Finland History

By | March 8, 2021

Finland is a country located in Northern Europe, bordered by Sweden, Norway and Russia. According to homosociety, it has a population of around 5.5 million people and an area of 338,424 square kilometers. The capital city is Helsinki while other major cities include Tampere and Turku. The official language is Finnish but many other languages such as Swedish and English are also widely spoken. The currency used in Finland is the Euro (EUR) which is pegged to the US Dollar at a rate of 0.88 EUR : 1 USD. Finland has a rich culture with influences from both Scandinavian and Russian cultures, from traditional music such as Kantele to unique art forms like sauna bathing. It also boasts stunning natural landscapes such as Pyha-Luosto National Park and Pallas-Yllastunturi National Park which are home to an abundance of wildlife species.


Mesolithic Age (7300-4200 BC)

Finland’s oldest stone-age finds belong to the Mesolithic Suomusjärvik culture. The oldest settlement, Ristola in Lahti, with a flint inventory with counterparts in the Baltic customer culture, can be dated to the preboreal period (c. 8000 BC), as well as the Antra nets. however, the majority belong to the boreal stage. The settlements have been on the sea shore, and the population has been feeding on hunting and fishing as well as the collection of vegetable products. The hunt initially included moose, beaver and seal; later the seals completely dominated. New finds from Kainuu and Lapland show that similar early settlements also occurred on the lakes. The implements were made of quartz (compare ash culture)) and eruptive rocks; bone and horn objects have not been preserved, so our view of the Stone Age material culture is rather one-sided. The dead were covered with red sugar and laid in simple pit pits at the place of residence.

Finland Life Expectancy 2021

Neolithic times (4200-1500 BC)

During the early and middle-political period (c. 4200–2000 BC), Finland belonged to the Camaric cultural circle, which extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to Wisła in the south and Ural in the east. Settlements with round tributaries and richly equipped tombs, colored with red sugar, occur in Finland both on the coast and on the lake plateau. The ceramic, which can sometimes be skimmed with asbestos, consists of large round-bottomed storage vessels with geometric decor ornamented with pits and patterns from a comb-like instrument. Flinta, which does not exist in Finland, was imported from Valdaj in northwestern Russia and amber from the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The finds also include grinded stone axes, slate jewelery, reef sinks, anthropomorphic clay figures and animal headgear of stone. Hunting and fishing still constituted the main industries, which were practiced in the context of seasonal hikes. A number of wooden objects and timbers made of log numbers, which do not grow west of Ural, show that hunting trips were undertaken over vast areas. The end of the period is dominated in southwestern Finland by the yacht culture (c. 2500–2000 BC), the northeastern foothold of a large cultural spread throughout Europe, and in the country’s inner parts by local asbestos ceramic groups, which still exist during Late Politics. The yacht culture is characterized by well-sharpened battle axes and a snow-capped pottery as well as one-man tombs, in which the dead were buried in squatting. The changes in the material culture did not mean any interruption in population continuity; influences from the camp ceramic culture can be traced even in the Late Native period.

The first sporadic traces of grain cultivation occur during the period of Late political kiwi culture (c. 2000–1500 BC). The most important settlements are located in Uusimaa, Southwest Finland, Satakunda and southern Ostrobothnia. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Finland. The economy continued to be dominated by seal hunting and fishing, but the location of the settlements also indicates a certain degree of stability and the fact that livestock management was practiced. The stone objects and the ceramics can be derived partly from the pottery, and partly from the boat culture. The Kiukai culture has a clear maritime character with connections both to Sweden and to the Baltic States. In the country’s northern and inner parts, the asbestos ceramic tradition continued. The majority of the country’s roughly 50 rock paintings belong to Late Neolithic times and the Bronze Age.

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The Bronze Age (1500–500 BC)

The two cultural areas that can be observed during the end of the Stone Age also appear during the Bronze Age. Relations between the coastal zone and Scandinavia were strengthened, while the country was in contact with Central and East German Bronze Age cultures. The most visible monuments of the Bronze Age are the excavation burials, which during the older Bronze Age were built on high mountains but during the latter part of the period in less dominant places; the tomb form is Scandinavian. Settlements are rare. At the Otterböte on Kökar, Åland, the remains of a hunting camp with rounded bottoms have been investigated and in the Rieskaronmäki in Nakkila, Satakunda, the remains of a longhouse. The majority of the Bronze Age metal objects are imported from Scandinavia, but examples of domestic metallurgy also exist, especially in the country’s interior and northern parts. The coastal zone’s ceramics are partly reflected in domestic models, on the one hand, one finds influence from the Lausitz culture in eastern Central Europe. The new tomb shape, the import items and the depot finds indicate a Scandinavian move in, whose scope, however, should have been limited.

The Iron Age (500 BC – 1150/1300 AD)

Settlements from the pre-Roman Iron Age (until Kr.f.) are found all over the country. On the coast between eastern Uusimaa and southern Ostrobothnia, on the lake plateau and north of the Ule River there are different, characteristic ceramic groups. Within a southern group, whose clay vessels can be derived from the Bronze Age ceramics of the coast, the agricultural industries quickly gained entry as a supplement to the catch, which also applies to a group on the lake plateau. Iron was extracted from sea and marsh ores; relations with the northern Baltic countries were lively. Since the settlements and finds of houses are extremely rare, the grave finds appear to be the most important source of our knowledge of the Iron Age society.

During the older Roman Iron Age (Kr.f. – 200), the settlement was located to the river valleys on the coast between Porvoo and the Kumo River and to southern Ostrobothnia; the estuaries offered good pastures and connecting routes to the lake plateau. Among the burial fields, there are single northern Estonian tomb graves as well as urn burials with parallels in Scandinavia and the Wisła area, in addition to fire graves in soil-mixed cuttings, the latter with Bronze Age traditions. The ancient material is generally Baltic types with elements of Germanic forms, while Roman imports are insignificant. During the younger Roman Iron Age (200–400), the settlement stretched along the Kumo River to Tavastland, at the same time as the Ostrobothnian settlement was consolidated.

During the migration period (400–600), the settlements expanded in Southwest Finland, Satakunda and southern Ostrobothnia, and in central Tavastland, to reach parishes east of Päijänne during the period. The oldest burial field on the Karelian nose is from the end of the Meroving period (600–800). During the migration period, burial tombs were common, but during the Meroving period they were replaced, except in Ostrobothnia, by fire pit fields under flat ground, a tomb that does not exist outside Finland. In lower Satakunda, e.g. Luistari in Eura, on the other hand, used large skeleton tomb fields, which were in use until the end of the Viking Age. In Åland, the dead were buried in piles; the tomb shape as well as the population originated from central Sweden, but especially in the women’s tombs you find plenty of Finnish jewelry. From the fact that the ancient population of older people in the Iron Age was characterized by Baltic forms, its Scandinavian elements grew from the time of migration. During Merovingian times, however, a number of purely domestic forms of objects were also created.

During the Viking Age (800–1050), a prosperous peasant society developed, which had extensive trade relations and participated in the boom of the time. In Ostrobothnia, however, the development seems to have undergone a crisis; the archaeological finds after the year 800 are extremely sparse. In southwestern Finland, the dead were burnt unburned from the beginning of the 11th century, but the graves still contain plenty of objects. The new custom undoubtedly reveals the influence of Christianity, but completely barren tombs are only found during the first half of the 12th century. In Savolax and Karelia, which exhibited a flourishing peculiar culture during the 12th and 13th centuries, skeletal tombs exist; Christianity, however, was first adopted in the 1300s. However, occasional pagan tombs still existed in many places. Finland’s youngest prehistoric period, crusade time,


The country

The fate of Finland during historical times has been marked by the country’s position between east and west, in state terms between on the one hand Sweden, on the other, Novgorod, the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Empire of Russia and the Soviet Union. In religious terms, Finland has been on the border line between the Western, Catholic, later Lutheran Church and the Orthodox Church, in geopolitical, economic and cultural terms between Stockholm and Saint Petersburg/Leningrad. Although the Western influence dominated and Finland was early incorporated into the Western cultural sphere, the border setting and the influences from the East played a central role in the country’s history. Another factor that characterized Finland’s history is the country’s location at a cultivation border, which has shifted northward over the centuries.

As Finland became part of the Swedish state, during the next six centuries, the country came to have a common national history with Sweden. Finland was an integral part of the empire; the Finns had the same rights and obligations as the subjects west of the Gulf of Bothnia. In Håkan Magnusson’s election to the King in 1362 was attended by representatives from Finland, and then the Finns were represented equally at ständermöten and parliaments. The national and city laws were applied in Finland, as was the law of 1734, which in many respects remained in force for longer in Finland than in Sweden. Finland was essentially managed in the same way as Sweden; Gustav Vasas and the administrative reforms of the great power meant a centralization, and at the same time regional features in administration and taxation disappeared.

The meaning of the term Finland has varied during different times. Originally, it was primarily the latter of the later historical landscape of Southwest Finland (Turku Castle County), while the areas east of the Gulf of Bothnia were collectively referred to as Österlanden (party orientales). This term eventually came out of use during the Middle Ages, but the demarcation of the area named Finland varied. Åland belonged to the diocese of Turku and was counted as the Eastern countries.

Ostrobothnia, which administratively formed a unit with areas west of the Gulf of Bothnia, belonged to the diocese of Turku. At the end of the Swedish era, the peninsula west of the Kemi River was the administrative boundary between Finland and Sweden. Finland, apparently Southern Finland, is mentioned a few times during the Middle Ages as duchy, and Duke Johan, later Johan III, held in 1556–63 Turku and Kumogård counties as well as the county of Åland and Raseborg. As king he adopted in 1581, to assert himself against the Tsar in Moscow, the title of the great prince of Finland and Karelia. At that time, Finland’s lion arms were also created, which are still state arms. The title of Grand Prince of Finland was included in the Swedish King’s title until 1809, when Finland became a Grand Principality in the Russian Empire and thus for the first time a separate political unit with clearly defined boundaries.

Its first border with the east was granted to the Swedish kingdom and thus Finland through the Nöteborg Treaty in 1323. The then-determined border ran from the Karelian nose to north-west to central Finland, according to an interpretation further out in the Gulf of Bothnia, according to another it was then not a border line in the modern meaning without setting the outermost boundaries in the west and east for the parties’ right of use of the uninhabited areas in the north, which were considered almost common. After several wars, the border was displaced by the peace in Teusina in 1595 east and north as far as the Arctic Ocean.

Through the peace in Stolbova in 1617, the Swedish empire reached its greatest extent in the east by conquering Ingermanland and Kexholm counties. These areas were regarded as conquered provinces and were not counted as the core areas of the kingdom; for example, they were not represented in the Riksdag. Through the peace in Nystad in 1721 and Turku in 1743, Sweden departed from the conquered provinces and Viborg county as well as part of Kymmenegård county. When some of these areas, from a Russian perspective called Old Finland, were united with the Grand Principality in 1812, the boundaries were created which, after border adjustments in 1826 and 1833-49, with minor changes, applied to the Second World War.

During certain periods during the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s, the eastern parliament had a special governor, governor or general governor.


Previously, the research dated the immigration of Finns from the south and southeast to the centuries around the beginning of our era, but today a much longer population continuity is expected with elements from east and west. Through Swedish immigration in the 1100s and 1200s, coherent Swedish settlement areas arose along the coast of Ostrobothnia, Southwest Finland and Uusimaa, and a language barrier emerged that remained relatively stable until the 1800s. The Swedish-speaking population is said to have reached just under 20 percent during the Great Power period, it was 14 percent in 1880 and is 6 percent today. The last century has resulted in a significant Finnish move into the coastal areas.

In historical times, Finland has been characterized by a continuous development of expansion, mainly from the south-west and south-east, and which has spread to the population throughout present-day Finland. The building expansion continued until the post-war period, and did not cease until the 1950s. The population amounted to about 400,000 in 1721 but increased due to rapid population growth to 1.8 million. 1870. At the turn of the century, Finland’s population was 2.6 million; in 1989, 4.97 million; Finland was urbanized late, and in the mid-18th century, only 5–6 percent of the population lived in cities. It was not until the end of the 19th century that Helsinki grew into a population center for Finland, while the country previously devoted population to surrounding metropolises such as Tallinn, Stockholm and Saint Petersburg.

Following Swedish immigration during the Middle Ages, migration has mainly resulted in the spread of the population to the inland and population losses through emigration to surrounding areas, which has resulted in Finnish minorities in neighboring countries. The Savolaxian settlement expansion during the 16th and 16th centuries was mainly based on efficient burning and spreading Savolaxic population in large parts of the interior of Finland, across the national border to the east and to the Finnmarks in Sweden and Norway.

During the 1600s, Finland also relocated to the south through emigration to Estonia and eastward because a large part of the Orthodox Karelians in Northern Karelia, Kexholm County and Ingermanland fled to Russia (cross-breeders) and were replaced by Finns from the west.

During the 19th century, an emigration from northern Finland to the Arctic coast (women’s) took place. To North America, about 400,000 people emigrated from the mid-19th century to 1930. From the 1950s, a large emigration to Sweden took place; it culminated around 1970 and brought nearly half a million Finns to Sweden.

Compared to emigration, immigration to Finland has been relatively small. The civilian Russian population during the 19th century was small and its share the lowest in any of the Russian Empire’s peripheral areas. At the beginning of the independence period, Finland received over 30,000 refugees from Russia. The Second World War resulted in a large redistribution of the population of Finland, when more than 400,000 people, 12 percent of the country’s population, were evacuated from the areas that were withdrawn to the Soviet Union. Of the Finns who emigrated to Sweden after the Second World War, about 200,000 have returned to Finland.


Finland is mentioned for the first time on Swedish rune stones and in Russian chronicles from the 12th century. Finland was incorporated into the Swedish state through conquest trains. Traditionally, three crusades are expected. The first, whose historicity is uncertain, must have been undertaken in south-western Finland by Erik the Holy and English-born Bishop Henrik of Uppsala, later the patron saint of Finland, in the mid-1100s. The second was made in 1239 to Tavastland by Earl Birger and the third to Karelia in 1293 by Marshal Torgils Knutsson. Church organization during the Middle Ages is discussed above in the section Religion.

The secular administration took a firmer form in the latter half of the 13th century, when Turku, Tavastehus and Viborg’s castle counties were organized. Later, new counties were added around Kumogård, Porvoo, Raseborg, Kastelholm and Korsholm. At times, several of the counties were gathered under the chiefs at Turku and Viborg Castle.

The different landscapes originally formed different jurisdictions with their own things and a Swedish-influenced customary law, which from the middle of the 1300s was replaced by the national law. By the end of the Middle Ages, over 90 percent of the apartments in Finland were tax land. This, together with the important connections across the sea, meant that the Finnish castle countries, especially Turku and Viborg, came to play a role in the hands of powerful great men. Bo Jonsson (Grip) was the lawman in the East and began to strengthen the citizens of Finland in the 1370s. Karl Knutsson (Farmer) held, among others, Viborg, Raseborg and Tavastehus, while Erik Axelsson Tott strengthened the dominant role of the Axel Sons in the kingdom through their holding of Viborg and Tavastehus castle counties. The most important castles were usually granted to major men from Sweden, but also the domestic low-relief earned the crown both within the administration and in the war system.

The cities were few and relatively insignificant in medieval Finland. The most important were Turku and Viborg, which emerged from marketplaces in the protection of the krona’s citizens. Among the bourgeoisie, the German element was strong in ancient times, while the Swedish element was reinforced during the Middle Ages. The most important commodities from Finland were fish, hides, fur mills, butter and salt, while salt from Germany was the most important import. Trade took place just as much through a lively peasant regulation as through the cities.

By the end of the 1400s, relations with Moscow were becoming increasingly tense, mainly because of the unclear boundary conditions. The Savolaxis eventually expanded eastward into what they regarded as their old landmarks. After long periods of constant border conflict, the Russians besieged Viborg in 1495 without failing to occupy the city. A standstill was concluded in 1497, but the situation remained tense.

The period 1523-1809

During the 16th century, Finland’s importance within the empire increased. Through Gustav Vasa’s administrative reforms, the castle counties and the coworkers in Finland were tied closer to the krona. The war against Russia, which with longer or shorter interruptions continued until the peace in Stolbova in 1617, made Finland an important base area. The conflicts continued to have their basis in the conflicting interpretations of the Nöteborg Peace. After a series of border interludes, war broke out in 1555. It ended on old terms with the peace in Moscow in 1557, which however left the border issue open.

In the mid-1500s, a purposeful colonization of the outlying areas of northern Savolax and around Ule swamp was carried out. The colonization was led by the bailiffs at Olofsborg, founded in 1475 in violation of the Nöteborg Treaty, and led to a permanent expansion of the Swedish kingdom. A new war, in Finnish historical writing called the Nordic Twenty-Five Years War, was started in 1570 by Johan III. It ended in 1595 with the peace in Teusina.

The nobility in Finland gained importance during the 16th century. The castle county was no longer given to members of the high nobility from the Swedish parliament, but was mostly managed by bailiffs from the low nobility in Finland. The lower Savior also gained advancement opportunities through the wars in the East and was won by military service. At an early stage, the people of Finland were on Gustav Vasa’s side, as well as Erik XIV: in the conflict with Duke Johan, who for a few years held a brilliant court at Turku Castle.

The long wartime periods led to a strong increase in taxes, discharge and other duties in Finland. Around 1590, the war people recruited in Finland amounted to over 6,000 men. When the war people were not in the field, it was placed in a fort camp to be maintained by the peasants. This, as well as various abuses, created great dissatisfaction, especially in the interior of Finland and in Ostrobothnia.

Salvation in Finland was led by Cleric Marshal Fleming for defense policy reasons for a union with Poland and therefore took a stand for Sigismund against Duke Karl, who in turn could play on the strong dissatisfaction with the war burdens that remained among the allies after the end of the peace. The peasants in Ostrobothnia, northern Tavastland and Savolax rose at the Duke’s request in the winter of 1596–97 and marched south but were beaten by Fleming (the club war). Only after Fleming’s death was the Duke able to suppress the resistance of salvation through two expeditions in 1597 and 1599, which were followed by executions and deductions. A reconciliation followed, and Gustav II Adolf succeeded, among other things, at a standing meeting in Helsinki in 1616, to finally eliminate the opposition to Finland’s salvation, from which he recruited many of his commanders in the Polish and Russian wars and in the Thirty Years’ War.

The border demarcation after the Stolbov peace in 1617 spared Finland from major acts of war until the beginning of the 18th century. At the same time, the war on the continent and the land acquisitions from Denmark meant that the national center of gravity was shifted to the southwest.

The Reformation was carried out with gentler hand and in somewhat more conservative forms in Finland than in the rest of Sweden, but the bishop’s worldly power was broken and the monasteries were revoked. Finland’s reformer Michael Agricola , through his translations of the catechesis, religious texts and the New Testament, laid the foundation for a Finnish written language. The entire Bible was published in Finnish in 1642.

Finland was severely exhausted after the war, and the national government therefore decided to send Per Brahe dy to Finland as general governor (1637–41, 1648–54). He undertook extensive inspection trips and took measures to promote business and communications and shallow cities. He also took the initiative for a university, the Turku Academy, which was founded in 1640. The university took on a central position as educational institution for Finland, although many eastern rebels continued to apply to Uppsala.

The war led to a further strengthening of the nobility’s position, especially through extensive donations and conferences of counties and liberals in Finland under Queen Kristina. The reduction mitigated the threat to the peasants’ position.

In the years 1696 and 1697, Finland suffered severe malnutrition, which reduced the population by about a third. The population catastrophe was followed by the Great Nordic War of 1700–21, when Finland was occupied by Russian troops (major victims). A stream of about 20,000 refugees, among them, according to the government directive, most of the officials and a large part of the priests, sought to cross the sea from the Russian army and the occupation administration. The peace in Nystad in 1721 meant a greatly deteriorated defense position for Finland, at the same time as the Russian capital had been relocated to the mouth of the Nava river and the Russian fleet gained a base in Kronstadt. The defense plans drawn up for the eastern national government were not implemented for cost reasons. During the attack of the hats 1741–43 (see Russian – Swedish war) was repeated the Russian occupation (little victim).

After the peace settlement, measures were taken for Finland. Tax relief was granted, the seat of the Viborg diocese was relocated to Porvoo and Fredrikshamn replaced Viborg as a staple city. Within the administration, the use of Finnish was expanded in the laws and regulations that affected the commonwealth; The 1734 law was printed in Finnish in 1759.

After the war of the hats, special Finnish deputations were appointed to submit proposals for the improvement of the parliament. Due to the border shift, Degerby (older name of Lovisa) had to replace Fredrikshamn as a staple for Eastern Finland, but the new border separates large parts of the interior of Finland from its former links with the outside world. They were therefore financially directed towards the Gulf of Bothnia, especially since the Ostrobothnian cities in 1765 gained freedom of navigation through the abolition of the bottom of the compulsory trade. They became important export destinations for tar and accounted for half of the Swedish kingdom’s tar exports. Shipbuilding was another important industry in Ostrobothnia.

Based on the 1747 defense plan, Finland’s defense under Augustin Ehrensvärd’s leadership was strengthened by the construction of Sveaborg, the largest building in Finland in the 18th century, Svartholm (outside Lovisa) and the army fleet. The nobility opposition within the army that expressed itself in the Anjala Federation during the war of 1788–90 (see Russian – Swedishwar) was partly inspired by officers who advocated Finnish separatism but derived their main nourishment from the officers’ dissatisfaction with the conditions in the army and the failed warfare. The two occupations during the 18th century had left uncertainty and resignation regarding Sweden’s ability to defend Finland, which became evident during the Russian occupation in 1808–09, when the higher positions quickly adapted to the new situation (see Finnish war).

During the 18th century, Finland’s relative importance within the empire grew both through the wars and through the sharp increase in population, which from 1720 to 1809 increased Finland’s share of the nation’s population from 17 percent to 26 percent. During the Gustavian era, Finland made significant material progress, including through the Great Shift, which had been enacted in 1762, and significant new cultivation.

The Grand Duchy of 1809–1917

Through the peace in Fredrikshamn in September 1809, Sweden left six counties, which did not form a political, economic, or administrative unit, but which became so after the union with Russia. Even before the end of the peace, a farm day was held in Porvoo from March to July where Alexander I mainly regulated the relations to his new subjects.

At this time, the Russian Empire did not constitute a unitary state, but was composed of people and territories with their own laws and special administration. Thus, it was not exceptional for the Grand Duchy of Finland to have a relatively extensive internal autonomy; a similar position was also granted to the conquered Poland and Bessarabia at the same time.

Earlier in Finland, the country day in Porvoo was perceived as a binding state act between two largely equal parties. In reality, the autocratic Russian emperor came to Finland as conqueror. The stands, which were chosen according to the Swedish parliamentary order, had an advisory function. The emperor made only changes that were necessary because of the new conditions and established the country’s religion, constitution and the privileges of the estates.

The order established by Porvoo Farm and during the following decades meant very big changes for Finland. Because the laws remained largely unchanged, the Grand Principality came to form a clearly separated part of the empire with different laws, constitutional privileges and social structure. “His Majesty the Emperor’s subjects in Finland” took a position that, in practice, though not legally, came close to a separate citizenship, something that Russians could only acquire through a process reminiscent of naturalization.

At Porvoo Land Day, it was decided that the taxes collected in Finland would be used within the country, giving the Grand Principal financial autonomy. It was emphasized from 1811 through its own state bank, which from 1863 had the right to issue its own coin, the Finnish soil. Finland also had different customs tariffs and a tariff limit against the empire.

Administrative autonomy was created through the establishment of a separate central government for Finland. Established in 1809, the Government Council, from the 1816 Imperial Senate, served as the nation’s highest governing body and as the highest court. In time, a series of central government offices were added. They were subordinate to the Senate Finance Department, which during the 19th century developed into a government for Finland.

The governor-general, usually a civilian or military Russian official, was the emperor’s supreme representative in Finland, chairman of the senate and, until the end of the 19th century, commander-in-chief of the Russian troops in Finland. The presentation of the questions to the emperor decisively was handled by a secretary of state (from 1834 the secretary of state), who until 1900 was a Finn and assisted by a special office, the State Secretariat for Finland in Saint Petersburg.

The administrative changes that took place after 1809 became of crucial importance for the history of Finland. While the eastern parts of the Swedish empire were previously managed from the government offices in Stockholm, a management apparatus was now built, which gave Finland a political existence and which during the period when the country day was not convened became the center of political life. The Grand Principality developed most of the characteristics of a separate state formation, and with the expansion of the administration and the differentiation of society, an increasingly larger part of the Finnish affairs in Finland was decided.

Outside the Finnish administration stood foreign policy and foreign representation and defense, which were led by the respective Russian authorities in Saint Petersburg. The Finns had no direct influence on Russian foreign policy, and Finland’s defense was mainly handled by Russian troops, whose strength during peacetime amounted to about 10,000 men but multiplied during the Crimean War and the First World War. However, during certain periods, Finland had its own recruited or divided troops, and a special Finnish army was created by the Military Service Act 1878, but it was dissolved during the constitutional conflict in the early 1900s.

The management system created after 1809 was sensitive to conflicts and required loyalty and adaptation from the Finnish side. In the long run, the delicate balance could not be maintained, which was mainly due to the development of Russia in the direction of a unified state, thereby limiting and abolishing regional autonomy and special administrations, including in Poland and the Baltic States. The foreign policy threat Russia experienced from Germany in the late 19th century accelerated the process. Developments in Finland in the 19th century had again led to the emergence of a national and state consciousness which increasingly emphasized the country’s peculiarities and that its constitution was binding on the emperor.

The period of conversion favorable to Finland, which characterized the first years under Russian rule, was soon replaced during Alexander I’s later years and during Nicholas I by a stagnation period in political life. As the country day did not meet, the country was governed by regulations from a relatively small circle of officials, whose guiding principle was to promote Finland’s interests through loyalty to Russia and a patriarchically-controlled reconstruction work within the country.

Although most of it remained in Finland’s internal life earlier, the first decades under Russian rule meant a close proximity to Russia. This was evident, among other things, in the economic sphere, where Russia’s share of Finland’s trade rose to about half in the middle of the century to remain at this level until its end. The Russian market played a major role for the emerging industry in Finland, which, thanks to it, was able to build up capacity in addition to the long unassuming domestic market. Large parts of eastern Finland were drawn into the influx of Saint Petersburg, and many Finns applied to Russia, especially to Saint Petersburg and, within the nobility, to a career in the army of the empire.

The measures to remove Finland from Sweden also included the decision in 1812 to relocate the central administration from Turku to Helsinki, which was built into a neoclassical capital. After a devastating fire in Turku in 1827, the university was also transferred to Helsinki. Thereafter, all important national institutions, apart from the archbishop’s seat (the bishop of Turku became archbishop of Finland in 1817), concentrated in Helsinki.

The efforts to remove Finland from Sweden also included a positive attitude to pronouncements of Finnish distinctive character and to the Finnish language. Johan Ludvig Runeberg’s poetry, Elias Lönnrot’s compilation of “Kalevala” and Johan Vilhelm Snellmans publicity contributed to the creation of a national identity and a sense of motherland. In the same direction, measures were taken to promote the Finnish language, which was prepared in the university – with a professorship in 1850 – and on the school schedule. During this period, the development of Finnish became a modern normed cultural language for all areas of life. However, the government was sensitive to all expressions of popular nationalism and maintained a strict censorship. In the aftermath of the revolutions in Europe, in 1850, the publication of other printed articles in Finnish than religious and economic literature was banned.

Political developments in Finland during the 19th century were characterized by considerable stability and loyalty to the empire, which was evident during the Crimean War, when British and French fleets ravaged the coast of Finland. The development of the Grand Principality was in marked contrast to, for example, Poland, which rose repeatedly during the 19th century. At the same time as the Polish uprising in 1863, Finland’s Land Day was convened for the first time since 1809. The Land Day’s summons was an element of the reform policy initiated after the defeat of the Crimean War and Alexander II.’s throne access. The reform policy included municipal reforms in the countryside (1865) and in the cities (1873) as well as a new church law (1869). The communications were expanded through the Saima canal (1856), which gave large parts of the lake system in eastern Finland direct contact with the Gulf of Finland, and the railway to Saint Petersburg (1870).

In the economic field, step-by-step freedom of business was introduced, which became the starting point for a strong expansion in the following decades, especially in the sectors of the economy that built on the country’s forest assets. Towards the end of the century, Finland thus became dominant in the Russian newsprint market and a significant exporter of sawmills. However, industrialization was relatively late, and even at the turn of the century, 85 percent of the population lived in rural areas, where a large part of the industry was also located. After the difficult years of 1866-68, the agricultural production focus was changed from grain production to animal production, a change that was accelerated by the import of cheap Russian grain. At the turn of the century, more than half of the rural population was backstage dwellers and farm workers.

The convening of the land day began a new phase in the country’s political life, since the land day would, according to the 1869 land scheme, be convened every five, then every three years. Land Day, which was still based on four-part representation, became the center of political life and the starting point for party formation.

The language issue became party constituent. The Finnish Movement (Phenomena) around Snellman and Georg Zacharias Yrjö-Koskinen wanted to give the Finnish a position that corresponded to its position within the population to mobilize it in support of the new state of Finland. The main opponent of the Finnish party was at first the linguistically neutral liberal party, which grouped around the Helsinki daily newspaper, but this lost its importance around 1880. Instead, a Swedish party emerged.

The goal of the Finnish movement was a refinement of society and the upper class, which meant that school issues came to play an important role in the political conflicts. On the land day, the Swedish-minded nobility and the bourgeoisie ruled, while the Finns-minded had a majority in the priesthood and the peasantry, which meant that in many matters two stands opposed two positions. A significant part of the elite learned Finnish or adopted Finnish as a cultural language. Through language regulations from 1863, the Finnish was given an equal position with the Swede within the administration, which was definitely implemented in 1902.

The social contradictions also emerged in the party system. A culturally and socially more radical group in Finnish grouped around the newspaper Päivälehti and established itself in 1894 as the Hungarian Party, whose contradictions with the rural-based and conservative Old Finnish Party were accentuated by different attitudes about the relationship with Russia. In 1899, the Finnish Workers’ Party, from 1903 the Social Democratic Party, was founded with a Marxist program.

Relations with Russia began to intensify in the 1880s, in the form of, among other things, a press dispute between Finnish and Russian newspapers about Finland’s state law. Real conflicts arose around 1890 regarding the coordination of the Finnish Post Office with the entry into force of the Russian and the new penal code, but at the end of the decade mainly concerning the issue of conscription.

An open period of conflict, the so-called years of perpetration, began when the Emperor in 1899 issued the February manifesto. It concerned the scheme for the formation of so-called national laws, where Finland’s land day was given a subordinate role. The manifesto led to the gathering of the so-called great address of the emperor with half a million signatories. Despite this exceptional manifestation of national unity, the question of how to meet the ever-progressing Russian intervention under General Governor Nikolaj Bobrikov came to divide the Finns in a profound way. The constitutional, that is, the Swedish Party and the Young Finns, advocated passive resistance in the form of a consistent adherence to the letter of the law, military service strikes and more, even when this led to the dismissal of officials. The old Finns went in for a so-called emergency policy, whose aim was to keep as much as possible of the administration in domestic hands through concessions. Eventually there was also a small active opposition party, which sought contact with the radical opposition in Russia. The heated atmosphere gave rise to political assaults, including against Bobrikov, who was killed in 1904.

The political situation changed radically through Russia’s defeat in the Russian-Japanese war in 1905. The unrest in Russia also led to a major strike in Finland in October-November of the same year. The emperor withdrew the previous regulations, and a constitutional senate took office. In the aftermath of the major strike, the 1906 land agenda introduced universal and equal suffrage for men and women, which meant that Finland was one of the most democratically elected parliaments in Europe. In the first election in 1907, the Social Democrats became the largest party with 80 seats out of 200. In the new situation, the Swedish People’s Party was founded, an alliance between the Swedish-speaking elite and the Swedish-speaking urban and rural population, as well as the Agrarian Association, a farmer’s party that initially got only a few representatives. in the country day.

Radical democratization did not result in radical reform efforts. On the one hand, the Social Democrats and the bourgeoisie could not cooperate, and on the one hand, the Russian government’s grip was tightened, which led to repeated land-breaking resolutions and blocking of social reforms. The outbreak of the First World War put a stop to the longer striving for refreshment and centralization. Finland lacked its own troops and was militarily out of the war, although business as a result of war supplies and interrupted foreign trade relations was increasingly focused on Russia. Finland became heavily dependent on the empire for its food supply. The activists, who represented a relatively small part of the public opinion, became convinced of the necessity of armed struggle against Russia. They sought support in Sweden and later Germany,the hunter movement), eventually about 1,900 men, training in the German army.

The Russian February Revolution of 1917 changed the situation radically; the Russian interim government promised to restore the situation before the constitutional conflict. A coalition senate took office. However, the Land Day, which had a socialist majority after the 1916 election, declared itself summer of 1917 through the so-called power law as the practitioner of the highest power in the country; only the foreign policy and defense were reserved to the Russian government. The Russian government responded by dissolving the country day.

In the 1917 elections, the socialists lost their majority, which sharpened the domestic political situation and further weakened the socialists’ confidence in the parliamentary system. The Socialists announced a major strike in November, which further sharpened the domestic political situation. In a bourgeois and socialist way, the founding of shelters and red gardens accelerated during the summer and autumn. Following the Bolshevik revolution in Russia, the country declared itself on December 6, 1917, on the proposal of the new bourgeois Senate under Pehr Evind Svinhufvud Finland.

First Republic 1918–39

The Republic of Finland stabilized during the period from the Declaration of Independence to the Peace in Dorpat (Tartu) in 1920 in forms that came to characterize the decades until the Second World War, a time sometimes called the time of the First Republic.

The Russian Bolshevik government, Sweden and France recognized independence in early 1918, but in Finland there were still around 40,000 Russian troops and the Russian Baltic fleet units in Helsinki. The Bolshevik government was reluctant to withdraw these troops when the war was still going on, but in a bourgeois way they feared that they would do something jointly with the Finnish socialists. The Senate therefore declared the protection forces for the country’s army, which in January 1918 was subordinated to General Gustaf Mannerheim.

Civil war broke out on January 27, 1918, when Mannerheim in Ostrobothnia began to disarm the Russian troops and the Finnish Red Guard rose in southern Finland and appointed a People’s Commissariat as a revolutionary government. The Red Guard received some material help from the Russian troops but could not claim against the white army, where the hunters and Swedish volunteers joined as officers. The White Senate also summoned conscripts with support from the 1878 Conscripts Act and requested German military assistance on terms that would have bound Finland’s politics and foreign trade to Germany. The war, which ended with the victory of the Whites in May, left deep gaps and great bitterness. (See also the Finnish Civil War.)

After the Civil War, a strong German orientation prevailed. Deputy Governor Pehr Evind Svinhufvud and Juho Kusti Paasikivi’s Senate voted in favor of a monarchist state form with a German prince as king. Germany’s defeat in the First World War made it impossible for German to continue its orientation, and Svinhufvud was replaced by Mannerheim as head of state. Under its leadership, Finland’s independence was also recognized by the United Kingdom and the United States. The Land Day was dissolved, and after a new election in March 1919 when the Social Democrats won 80 seats, a Republican form of government was ratified, after which the liberal lawyer KJ Ståhlbergwas elected president. Despite the major political changes, the 1919 form of government relied heavily on the principles of the old constitution and gave the head of state significant powers.

Border issues played an important role in independent Finland’s foreign policy. A strong opinion was for a connection of Eastern Karelia to Finland or for self-determination for the area, while Mannerheim wanted to intervene in the ongoing civil war in Russia. Sufficient political support could not be offered, as the white Russian generals were reluctant to recognize Finland’s independence. Volunteers supported by the government volunteered in 1919 marched into the East Karelia, but had to retreat. In the 1920 peace treaty, the boundaries of the former Principality remained unchanged, except that Finland received the Petsamo area off the Arctic coast.

In Åland, the residents of the end of the world war had expressed a desire to join Sweden. The issue was referred to the League of Nations, which in 1921 settled the conflict in favor of Finland on condition that Finland provided guarantees for the archipelago’s Swedish language and demilitarization. The island group’s position was regulated by a self-governing law in 1920 and the so-called Guarantee Act 1922 (replaced by the self-governing law in 1951).

The dominant issue in Finland’s independent foreign policy was the relationship with Russia (from the 1923 Soviet Union). Following the German orientation in 1918, Finland first sought support from the entente powers, and later for a few years they sought cooperation with the other peripheral states, especially the Baltic republics. In 1922, however, the Riksdag refused to commit itself to an expanded border state cooperation, after which Finland for the following decade relied on the collective security within the framework of the League of Nations. Finland signed a non-aggression treaty with the Soviet Union in 1932 and in 1935 declared a Scandinavian orientation. Attempts to achieve a defense cooperation with Sweden with the intention of consolidating the Åland Islands fell in 1939 to Soviet resistance.

In domestic politics, the stormy first year of independence meant significant shifts in the party field. The constitutional issue divided the Finnish bourgeois parties so that most of the old Finns and some of the young Finns joined the Collective Party, while the majority of the young Finns formed the National Progress Party. The Agrarian Confederation emerged as the largest bourgeois party of the Riksdag in the 1919 elections. Social democracy was divided in 1920 into a social democratic party of the Nordic model and the left-wing Socialist Workers Party, which was under the influence of the banned Finland Communist Party, founded in Moscow in 1918.

During the first year of independence, Finland was governed by central governments, which implemented a comprehensive legislative program including, among other things, the liberation of villages (1918), the Freedom of Religion Act (1922), the Public School Duty (1922), the Civil Service Act (1922), the Colonization Act (1922) and the Progressive Income and Wealth Tax (1920). and 1924). Financially, the release from Russia meant that Finland had to find a replacement for the Russian market in the West, especially in the UK and Germany.

The form of government in 1919 declared that both domestic languages were equal, and in 1922 a language law was issued. From a Swedish-speaking perspective, a far-reaching regional self-government had been desired but achieved only a limited cultural autonomy (a Swedish diocese and a Swedish department at the School Board). As a continuation of the previous Finnish movement and as a reaction to the Swedish aspirations arose the so-called marital affiliation, which wanted to introduce a Finnish nation-state, where the role of the Swedes would be limited to local administrative language in Swedish-speaking regions.

Marriages were supported within the Agrarian Association and part of the Collective Party, and especially among the students. The dominant organization among Finnish students during the interwar period was the Akateeminen Karjala-Seura (AKS), founded in 1922 following a popular uprising in East Karelia. The society was eager for Greater Finland and the matrimony of marriage and over time developed in a fascist direction. Among other things, through the students’ activity, the language issue was dominated during the 1930s by conflicts over the language conditions at the State University of Helsinki.

Central politics was followed in the mid-1920s by center-right governments. A short-lived experiment constituted a social democratic minority reign under Väinö Tanner in 1926–27. The second half of the 1920s was dominated by weak minority governments. Disbelief against democracy in the right and unrest for the activities of the communists in the trade unions, among other things, gave rise to the Lappa movement in 1929. The movement, which had its main support among the peasants in Ostrobothnia, demanded that the communists be removed from public life and substantiated their demands with pressure on Parliament and acts of violence against individual communists and even bourgeois.

After the recent election, laws against the Communists were approved in 1930. The following year, PE Pig Head was elected with a marginal margin to the president. The Lappa movement, which was initially supported by a broad bourgeois opinion, went to the right and demanded changes in the state of the state and also turned to social democracy. In doing so, it lost much of its support, and the movement dissolved following a failed coup attempt in Mäntsälä in 1932. It reorganized itself as a political party, the Foster Peoples’ Movement (after the abbreviation of the Finnish name form, Isänmaallinen Kansanliike, often called IKL), which was represented in.

In the mid-1930s, Finland was ruled by Toivo Kivimäki’s minority government (1932–36), whose position was largely based on President Svinhufvud’s support. Since the president refused to accept social democrats in the government, they waged the presidential candidate Kyösti Kallio, who was elected during the 1937 presidential election. Subsequently, AK Cajanders joined the Social Democrats and agrarian-based majority government. This government base, the “red mill”, was the core of most governments in Finland until recently. The new government was able to curb the language struggle and in 1938 passed a decision on a large procurement program for the defense. It was only partially realized before the outbreak of the war.


Finland was withdrawn in World War II as a result of the agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) in August 1939. During the Soviet-Finnish negotiations that took place in Moscow from October 1939, the Soviet Union demanded a border shift on the Karelian nose and the arrests of Hangö. or islands off Hanko headland for territorial compensation in East Karelia. Finland rejected the demands partly because, for military and psychological reasons, they were not considered able to accept land resignations, and partly because they did not believe in a Soviet attack. When the Red Army attacked in late November, Risto formed Rytiimmediately a new government to open the way to negotiations. Stalin rejected the possibility by concluding a friendship and aid pact with the puppet government led by Communist Otto Ville Kuusinen, established in the Red Army’s track in Terijoki.

The League of Nations excluded the Soviet Union as a result of the attack. Finland received material assistance and 8,500 volunteers from Sweden, but otherwise had to fight the winter war alone. Despite a devastating Soviet force in terms of manpower (26 divisions against 9) and materiel, the Finnish army managed for two and a half months to hold positions on the Karelian nose and around several Soviet divisions north of Ladoga. In mid-February, the Mannerheim line was broken on the Karelian nose. When Stalin let Kuusinen’s government fall, peace could be concluded in Moscow in March 1940. Finland left Viborg County, largely according to the Nystads Peace border, and part of eastern Lapland (the Salla area) as well as out-leased Hanko as a naval base. (See also the Winter War.)

After the winter war, Finland was in a vulnerable position. Attempts to establish a defense or state alliance with Sweden were stopped by the Soviet Union. In 1940, Finland began to approach Germany as a counterbalance to Soviet influence. Finland allowed German transport to northern Norway and was allowed to buy German weapons.

Finland participated in the Barbarossa operation, Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941. The government feared that the country would become a battleground for the great powers and wanted to reclaim the departed territories. By the end of the summer, these had been recaptured, and they reconnected to Finland at the end of the year. Most of the evacuated men returned. The army continued to advance in Eastern Karelia, which was conquered in 1941 and held under military occupation until 1944. However, Finland refused to participate in the attack on Leningrad. After the German defeat at Stalingrad in 1943, Finland tried to achieve a separate peace, but the government regarded the Russian conditions as too harsh.

The great Soviet attack on the Karelian nose in June 1944 forced the Finnish army to retreat on all fronts. When the Soviet Union demanded unconditional surrender, President Ryti personally made a connection with the German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop that Finland would not conclude peace without German consent. Partly with the aid of the German arms deliveries, which enabled this front, the front could be stabilized in August.

After Ryti resigned and Parliament elected Gustaf Mannerheim as president, a ceasefire was entered into in September 1944. The provisions of this were confirmed in the peace in Paris in 1947. The Moscow Peace Border was set, and Finland resigned to Petsamo, leased the Porkala area west of Helsinki as a Russian base and pledged to pay about $ 300 million. In addition, Finland would expel the German troops in Finland, leading to fierce fighting in Lapland, which was devastated by the Germans.


Until the end of the peace, conditions in Finland were monitored by an Allied Control Commission under General Colonel Andrei Zhdanov. The war damages, which were recovered in goods, forced an expansion of the industry, especially the metal industry, which was later able to find sales for its products in export markets in the east and west. The displaced population was placed through extensive land reform, which in its main principles could build on the interwar colonization and which led to the emergence of a number of new small farms.

The peace agreement set an upper limit for the various types of weapons in the Finnish Armed Forces and further stated that the security forces would be dissolved as well as organizations of a “fascist nature”, which included AKS and IKL. Through an exceptionally retroactive law, eight leading politicians, including former President Risto Ryti, were sentenced to prison terms of war.

With the repeal of the Communist Laws, the Communist Party could for the first time operate legally in Finland. As a roofing organization for Communists and Left Socialists, the 1944 Democratic League of the People of Finland (Dfff; also called the People’s Democrats) was founded, which in 1945 won a major victory in the first election after the war. Until 1948, politics was dominated by public-front governments composed of agrarians, social democrats and people’s democrats. Mauno Pekkala (Dfff) succeeded JK Paasikivi as prime minister when he was elected president in 1946. A fierce battle between social democrats and communists was going on within the trade union movement. Dfff lost his strong position as a result of defeat in the 1948 election.

Foreign policy in the years following the end of the war was characterized by Paasikivi’s basic principle of accepting the legitimate security interests of the Soviet Union and convincing the Soviet Union that Finland’s policy was fundamentally changed. In 1948, a friendship, cooperation and assistance agreement (the VSB agreement) was concluded between the countries, which was extended in 1955, 1970 and 1983 (where it was intended to apply until 2003). The initiative came from Stalin, but similar thoughts had already been expressed from Finnish in the past, and the agreement’s details were designed by Paasikivi. The agreement obliged Finland to defend itself against any attack directed by its territory against the Soviet Union from Germany or with Germany, possibly with Soviet assistance by agreement. In 1956, the Russian military base was withdrawn in Porkala, and the area was again placed under Finnish sovereignty.

In the 1956 presidential election, Paasikivi was succeeded by Urho Kekkonen, who was elected with the votes of the agrarians and Dfff, while the counter-candidate Karl-August Fagerholm was supported by the social democrats and most of the other bourgeois parties. The new president followed his representative’s foreign policy, the so-called Paasikivi-Kekkonen line.

Around 1960, the relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union was affected by several crises: 1958–59 due to Soviet suspicions of increased Western orientation and 1961 in connection with the so-called note crisis. With reference to the situation in Berlin, the Soviet Union demanded military consultations but waived the requirement since Kekkonen traveled to the Soviet Union for negotiations. The crisis resulted in the front formed around Kekkonen’s counter candidate Olavi Honka (1894–1988), supported by the same parties that supported Fagerholm in 1956, was dissolved and Kekkonen was re-elected president in 1962.

Kekkonen’s term as president included a total of a quarter of a century, since he was re-elected in 1968 and 1978; in 1974, his term of office was extended by four years through an exception law. Through his long presidential term and his way of leading foreign policy, Kekkonen took an exceptionally strong position, which was also reflected in domestic politics. He resigned in 1981 due to illness and was succeeded by Social Democrat Mauno Koivisto.

During Kekkonen’s time, Finland’s international position was further stabilized. This allowed Finland to become an associate member of EFTA in 1961 and in 1978 signed a trade agreement with the EC. This was especially manifested through the hosting of the European Security and Cooperation Conference in Helsinki 1975.

After the crisis in eastern relations in 1958, the Social Democrats stood outside the government until 1966, when the parliament for a parliamentary term got the left majority. This formed a public-front government with the Social Democrats, the former Agrarian Association, which in 1965 changed its name to the Center Party, and Dfff as the largest parties. The first two parties dominated the governments until 1987, when the Social Democrats and the Socialist Party became the core of Harri Holkeri’s government. Following election losses in March 1991, this coalition across the center line was replaced by a purely bourgeois government, the first since the 1960s.

The post-war period until about 1990 was characterized by an exceptionally rapid structural transformation, which transformed Finland from a war-affected agricultural society into a modern service society with a standard of living that was one of the highest in the world. The radical changes in the neighboring areas and international politics from 1989 onwards led to enormous changes in Finnish politics and the economy. In October 1989, the Soviet president and party leader Mikhail Gorbachev visited Finland and gave unconditional recognition of Finland’s neutrality policy; At the same time, a five-year framework agreement for trade was signed. Just six months later, Finland declared that the country no longer considered itself bound by the provisions of the 1947 Paris peace that limited its sovereignty.

The VSB pact with the Soviet Union was renegotiated into a neighborhood agreement, which however lost its importance through the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Instead, in May 1992, the countries approved an agreement on political, economic and local area cooperation and at the same time stated that the VSB pact has expired.

In the field of trade, former relations were eroded by the disintegration and economic downturn of the Soviet Union. Clearing trade ceased in December 1990, and the Soviet Union’s debt to Finland grew rapidly. The decline in Eastern trade contributed to the general economic crisis that hit Finland in the early 1990s and led to a rapidly rising unemployment rate (over half a million unemployed in the summer of 1993) and increased government debt. The crisis led to a devaluation in November 1991, banking crisis, bankruptcies and mergers, and significant budget cuts. The economic situation improved from 1994, but unemployment remained around or close to 20 percent for several years.

Integration with Western Europe

Compared to the West, rapid integration took place in the 1990s. The EEA (European Economic Area) agreement between the EC and EFTA was signed in May 1992, but by that time Finland had already submitted its application for EC membership in March 1992. In March 1994, a preliminary agreement with the EC was signed and this was proposed in October of that year by 56.9 percent of voters in an advisory referendum. Finland joined the EU from the beginning of 1995. Finland has adhered to an alliance-free foreign policy, but in June 1992 became an observer in the NACC (North Atlantic Cooperation Council) and in February 1995 in the WEU (Western European Union).

In February 1994, the Social Democratic Secretary of State Martti Ahtisaari was elected president according to a new electoral system with direct popular elections in two rounds. In March 2000, a new constitution for Finland came into force (Finland’s Constitution 731/1999). Finland was thus given a uniform constitution by which the political system was reformed in parliamentary direction. The powers of the Prime Minister and the Government were expanded, while the President’s powers were reduced. Ahtisaari did not stand for reelection in the 2000 presidential election, at which Social Democrat Tarja Halonen was elected president. The halon was re-elected in 2006 for a second term.

Through the parliamentary elections in March 1995, the government switched to a rainbow coalition led by Social Democrat Paavo Lipponen. The coalition continued after the 1999 parliamentary elections. After the 2003 parliamentary elections, a center-left government was formed under the leadership of the center’s Matti Vanhanen. After the 2007 parliamentary elections, however, a bourgeois government, which includes the Greens, was formed under the leadership of Vanhanen.

The 2011 parliamentary elections meant exceptionally large changes in the parties’ strengths. The true Finns took a historically great victory and conquered 34 additional mandates. As a result, they became the third largest party in the new parliament. The center became the biggest loser of choice. Following extended government negotiations, a majority coalition of six parties was formed under the leadership of Jyrki Katainen, chairman of the largest party, the Collecting Party. The new opposition in the Riksdag thus consisted of only two parties, the True Finns and the Center.

The True Finns, on the other hand, joined with the Center and the Socialist Party in the bourgeois government that the Center’s Juha Sipilä formed after the 2015 election. The situation led to the Finnish Ministers breaking out of the party and forming what was later called the Blue Future.

The Sipilä government submitted its resignation application a month before the 2019 election but remained as transitional government. In the elections, the Social Democrats, the true Finns and the Socialist Party were in practice the same size, while the Center declined sharply. The government negotiations led to a left-center coalition with the Center, the Greens, the Swedish People’s Party, the Left League and the Social Democrats, whose party leader Antti Rinne became prime minister. He resigned after a government crisis in December 2019 and was succeeded by Sanna Marin, also her Social Democrat.

Historical overview

7300–4200 BC Suomusjärvikultur. Moose hunting and seal hunting.
4200-1800 BC Chamber Ceramic Culture. The oldest ceramics. Import of amber and flint. Rich ocher tombs. The seal’s most important prey.
2500–2000 BC Båtyxekultur. Contribution of population from the continent. Asbestos ceramic groups in the country’s inner and northern parts. Rock paintings.
2000–1500 BC Late Political Kiwi Culture. Beginning agriculture.
1500–500 BC The Bronze Age. Imports of metal objects from Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Russia. Cairn graves.
500 BC – BC Iron Age Iron Age. Oldest iron technology.
A.D. – 400 AD Roman Iron Age. Intimate contacts with the Baltics and Scandinavia.
400-600 Migration Period. At the end of the period, moving from Central Sweden to Åland.
600-800 Merovingian. Thriving weapons industry. Fire Graveyard. In Satakunda rich skeleton tombs.
800-1050 The Viking Age. Significant costume finds in the skeleton tombs.
about 1050–1300 Crusade time, Christianity prevails and Finland is incorporated into the Swedish empire through the crusade of Birger Earl 1239 and Torgils Knutsson to Karelia 1293.
1300 Turku Cathedral is inaugurated.
1323 The Nöteborg Peace between Sweden and Novgorod establishes the Swedish eastern border and thus Finland’s first eastern border.
1362 Representatives from Finland take part in the Swedish national elections.
1548 The New Testament is published in Finnish.
1554 Turku diocese is divided and Viborg’s diocese is founded.
1556-63 Duke Johan holds Western Finland as duchy and holds court at Turku Castle.
1581 Johan III assumes the title of Grand Prince of Finland.
1595 Peace in Teusina.
1596-97 Club War
1616 Gustav II Adolf is holding a day with Finland’s stands in Helsinki.
1617 The peace in Stolbova gives the Swedish empire its greatest extent to the east.
1623 Turku Court of Appeal is founded.
1637–41, 1648–54 Per Brahe, General Governor of Finland.
1640 The Turku Academy is founded.
1642 The Bible is published in Finnish.
1721 Peace in Nystad after a decade of Russian occupation.
1743 Peace in Turku.
1748 Construction work on Sveaborg will commence.
1790 Peace in Värälä.
1809 Porvoo land day and peace in Fredrikshamn. Sweden resigns to Finland, which becomes an autonomous Grand Principality under Russia.
1812 Old Finland joins Finland. Helsinki becomes the capital.
1827 Turku fire. The university will be moved to Helsinki the following year.
1835 Kalevala is published.
1863 Helsinki Country Day convenes and commences regular parliamentary activities. The language manifesto initiates a development that gradually makes Finnish equitable for the Swedes.
1899 The February manifesto begins a period of constitutional conflict between Finland and Russia.
1906 Country agenda with general and equal voting rights for men and women.
1917 Finland’s Country Day declares its independence on December 6.
1918 Civil war between white and red in the spring.
1919 The form of government is approved.
1920 The peace in Dorpat (Tartu) with Russia sets Finland’s previous borders apart from Finland receiving the Petsamo area on the Arctic Ocean.
1921 The conflict over Åland between Sweden and Finland is decided by NF in favor of Finland. Åland gets internal self-government.
1929 The right-wing Lappa movement is founded, which begins a period of domestic political unrest.
1932 Rebellion in Mäntsälä.
1935 The government declares a Nordic foreign policy orientation.
1939-40 The winter war against the Soviet Union leads to significant territorial losses in the peace in Moscow.
1941-44 The continuing war leads to conquests in East Karelia to return to the post-winter situation.
1947 Peace in Paris.
1948 The Friendship, Cooperation and Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union.
1955 Finland joins the UN and the Nordic Council.
1956 The Soviet Union waives its Porkala base.
1961 Finland associated with EFTA. Note crisis.
1975 The European Security Conference meets in Helsinki.
1992 The friendship, aid and cooperation agreement with the Soviet Union expires.
1995 Finland becomes a member of the EU.
2000 A new constitution comes into force that gives the prime minister and the government greater power at the expense of the president.
2002 Currency is replaced by euros.