Estonian heads of state since 1918 and the legal grounds of their activities.

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Jaan Tõnisson

* 22.12.1868 in the Tänassilma rural municipality Viljandi County
† unknown


Prime Minister
Head of State (Elder of State)


1915 - 1917 Chairman of the Northern Baltic Committee. 1917 - 1918 member of the Estonian Foreign Delegation, 1918-1919 a minister without portfolio of the Provisional Government, as a Minister the representative of Estonia abroad. 1923-1925 Chairman of the II Riigikogu, 1931-1932 Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1932-33 Chairman of the V Riigikogu. Member of the I Russian Duma 1905-1907, member of the Estonian Province Assembly (Eesti Maanäukogu) 1917-1919, member of the Constituent Assembly (Asutav Kogu) 1919-1920, member of the I-V Riigikogu 1920-1934/37, member of the Riigivolikogu (second chamber of the Riigikogu 1938-1940) 1938-1940.

Finished the State High School of Estonian Province in Tallinn, studied at the law department of the Tartu University in 1889-1892, graduated as a Candidate of Law.

1893-1894 worked in the office of the "Postimees" newspaper. 1894-1896 a court prosecutor and candidate to the office of Justice in the Oryol Province.

1896-1930 the owner of the newspaper "Postimees", 1896-1935 also Editor-in-Chief. 1898-1930 owner of a "Postimees" printing house and a bookstore in Tartu, as well as barrister. In 1908 imprisoned for signing the Vyborg Appeal (the appeal of the Estonian politicians against the activities of the punishment squads in Estonia after the First Russian Revolution), 1935-1939 Cooperation Professor at the Tartu University.

1898-1917 member of the Tartu Estonian Farmers' Society, 1902 Member of the Council of the Estonian Loan and Savings Society, 1908-1917 Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Estonian Youth Education Society and 1909-1916 also of the girls' high school belonging to the Society, 1909-1920 Member of the Board of the Estonian Literature Society. 1932-1940 Chairman of the Estonian-British Society, 1933-1940 Chairman of the Estonian-Swedish society.

Cross of Freedom III/1. From 1921, Honorary Alumnus of the Estonian Students? Society, from 1928 Honorary Doctor of Law of Tartu University, from 1939 Honorary Citizen of Tartu. From 1928 Honorary Member of the Tartu Voluntary Fire Brigade, from 1922 HM of the Vanemuine Society, from 1929 HM of the Estonian Literary Society, from 1930-1933 of the Estonian Journalists' Society, from 1931 HM of the Estonian Abstinence Society, as well as of the Tartu Estonian Farmers' Society and the Tartu Male Singing Society, etc.

Arrested by the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs, here the Soviet State Secret Police) in December 1940, according to some data shot in Tallinn in July 1941.