An Historic Overview of The Development of Estonian Village Structures in the Context of Historic Land Reforms Ülevaade Eesti külastruktuuride kujunemisest ajalooliste maareformide valguses

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Minea Kaplinski-Sauk


This article describes how the spatial layout of Estonian villages has changed throughout history, basing its research on the idea that any landscape should be seen as a complicated interwoven structure that consist of many layers. The changes in Estonian village structures are observed in the context of different historic land reforms (peasant laws of 1849 and 1856, land reform of 1919, land reforms of the 1940s and land reform of 1991), which brought about a new socio-economic reality with different needs and values that in turn reflected in the landscapes of the era. To understand how and why village structures changed, the most important socio-economic changes that took place during each of these time periods are described by combining previous research into a continuous historic narrative. To further draw attention on how land reforms reflected in the spatial layout of villages, the changes are illustrated with original historic maps and plans.

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