Tere tulemast! Üdvözlet! Ласкаво просимо! Welcome!
All summer we have been travelling the world, and celebrating the national and independence days of each country as they have happened. If you have missed any of the events, you can learn more here. This week we are jetting off to celebrate Independence Day in Afghanistan, Hungary, Estonia, Ukraine and Uruguay – this is bound to be an exciting week!
Afghanistan is officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, a landlocked country located in Central and South Asia that is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and China. Through the ages the land has been home to various peoples and witnessed many military campaigns, notably by Alexander the Great, Arab Muslims, Genghis Khan, and in the modern-era by Western powers. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the “Great Game” between British India and the Russian Empire. Afghan Independence Day is celebrated in Afghanistan on 19 August to commemorate the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. The treaty granted complete independence from Britain; although Afghanistan was never a part of the British Empire. The British fought three wars with Afghanistan.
Hungary is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. On August 20th, each year since 1000 AD, Hungary has celebrated St. Stephen‘s Day, named after their first king and the day of the Foundation of Hungary and “the day of the new bread”. St. Stephen of Hungary (ca. 975 – 15 August 1038), led the country into the Christian church and established the institutions of the kingdom and the church. Celebrated with a half-hour fireworks display on the bank of the Danube in the evening, which is attended by many people on both river banks and is watched by many from the hills on the Buda side of the river.
Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe and is bordered by the Gulf of Finland, the Baltic Sea, Latvia, Lake Peipus and Russia. Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden and Finland in the north. In March 1991 a referendum was held on the issue of independence from the USSR. This was somewhat controversial, as holding a referendum could be taken as signalling that Estonian independence would be established rather than “re”-established, but the referendum produced a strong endorsement for independence. On 20 August 1991 the Russian 76th Guards Air Assault Division arrived in Tallinn and volunteers organized protection of Toompea and the television broadcast tower. On The Popular Front of Estonia organized a rally in Freedom Square which called for the independence of Estonia. That same day, late in the evening, the Supreme Council of Estonia, along with the leadership of the Estonian Committee agreed an “On the independence of the Estonian state and the establishment of the Constitutional Assembly”, thus proclaiming the restoration of Estonian independence.
Ukraine borders Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. On 19 August 1991, conservative Communist leaders of the Soviet Union tried to restore central Communist party control over the USSR. In response, the Supreme Soviet (parliament) of the Ukrainian SSR in a special Saturday session overwhelmingly approved the Act of Declaration. On 24 August, the parliament called for a referendum on support for the Declaration of Independence. In the independence referendum on 1 December 1991, the people of Ukraine expressed widespread support for the Act of Declaration of Independence, with more than 90% voting in favor, and 82% of the electorate participating. Since 1992, the 24th of August is celebrated in Ukraine as Independence Day.
Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern region of South America. It is bordered by Argentina and Brazil with the Atlantic Ocean to the south and southeast. Uruguay remained largely uninhabited until the establishment of Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, by the Portuguese in 1680. In 1816 a force of 10,000 Portuguese troops invaded the Banda Oriental from Brazil; they took Montevideo in January 1817. After nearly four more years of struggle Portuguese Brazil annexed the Banda Oriental as a province under the name of “Cisplatina”. The Brazilian Empire became independent from Portugal in 1822. In response to the annexation, the Thirty-Three Orientals, led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja, declared independence on 25 August 1825 supported by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (present-day Argentina). This led to the 500-day-long Cisplatine War. Neither side gained the upper hand and in 1828 the Treaty of Montevideo, fostered by the United Kingdom, gave birth to Uruguay as an independent state.
Now that you have learned a little more about global events, consider adding one of these courses to your To Learn List:
- Configuring the World: A Critical Political Economy Approach
- The Age of Sustainable Development
- War for the Greater Middle East
- Globalization’s Winners and Losers: Challenges for Developed and Developing Countries
An Updated Map of the Places We’ve Visited Thus Far:
Join us next week when we visit Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Moldova and more!