Konstantin Päts - Early Life

Early Life

Konstantin Päts was born on 23 February 1874 in Tahkuranna Parish, Pärnu County, Estonia, then part of the Governorate of Livonia of the Russian Empire. According to locals, Konstantin was born in a barn of a roadside farm, since his mother couldn't reach a doctor in time.

The father of Konstantin, Jakob (Jaagup) Päts, was a housebuilder from Heimtali, Viljandi County, but was forced to move after getting into conflict with local nobility. His mother, Olga Tumanova, was from a mixed Estonian-Russian family and therefore Päts's father converted from Lutheranism to Orthodox Christianity. Konstantin, his older brother, two younger brothers and his younger sister were all brought up in strong Orthodox traditions.

Konstantin started his education in the Orthodox parish school of Tahkuranna. After one year, the family moved to Raeküla borough near Pärnu, where Konstantin started attending the Russian language Orthodox parish school. Later he attended the clerical seminar in Riga in 1887–1892, but after deciding not to become a priest, he left for the high school in Pärnu.

From 1894 to 1898 he attended the Faculty of Law of Tartu University, that he graduated as cand. jur. After graduation, Päts served in the Russian 96th Infantry Regiment of Omsk in Pskov and was promoted an ensign. After rejecting an academic career in Tartu, he moved to Tallinn in 1900, to start a political career.

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