Land Act 100

Theodor Pooli isatalu Piistaojal (Foto: Rahvusarhiiv)

On 15 May 1919, the principles of land reform were adopted in the establishment of the Constituent Assembly, Estonia's first representative body elected through free elections: The land will be shared with those who farm it themselves and the soldiers who have taken an immaculate part in the current War of Independence, and the families of the fallen will be the first to be given land outside the queue. 

On 10 October 1919, the Constituent Assembly adopted the Land Act.

The main author of the Land Act, the promoter of the Land Act, multiple agriculture minister Theodor Pool has said about the land reform: “Land reform is also the result of Estonia's independence and its pledge in the future. It has secured a dwelling for the Estonian people on the surface of their homeland, inhabited for thousands of years, and will help protect it against foreign invaders of the future." The Land Act was one of the most radical reforms in Europe at that time. By the Land Act of October 1919, 1065 mansions (nearly 2 million hectares of land) were expropriated and some 56 000 new farms were created on the land. 100 years ago, it touched a large part of Estonia's population. The implementation of the land reform was swift – by the spring of 1922, more than two thirds of the agricultural land that had been sold had already been cut into small areas and handed out to the recipients.