 10 are members by right, by reason of their office. The term of office is also 5 years for the members of the Board. Both the Chamber and the Council exercise legislative power. However, the Chamber has a pre-eminent position: in fact, it discusses and approves the bills first and, in case of divergence, its approval with a particular majority (three fifths) is enough for the law to pass to the sanction of the President of the Republic. The latter has the right, in such cases, to ask that the Chamber discuss and approve the bill a second time.
The President of the Republic exercises executive power through the government, made up of ministers and chaired by the prime minister. The president is responsible for the appointment and dismissal of ministers. If the House votes a motion of no confidence in the cabinet, the president is not required to comply with that vote and can dissolve the House.
However, if the new Chamber is also opposed to the current cabinet, the president must dismiss it. The chancellor of justice and the controller of the state, appointed and revoked of his own right by the president of the republic, can participate in the cabinet sessions with an advisory vote.
When the President of the Republic cannot exercise his functions, he is replaced by the Prime Minister or an alternate president chosen by a commission composed of the Prime Minister, the Commander of the Armed Forces and the Presidents of the Chamber, the Council and the State Court.
Navy. – It has been enriched with 2 submarines (Kalev, Lembit) launched in 1936 in England, of 620/820 t. and 13.5 / 8.5 knots, armed with 4 x 533 launch tubes.
Military aviation (p. 421). – It is part of the army and consists of: an air defense command in Tallinn; an aviation school, workshop and various warehouses in Tallinn; 3 aviation groups comprising a total of 3 fighter squadrons and 5 reconnaissance squadrons, each on 4 aircraft; of 1 hydro detachment of 4 hunting and 4 reconnaissance aircraft. In total about 100 devices (foreign type).
Finance. – From 1933-34, once the deficit of the crisis years had been overcome, ordinary revenues constantly exceeded ordinary expenses.
At March 31, 1938, the internal debt was 12.2 million (of which 3.2 consolidated) and the external debt was 111.3 million. Since 10 September 1933, the krona, devalued by about 40% in June, has been pegged to the pound sterling at the rate of 18.35 kroner for ??? 116 ??? 1. As of December 31, 1937, notes in circulation amounted to 49 million and reserves to 34 in gold and 22 in foreign exchange. The exchange control has been in effect since November 1931.
The main credit institution is Kredit Bank (1907).
The reform of the constitution (see above) was the most notable internal event in the political life of Estonia. On March 26, 1932, the National Assembly approved the reform project largely due to K. Päts, a project that involved the appointment of a president of the Republic distinct from the head of the government, the decrease from 100 to 80 in the number of deputies and the reduction of the allowance due to them. In 1933 it was established that the president would be elected by universal suffrage for a period of 5 years and that the deputies would remain 100 in number; a proposal tending to have the President nominated by Parliament was rejected (June 14, 1933) with 67% of the votes. On 21 October 1933 an extra-parliamentary government was formed, chaired by the Päts (with J. Seljamaa ai Esteri) to bring into force the new constitution, which in fact on January 24, 1934 became the new law of the state. The Päts, president of the council, assumed the interim presidency of the republic. On March 15 the Päts, due to the agitation of the ex-combatants who had already given serious trouble to the government in the previous year, proclaimed a state of exception for 6 months, arresting their leaders, suppressing their newspapers, dissolving the Association. After that the Päts came to the decision to suppress the parties (in Estonia the main parties were the socialists, the labor party, the agrarians and the new peasants) by setting up a corporative chamber. The announcement was made on January 16, 1935; on 1 October the Päts announced that there would be two chambers, one of which is corporate; L’ On December 8, a new insurrection of ex-combatants was suppressed, whose leaders Larka and Tõrvand were sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment (May 25, 1936), but pardoned a few months later. On February 26, 1936 a plebiscite took place for the appointment of the National Assembly in charge of revising the constitution; plebiscite in favor of 472,416 votes against 148,878. The project, presented by the Päts on February 28, 1937, was modified and approved by the National Assembly on July 28, 1937. The constitution entered into force on January 1, 1938. plebiscite in favor of 472,416 votes against 148,878. The project, presented by the Päts on February 28, 1937, was modified and approved by the National Assembly on July 28, 1937. The constitution entered into force on January 1, 1938. plebiscite in favor of 472,416 votes against 148,878. The project, presented by the Päts on February 28, 1937, was modified and approved by the National Assembly on July 28, 1937. The constitution entered into force on January 1, 1938.
In the field of international politics, Estonia has formed a regional agreement with Latvia and Lithuania (12 September 1934) called the Baltic Intesa, on the model of the Little Entente and the Balkan Entente. In March 1934 the organization of the army was reformed; the national territory was divided into 8 military districts.