The Kingdom of Estland (commonly just Estland, Estonian: Estismaa Kuningriik or Estimaa) is a sovereign state located on the continent of Europe. Estland sits on the shore of the Baltic Sea, and is bordered by Russia to the east and Latvia to the south. The country is separated from Sweden westwards across the Baltic Sea and from Finland across the Gulf of Helsinki. Although it is apart of the European Union and the Schengen Area, Estland is not apart of the Eurozone and maintains a reasonable amount of independence from European unionist efforts.
The existing territory of Estland was established after the Livonian War ended with the Peace of Helsinki and the cessation of Estonia to the Kingdom of England under the supervision of the Tsardom of Russia. Originally a puppet which was largely controlled by a joint occupation government, the English monarchy established a puppet monarchy known as the House of Tartu in 1609 to legitimize their hold on the region. Under English rule, the native Estonians saw a large amount of independence in the ruling of their own nation, and over time, grew accustomed to having a strong power lead their government. The Great Northern War in 1700 resulted in a large conflict over the territory, but the English remained as the sovereign possessors of the territory with large native support. The dominion became of great economic importance to English trade with Russia and Eastern Europe, and served as a major point for the shipment of traded goods back to England. With the formation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, Estland saw great autonomy as politics in Great Britain became more complex. The separate legislative and judicial system was established, based on the traditional Estonian political value of direct participant democracy.
During the Pax Britannica, Estland's English-speaking population grew dramatically as a state-owned educational system required both English and Estonian to be taught. Known as the British-Estlander migration, several waves of English and Scottish settlers took up residence in Estland, a move which would solidify the nation's relationship with the British Empire entirely. During World War I, naval engagements in the Baltic Sea prohibited a large amount of communication between Estland and Britain, which would lead to a larger amount of political autonomy than was usually accustomed. During World War II, Estland was contested between the British and the Germans, as the British maintained port footholds while the Germans took the interior of the territory. It was in late 1943 when the British launched a massive offensive to regain complete control, which was aided in part by the counter-offensive of the Soviets launched in 1944. The Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe after the war was of great concern to the British government, and at first a stronger grip on Estland was maintained to insure its status as apart of the Commonwealth Realm. In order to relieve tensions between the British and the Soviets, Estland was granted independence as the Kingdom of Estland, though strong political and economic ties were still retained through the British-Estlander Pact. On August 8th, 1989, Queen Elizabeth II was made the head of state while the native King Jaan IV held his position as the head of government.
The Estlander government has existed in its most basic form since 1707, with a combined legislative and judicial system of direct participation under a monarchy. The parliament is composed of groups of people who in turn represent larger syndicates of people based on common interests. The groups, known officially as estates, are made up of groups of people who associate with one another, and are based more on social groups rather than localities to prevent gerrymandering and majority rule. Each estate is responsible for the enforcement of laws, while actions involving more than one estate are solved through the parliament. The parliament meets every two months to make checks on laws and to collect dues from estates which then fund the royal ministries. The monarch is the head of the royal ministries, which exist to help the people in their daily lives and provide for the necessities of all persons. The current system has not been altered since the rearrangement of the monarchy in 1989.
The country's economy is a developed one with an economy based on the export of clothing, electronics, automobiles, building materials, and refined petroleum products. Estland has a large manufacturing presence in Eastern Europe, as state grants towards the manufacturing industry make it one of the easiest places in Europe to maintain a foundry. A large amount of the products manufactured in Estland are then shipped to the United Kingdom and other Baltic countries, which further emphasizes the importance of its role as a medium of trade between Eastern Europe and Northern Europe. Estland holds one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe at 5.6%, and state controlled employment grants towards employers benefit residents more than foreign workers in an effort to encourage economic self sufficiency in terms of employment. As a result of the economic emphasis placed on primary and secondary sector roles, education in the country is much more relaxed than in other European countries, and most polls have found the nation to hold an adequate level of knowledge as the standard. Technologically speaking, Estland is a modernized nation with an above average level of technological development than most other Eastern European countries. The Estlander pound is the nation's official currency, which is pegged to the British pound sterling.
Estland holds neutral to warm relations with most other Eastern European nations, warm relations with other Northern European nations, and extremely friendly relations with other Commonwealth realms. Though it is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area, Estland is not a member of the Eurozone. The largest ally of Estland is the United Kingdom, both of which are signatories of the British-Estlander Pact.
The name Estland originally developed as portmanteau of Estonians and Land to refer to the part of Livonia inhabited by the Estonian people. While Estonia was found to refer to the region, the British preferred a name which allowed for foreigners to notice that the country was a British protectorate, and thus, thought that a new name with English roots would be appropriate for their territory. The name has been used for so long that even native Estonian refers to the land now as Estismaa rather than just Eesti.