Description of Finland
Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a
member country of the European Union since 1995 and located in
northeastern Europe. It has borders to the west with Sweden, to the
east with Russia and to the north with Norway. To the west and south
it is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, which separates it from Sweden
and Estonia, crossing the gulfs of Botnia and Finland, respectively.
The most important capital and city of the country is Helsinki.
In 2017, Finland had a population of 5.5 million inhabitants in
an area of 338 145 km² The vast majority of the country's
population is concentrated in the extreme south, on the coast of the
Gulf of Finland and its surroundings ( including the Metropolitan
Area of Helsinki). Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe
and has a low population density of 16 inhabitants per km², which
makes the country the first lowest population density in the
European Union. Most Finns speak Finnish (or Finnish) as their
mother tongue, which is one of the few official languages of the
European Union that do not descend from the Indo-European family.
The second official language of Finland is Swedish, spoken as a
mother tongue by 5.6% of the population.
Finland was part of
Sweden until in 1809 it was annexed by the Russian Empire, becoming
the Grand Duchy of Finland (an autonomous entity of Russia until
1917, when it gained independence). Currently, Finland is a
democratic and parliamentary republic, and has been a member of the
United Nations since 1955, as well as of the European Union since
1995. The Finnish economy is one of the most prosperous in Europe,
based on the important service sectors, as well as as of
manufacture. In the country there is a welfare state, as well as a
highly democratic policy with extremely low levels of corruption.
Travel Destinations in Finland
Helsinki is the largest city Finland and also
the capital of the country. It was found in Uusimaa province
1550 by a Swedish king Gustav I of Sweden
Medieval Häme Castle was constructed shortly
after Second Swedish Crusade that was intended to bring
Christianity to the region.
Kajaani Castle is a medieval stronghold
constructed on a Ämmäkoski island of the Kajaani river.
Koli National Park
Koli National Park protects beatiful hills on
the western shore of lake Pielinen in Finland.
Lemmenjoki National Park is a large protected
area in the Lapland tundra and taiga.
Mannerheim Line was a massive Finish defenses
on the border with USSR that was tested during the Winter
Nuuksio National Park
Nuuksio National Park protected are in the
south Finish regions of Espoo, Kirkkonummi and Vihti.
Olavinlinna Castle besides holding an
honorable title of the northernmost stone fortress still
standing it is has impressive and unusual appearance.
Oulanka National Park
Oulanka National Park is a natural reserve in
the Finnish regions of Lapland and Northern Ostrobothnia.
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park
Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park is a
natural reserve in Lapland region of Finland.
Patvinsuo National Park
Patvinsuo National Park is a natural preserve
in picturesque North Karelia region of Finland.
Well preserved walls and towers of medieval
Raseborg Castle kept their original condition despite years
Urho Kekkonen is one of Finland's largest
protected areas and situated in Lapland region.
According to archaeological
research, the first settlements on the territory of Finland appeared
at the end of the ice age, that is, about 8500 BC. e. Inhabitants in
Finland were hunters and gatherers using stone tools. The first
pottery appeared in the 3rd millennium BC. e., when settlers from
the East brought the culture of comb ceramics. The arrival of the
battle ax culture on the southern coast of Finland in the 32 century
BC e. coincided with the birth of agriculture. Despite this, hunting
and fishing still remained an important part of the settlers' lives,
especially in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
As part of Sweden (1150 / 1300-1809)
By the end of the Viking
era, Swedish merchants and kings had spread their influence
throughout the Baltic region.
For several centuries, Finland
was ruled by Catholic and then Protestant Sweden, since 1595 having
the name of the Grand Duchy of Finland.
March 1, 1753
throughout the duchy there was a transition from the Julian to the
As part of the Russian Empire (1809-1917)
In 1807, Russia, under the terms of the Tilsit Peace, became an ally
of the French Empire in the struggle against Great Britain and its
allies. One of the allies of Great Britain was Sweden. Russia was
obliged to force Sweden to join the so-called. “Continental
blockade” - the blockade of the British Isles. Great Britain, in
turn, suggested Sweden pay a million pounds for each month of the
war, no matter how much it went, and also land a British
expeditionary force in Sweden. King Gustav IV Adolf defiantly
returned to Alexander the highest order of the Russian Empire
granted to him, the Order of St. Andrew the First-Called. Gustav IV
Adolf said that he could not wear the same order as Napoleon
Bonaparte, as this humiliates him.
Since Russia’s diplomatic
efforts have not yielded results, at the beginning of 1808 Russian
troops launched an offensive in Southeast Finland and in the summer
of that year, Alexander I announced the conquest of Finland. On
March 15, 1809, the Russian emperor signed the Manifesto on the
Finnish government, which preserved on its territory, in terms of
internal affairs, the effect of Swedish law, which was announced the
next day at the opening of the first estate meeting of
representatives of the peoples of Finland, but hostilities continued
interruptions until the summer of 1809 and ended with the conclusion
on September 5 in Friedrichsham of peace between Russia and Sweden,
according to which Sweden ceded Russia to Finland and part of
Westerbotnia before Tornio and Muonio (modern community Tornio,
Ylitornio, Pello, Kolari, Muonio and Enontekiö).
the 1840s, during the reign of Nicholas I, the princedom began to
carry out reforms in the field of education. From now on, teaching
in Finnish was allowed in local schools. The highest permission was
granted for the publication of religious, historical and economic
literature in national languages. This policy was carried out under
the emperor Alexander II. In 1858, the first lyceum appeared, where
teaching was conducted in Finnish.
Since the 1860s, a steady
cultural upsurge has taken place in the Grand Duchy, progressive
forces of the local intelligentsia sought to give the Finnish
language the status of the state language, which was done by
Alexander II. In addition, the equality of Swedish and Finnish
languages in court and administration was recognized at the
September 6 (18), 1861, the first issue of
the Swedish newspaper Barometern was published. It was the first
Swedish newspaper regularly published in the Russian Empire. Already
in the first years of its publication, the Finnish Barometern
becomes the “liberal ideal” of Swedish-speaking residents of the
In 1863, in Helsingfors, after a long
break, the Finnish Diet was convened again. It was the beginning of
the reforms that strengthened the autonomous status of the Grand
Duchy of Finland.
The unpopular process of forced
Russification, which began in 1899, only contributed to the
intensification of the struggle for independence and instilled
protest sentiments in the multinational society of Finland.
Revolution of 1917
In 1917, after the February Revolution and the
fall of the autocracy in Russia, power passed to the Provisional
Government, which went towards public opinion. In Finland, a
manifesto was published that abolished all the integration measures
carried out since 1899. The privileges of Finland lost after the
1905 revolution were renewed. A new governor general was appointed
and a diet was convened. However, after the Sejm unilaterally
declared Finland independent in internal affairs, by a decision of
the Provisional Government of Russia of July 18, 1917, the law on
restoring the autonomous rights of Finland, which was approved by
the Sejm, was rejected, the sejm was dissolved, and its building was
occupied by Russian troops, however located in Veliky In the
Principality, parts of the Russian army no longer had control over
the situation. The police were disbanded and ceased to maintain
order, resulting in unrest in the country. In general, by the summer
of 1917, the idea of independence was widely spread.
October Revolution of 1917, which overthrew the Provisional
Government, allowed the Finnish Senate to sign the Declaration of
Independence of Finland on December 4, 1917, which was approved by
parliament on December 6. Thus, the independence of Finland was
proclaimed, which was simultaneously declared a republic (Republic
On December 18, 1917, by the Decree of the
Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR, it was proposed "to
recognize the state independence of the Republic of Finland."
Independent Finland (since 1917)
In December 1917 - January
1918, the struggle between the "Reds", supported by the Russian
Soviet Republic, and the Shyutskor ("guard units") intensified, an
amateur fighting organization that first arose in the 1905
revolution (the "Union of Forces"), banned in 1909 by the Russian
government and revived in 1917 on the same principles, but under a
new name. This confrontation grew into a revolution and civil war.
During the revolution, the “Reds" proclaimed the Revolutionary
Government of Finland, which took the name of the Council of
People's Commissioners of Finland, which was supported by the
Russian Soviet Republic. The Council of People's Commissioners of
Finland controlled the southern territory of the republic. The rest
of the territory was under the control of the former Finland Senate.
This side is called “white” (“white finns”). The backbone of her
future army was made up of representatives of the Shyutskor. The
whites were supported by Kaiser Germany, which sent its troops to
Finland (after the end of the civil war they were left in Finland).
During the 108 days of the civil war in Finland, about 35,000
people died. Even after its end, the White Terror against the Social
Democrats and those supporting them did not stop. In total, over 80
thousand suspects of sympathy for the left were arrested, of whom 75
thousand were imprisoned in concentration camps. Due to torture and
anti-human conditions, 13,500 people (15%) died, in addition to 7370
As a result of the civil war of 1918 and
carried out by the victorious forces of the Finnish "white"
political repressions, a ruling majority was formed in the Finnish
parliament, which excluded the participation of left-wing factions.
In the parliament convened in May 1918, out of 92 Social Democratic
deputies, 40 were hiding in Russia, and about 50 were arrested. 97
right-wing deputies and only one Social Democrat Matti Paasivuori
arrived at the first meeting. Parliament received the nickname
"parliament-stump" (Fin. Tynkäeduskunta). The maximum number of
deputies was 111, with 200 laid down. Due to incomplete
representation, parliamentary decisions were particularly
Among the deputies of the parliament,
monarchical ideas were especially popular, a monarchical form of
government was widespread in Europe, the legislation of Finland
inherited from the Swedish period was also assumed. As a result, on
October 9, 1918, Finland was declared a kingdom (Finnish. Suomen
kuningaskuntahanke, literally: “Project of the Kingdom of Finland”),
and the husband of the sister of the German Emperor Wilhelm II,
Prince of Hesse Friedrich Karl (Fredrik Kararle in Finnish
transcription) was elected king.
However, just a month later,
a revolution took place in Germany, the German emperor Wilhelm II
left power and fled the country, and on November 11, 1918, the
Compiegne Peace Agreement was signed, ending the First World War, in
which Germany lost. German influence in Finland weakened, and the
elected king in Finland never arrived and was forced to abdicate. On
December 16, German troops departed for their homeland.
The state at that time was led by regents. While
waiting for the arrival of the elected king, the regent was the
current actual head of state, Chairman of the Senate (Government of
Finland), Per Ewind Svinhuvud. Following the abdication of the
elected king from the throne on December 12, 1918, Swinhuvud
announced his resignation to the parliament as regent. On the same
day, parliament approved the resignation and elected General
Mannerheim as the new regent of Finland. But legally Finland
remained a kingdom. During the Mannerheim Regency, there was an
active discussion about the future state system. The government
submitted two draft amendments to the parliament for the republic
and two for the monarchy. Legislative changes in the form of
government took place on July 17, 1919 after the election of a new
parliament in March 1919. The uncertainty that lasted a year and a
half ended, and the monarchical period, which lasted centuries,
also. Finland has become a republic. On July 25, 1919, the first
presidential elections in Finland were held. They became Kaarlo Juho
The civil war unfolded in Finland and throughout
Russia. Moreover, the actions of the Finnish “whites” and “reds”
were not limited to the territory of Finland. On February 23, 1918,
while at the station of Antrea, turning to the troops, the Supreme
Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Army General Gustav Mannerheim
pronounced “the oath of the sword”, in which he stated that “he
would not put his sword into the scabbard before the last warrior
and hooligan of Lenin was expelled as from Finland and from East
Karelia. ” At the end of March 1918, units of the Finnish “whites”
entered North Karelia. Local self-government was organized there
under the leadership of pro-minded supporters of the independence of
Karelia. After the end of the civil war in Finland in May 1918,
Finnish "white" units advanced to occupy East Karelia and the Kola
Peninsula. As a result, the civil war in Finland gradually grew into
a civil war in Karelia, called the First Soviet-Finnish War.
In the north, the troops of Finland were opposed by the forces of
the Entente, which landed in Murmansk in March 1918, in agreement
with the Bolshevik government, "to protect Murmansk and the railway
from the possible offensive of the German-Finnish troops." Of the
Finnish Red Guards who retreated to the east to act against the
White Finns associated with the Germans, on June 7, 1918, the
British formed the Murmansk Legion, led by Oscari Tokoy.
Simultaneously with the Murmansk Legion, the Karelian Legion
(“Karelian Squad”) was created in Kem under the command of Iivo
On October 15, 1918, the Finns occupied the Rebolsky
volost in East Karelia.
On December 30, 1918, Finnish troops
under the command of General Vetzer landed in Estonia, where they
assisted the Estonian government in the fight against the Bolshevik
troops, which continued during the Civil War in Russia. The First
Soviet-Finnish War ended on October 14, 1920, when the Tartu Peace
Treaty was signed, fixing a number of territorial concessions on the
part of Soviet Russia (at that time the Russian Socialist Federative
Soviet Republic - RSFSR).
Subsequently, already on November
6, 1921, the Second Soviet-Finnish War began on the invasion of
Finnish troops in East Karelia. Finland decided to support the
uprising of the Eastern Karelians, which was raised as a result of
the vigorous actions of Finnish activist agitators who have been
active in East Karelia since the summer of 1921, as well as about
500 Finnish military men who performed various command functions
among the rebels. Units of the Red Finns who emigrated to the RSFSR
after the civil war in Finland, in particular, the ski battalion of
the Petrograd International Military School (the commander of the
battalion Toivo Antikainen), took part in the rout of the Belofin
troops. The Second Soviet-Finnish War ended on March 21, 1922 by the
signing in Moscow of the Agreement between the governments of the
RSFSR and Finland on taking measures to ensure the inviolability of
the Soviet-Finnish border.
In the winter of 1939, the Soviet
Union launched the Third Soviet-Finnish War. On December 1, 1939, in
Terioki, on the part of the territory of the Karelian Isthmus
occupied by Soviet troops, the creation of the Finnish Democratic
Republic, a puppet state headed by the communist Otto Kuusinen, was
proclaimed. On March 12, 1940, the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual
Assistance was concluded between the USSR and the FDR. As a result
of several months of bloody battles, Finland lost part of its
territory, but the country managed to maintain independence.
After a short peace in 1941, Finland entered the
Second World War on the side of the “axis” countries. In the summer
of 1944, the Finns went to the conclusion of peace, after which
Finland fought against the German armed forces in Finnish Lapland
until the spring of 1945. In the postwar years, weakened Finland
took a new course in its relations with the Soviet Union.
1952, the Summer Olympic Games were held in Finland in Helsinki.
In 1956, Urho Kekkonen was elected President of Finland. The 25
years of his presidency (1956-1981) were characterized by smart
balanced actions: Kekkonen had a good command of the internal
situation in the country; he also managed to strengthen relations
with the Scandinavian countries, while not moving away from the
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 coincided with
the difficult economic downturn for Finland. At the end of 1995,
Finland joined the European Union.