Monday, February 17, 2014

History of Finland

The first settlers in Finland came from Russia and present-day Estonia. These people hunted elk and beaver using stone tools and weapons and gradually spread out into the whole of the region. Sites have been found in southern Finland dating from around the eighth millennium BC
Contact between Sweden and what is now Finland was considerable even during pre-Christian times—the Vikings were known to Finns both due to their participation in commerce and plundering. There is commonly accepted evidence of Viking settlement in the Finnish mainland. The Åland Islands probably had Swedish settlement during the Viking Period. However, some scholars claim that the archipelago was deserted during the 11th century. According to the archaeological finds, Christianity gained a foothold in Finland during the 11th century. According to the very few written documents that have survived, the church in Finland was still in its early development in the 12th century. Later medieval legends describe Swedish attempts to conquer and Christianize Finland sometime in the mid-1150s. In the early 13th century, Bishop Thomas became the first bishop of Finland. There were several secular powers who aimed to bring the Finns under their rule. These were Sweden, Denmark, the Republic of Novgorod in Northwestern Russia and probably the German crusading orders as well. Finns had their own chiefs, but most probably no central authority. Russian chronicles indicate there were conflict between Novgorod and the Finnic tribes from the 11th or 12th century to the early 13th century.
The name "Finland" originally signified only the southwestern province that has been known as "Finland Proper" since the 18th century. Österland (lit. Eastern Land) was the original name for the Swedish realm's eastern part, but already in the 15th century Finland began to be used synonymously with Österland. The concept of a Finnish "country" in the modern sense developed only slowly during the period of the 15th–18th centuries.[citation needed]
It was the Swedish regent, Birger Jarl, who established Swedish rule in Finland through the Second Swedish Crusade, most often dated to 1249, which was aimed at Tavastians who had stopped being Christian again. Novgorod gained control in Karelia, the region inhabited by speakers of Eastern Finnish dialects. Sweden however gained the control of Western Karelia with the Third Finnish Crusade in 1293. Western Karelians were from then on viewed as part of the western cultural sphere, while eastern Karelians turned culturally to Russia and Orthodoxy. While eastern Karelians remain linguistically and ethnically closely related to the Finns, they are considered a people of their own by most. Thus, the northern border between Catholic and Orthodox Christendom came to lie at the eastern border of what would become Finland with the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323.
During the 13th century, Finland was integrated into medieval European civilization. The Dominican orderarrived in Finland around 1249 and came to exercise huge influence there. In the early 14th century, the first documents of Finnish students at Sorbonne appear. In the south-western part of the country, an urban settlement evolved in Turku. Turku was one of the biggest towns in the Kingdom of Sweden, and its population included German merchants and craftsmen. Otherwise the degree of urbanization was very low in medieval Finland. Southern Finland and the long coastal zone of the Bothnian Gulf had a sparse farming settlement, organized as parishes and castellanies. In the other parts of the country a small population of Sami hunters, fishermen and small-scale farmers lived. These were exploited by the Finnish and Karelian tax collectors.[citation needed] During the 12th and 13th centuries, great numbers of Swedish settlers moved to the southern and north-western coasts of Finland, to the Åland Islands and to the archipelago between Turku and the Åland Islands: in these regions, the Swedish language is widely spoken even today. Swedish came to be the language of the high-status people in many other parts of Finland as well.
During the 13th century, the bishopric of Turku was established. The cathedral of Turku was the center of the cult of Saint Henry, and naturally the cultural center of the bishopric. The bishop had the ecclesiastical authority over much of today's Finland and was usually the most powerful man there. Bishops were often Finns, whereas the commanders in the castles were more often Scandinavian or German noblemen. In 1362, representatives from Finland were called to participate in the elections for king of Sweden. That year is often held to signify the incorporation of Finland into the kingdom of Sweden. As in the Scandinavian part of the kingdom, a gentry or (lower) nobility consisted of magnates and yeomen who could afford armament for a man and a horse. These were concentrated in the southern part of Finland.
The strong fortress of Viborg (Finnish: Viipuri, Russian: Vyborg) guarded the eastern border of Finland. Sweden and Novgorod signed the Treaty of Nöteborg (Pähkinäsaari in Finnish) in 1323, but that would not last long. For example, in 1348 the Swedish king Magnus Eriksson staged a failed crusade against the Orthodox "heretics", managing only to alienate his supporters and finally losing his crown. The bones of contention between Sweden and Novgorod were the northern coast-line of the Bothnian Gulf and the wilderness regions of Savo in Eastern Finland. Novgorod considered these as hunting and fishing grounds of its Karelian subjects, protesting against the slow infiltration of Catholic settlers from the West. Occasional raids and clashes between Swedes and Novgorodians occurred during the late 14th and 15th centuries, but for most of the time an uneasy peace prevailed. There existed internal tensions as well. During the 1380s a civil war in the Scandinavian part of Sweden brought unrest to Finland, too. The victor of this struggle was Queen Margaret I of Denmark, who brought the three Scandinavian kingdoms of Sweden, Denmark and Norway under her rule (the "Kalmar Union") in 1389. The next 130 years or so were characterized by attempts of different Swedish factions to break out of the Union. Finland was sometimes involved in these struggles, but in general the 15th century seems to have been a relatively prosperous time, characterized by population growth and economic development. Towards the end of the 15th century, however, the situation on the eastern border was becoming more tense. The Principality of Moscow conquered Novgorod, preparing the way for a unified Russia, and soon tensions arose with Sweden. In 1495–1497, a war between Sweden and Russia was fought. The fortress-town of Viborg stood against a Russian siege: according to a contemporary legend, it was saved by a miracle.


While the king of Sweden set in his governor to rule Finland, in day to day reality the villagers ran their own affairs using traditional local assemblies (called the ting) which selected a local "lagman", or lawman, to enforce the norms. The Swedes used the parish system to collect taxes. The socken (local parish) was at once a community religious organization and a judicial district that administered the king's law. The ting participated in the taxation process; taxes were collected by the bailiff, a royal appointee.
In contrast to serfdom in Germany and Russia, the Finnish peasant was typically a freeholder who owned and controlled his small plot of land. There was no serfdom in which peasants were permanently attached to specific lands, and were ruled by the owners of that land. In Finland (and Sweden) the peasants formed one of the four estates and were represented in the parliament. Outside the political sphere, however, the peasants were considered at the bottom of the social order—just above vagabonds. The upper classes looked down on them as excessively prone to drunkenness and laziness, as clannish and untrustworthy, and especially as lacking honor and a sense of national spirit. This disdain dramatically changed in the 19th century when everyone idealized the peasant as the true carrier of Finnishness and the national ethos, as opposed to the Swedish-speaking elites.
The peasants were not passive; they were proud of their traditions and would band together and fight to uphold their traditional rights in the face of burdensome taxes from the king or new demands by the landowning nobility. The great "Club War" in the south in 1596–1597 attacked the nobles and their new system of state feudalism; this bloody revolt was similar to other contemporary peasant wars in Europe. In the north, there was less tension between nobles and peasants and more equality among peasants, due to the practice of subdividing farms among heirs, to non farm economic activities, and to the small numbers of nobility and gentry. Often the nobles and landowners were paternalistic and helpful. The Crown usually sided with the nobles, but after the "restitution" of the 1680s it ended the practice of the nobility extracting labor from the peasants and instead began a new tax system whereby royal bureaucrats collected taxes directly from the peasants, who dislike the efficient new system. After 1800 growing population pressure resulted in larger numbers of poor crofters and landless laborers and the impoverishment of small farmers.

16th century

The Swedish empire at its largest. Most of present-day Finland was an integral part of the Swedish homelandrike, shown in dark green.
In 1521 the Kalmar Union collapsed and Gustav Vasa became the King of Sweden. During his rule, the Swedish church was reformed (1527). The state administration underwent extensive reforms and development too, giving it a much stronger grip on the life of local communities—and ability to collect higher taxes. Following the policies of the Reformation, in 1551 Mikael Agricola, bishop of Turku, published his translation of the New Testament into theFinnish language.
In 1550 Helsinki was founded by Gustav Vasa under the name of Helsingfors, but remained little more than a fishing village for more than two centuries.
King Gustav Vasa died in 1560 and his crown was passed to his three sons in separate turns. King Erik XIV started an era of expansion when the Swedish crown took the city of Tallinn inEstonia under its protection in 1561. The Livonian War was the beginning of a warlike era which lasted for 160 years. In the first phase, Sweden fought for the lordship of Estonia and Latviaagainst Denmark, Poland and Russia. The common people of Finland suffered because of drafts, high taxes, and abuse by military personnel. This resulted in the Cudgel War of 1596–1597, a desperate peasant rebellion, which was suppressed brutally and bloodily. A peace treaty (the Treaty of Teusina) with Russia in 1595 moved the border of Finland further to the east and north, very roughly where the modern border lies.
An important part of the 16th century history of Finland was growth of the area settled by the farming population. The crown encouraged farmers from the province of Savonia to settle the vast wilderness regions in Middle Finland. This was done, and the original Sami population often had to leave. Some of the wilderness settled was traditional hunting and fishing territory of Karelian hunters. During the 1580s, this resulted in a bloody guerrilla warfare between the Finnish settlers and Karelians in some regions, especially in Ostrobothnia.

17th century – the Swedish Empire

Map of Finland from 1662.
In 1611–1632 Sweden was ruled by King Gustavus Adolphus, whose military reforms transformed the Swedish army from a peasant militia into an efficient fighting machine, possibly the best in Europe. The conquest of Livonia was now completed, and some territories were taken from internally divided Russia in the Treaty of Stolbova. In 1630, the Swedish (and Finnish) armies marched into Central Europe, as Sweden had decided to take part in the great struggle between Protestant and Catholic forces in Germany, known as the Thirty Years' War. The Finnish light cavalry was known as the Hakkapeliitat.
After the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, the Swedish Empire was one of the most powerful countries in Europe. During the war, several important reforms had been made in Finland:
  • 1637–1640 and 1648–1654 Count Per Brahe functioned as general governor of Finland. Many important reforms were made and many towns were founded. His period of administration is generally considered very beneficial to the development of Finland.
  • 1640 Finland's first university, the Academy of Åbo, was founded in Turku at the proposal of Count Per Brahe by Queen Christina of Sweden.
  • 1642 The whole Bible was published in Finnish.
However, the high taxation, continuing wars and the cold climate (the Little Ice Age) made the Imperial era of Sweden rather gloomy times for Finnish peasants. In 1655–1660, the Northern Wars were fought, taking Finnish soldiers to the battle-fields of Livonia, Poland and Denmark. In 1676, the political system of Sweden was transformed into an absolute monarchy.
In Middle and Eastern Finland, great amounts of tar were produced for export. European nations needed this material for the maintenance of their fleets. According to some theories, the spirit of early capitalism in the tar-producing province of Ostrobothnia may have been the reason for the witch-hunt wave that happened in this region during the late 17th century. The people were developing more expectations and plans for the future, and when these were not realized, they were quick to blame witches—according to a belief system the Lutheranchurch had imported from Germany.
The Empire had a colony in the New World in the modern-day Delaware-Pennsylvania area between 1638–1655. At least half of the immigrants were of Finnish origin.
The 17th century was an era of very strict Lutheran orthodoxy. In 1608, the law of Moses was declared the law of the land, in addition to secular legislation. Every subject of the realm was required to confess the Lutheran faith and church attendance was mandatory. Ecclesiastical penalties were widely used. The rigorous requirements of orthodoxy were revealed in the dismissal of the Bishop of Turku, Johan Terserus, who wrote acatechism which was decreed heretical in 1664 by the theologians of the Academy of Åbo. On the other hand, the Lutheran requirement of the individual study of Bible prompted the first attempts at wide-scale education. The church required from each person a degree of literacy sufficient to read the basic texts of the Lutheran faith. Although the requirements could be fulfilled by learning the texts by heart, also the skill of reading became known among the population.
In 1696–1699, a famine caused by climate decimated Finland. A combination of an early frost, the freezing temperatures preventing grain from reaching Finnish ports, and a lackluster response from the Swedish government saw about one-third of the population die. Soon afterwards, another war determining Finland's fate began (the Great Northern War of 1700–21).

18th century – the Age of Enlightenment


The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was devastating, as Sweden and Russia fought for control of the Baltic. Harsh conditions—worsening poverty and repeated crop failures—among peasants undermined support for the war, leading to Sweden's defeat. Finland was a battleground as both armies ravaged the countryside, leading to famine, epidemics, social disruption and the loss of nearly half the population. By 1721 only 250,000 remained.[21] Landowners had to pay higher wages to keep their peasants. Russia was the winner, annexing the south-eastern part, including the town of Viborg, after the Treaty of Nystad. The border with Russia came to lie roughly where it returned to after World War II. Sweden's status as a European great power was forfeit, and Russia was now the leading power in the North. The absolute monarchy was ended in Sweden. During this Age of Liberty, the Parliament ruled the country, and the two parties of the Hats and Caps struggled for control leaving the lesser Court party, i.e. parliamentarians with close connections to the royal court, with little to no influence. The Caps wanted to have a peaceful relationship with Russia and were supported by many Finns, while other Finns longed for revenge and supported the Hats.
Finland by this time was depopulated, with a population in 1749 of 427,000. However with peace the population grew rapidly, and doubled before 1800. 90% of the population were typically classified as "peasants", most being free taxed yeomen. Society was divided into four Estates: peasants (free taxed yeomen), the clergy, nobility and burghers. A minority, mostly cottagers, were estateless, and had no political representation. Forty-five percent of the male population were enfranchised with full political representation in the legislature—although clerics, nobles and townsfolk had their own chambers in the parliament, boosting their political influence and excluding the peasantry on matters of foreign policy.
The mid-18th century was a relatively good time, partly because life was now more peaceful. However, during the Lesser Wrath (1741–1742), Finland was again occupied by the Russians after the government, during a period of Hat party dominance, had made a botched attempt to reconquer the lost provinces. Instead the result of the Treaty of Åbo was that the Russian border was moved further to the west. During this time, Russian propaganda hinted at the possibility of creating a separate Finnish kingdom.
Both the ascending Russian Empire and pre-revolutionary France aspired to have Sweden as a client state. Parliamentarians and others with influence were susceptible to taking bribes which they did their best to increase. The integrity and the credibility of the political system waned, and in 1771 the young and charismatic king Gustav III staged a coup d'état, abolished parliamentarism and reinstated royal power in Sweden—more or less with the support of the parliament. In 1788, he started a new war against Russia. Despite a couple ofvictorious battles, the war was fruitless, managing only to bring disturbance to the economic life of Finland. The popularity of King Gustav III waned considerably. During the war, a group of officers made the famous Anjala declaration demanding peace negotiations and calling of Riksdag (Parliament). An interesting sideline to this process was the conspiracy of some Finnish officers, who attempted to create an independent Finnish state with Russian support. After an initial shock, Gustav III crushed this opposition. In 1789, the new constitution of Sweden strengthened the royal power further, as well as improving the status of the peasantry. However, the continuing war had to be finished without conquests—and many Swedes now considered the king as a tyrant.
With the interruption of the war (1788–1790), the last decades of the 18th century had been an era of development in Finland. New things were changing even everyday life, such as starting of potato farming after the 1750s. New scientific and technical inventions were seen. The first hot air balloon in Finland (and in the whole Swedish kingdom) was made in Oulu (Uleåborg) in 1784, only a year after it was invented in France. Trade increased and the peasantry was growing more affluent and self-conscious. The Age of Enlightenment's climate of broadened debate in the society on issues of politics, religion and morals would in due time highlight the problem that the overwhelming majority of Finns spoke only Finnish, but the cascade of newspapers, belles-lettres and political leaflets was almost exclusively in Swedish—when not in French.
The two Russian occupations had been harsh and were not easily forgotten. These occupations were a seed of a feeling of separateness and otherness, that in a narrow circle of scholars and intellectuals at the university inTurku was forming a sense of a separate Finnish identity representing the eastern part of the realm. The shining influence of the Russian imperial capital Saint Petersburg was also much stronger in southern Finland than in other parts of Sweden, and contacts across the new border dispersed the worst fears for the fate of the educated and trading classes under a Russian régime. At the turn of the 19th century, the Swedish-speaking educated classes of officers, clerics and civil servants were mentally well prepared for a shift of allegiance to the strong Russian Empire.
King Gustav III was assassinated in 1792, and his son Gustav IV Adolf assumed the crown after a period ofregency. The new king was not a particularly talented ruler; at least not talented enough to steer his kingdom through the dangerous era of the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars.
Meanwhile, the Finnish areas belonging to Russia after the peace treaties in 1721 and 1743 (not including Ingria), called "Old Finland" were initially governed with the old Swedish laws (a not uncommon practice in the expanding Russian Empire in the 18th century). However, gradually the rulers of Russia granted large estates of land to their non-Finnish favorites, ignoring the traditional landownership and peasant freedom laws of Old Finland. There were even cases where the noblemen punished peasants corporally, for example by flogging. The overall situation caused decline in the economy and morale in Old Finland, worsened since 1797 when the area was forced to send men to the Imperial Army. The construction of military installations in the area brought thousands of non-Finnish people to the region. In 1812, after the Russian conquest of Finland, "Old Finland" was rejoined to the rest of the country but the landownership question remained a serious problem until the 1870s.

Historical population of Finland

1150: 20,000–40,000
1550: 300,000
1750: 428,000
1770: 561,000
1790: 706,000
1810: 863,000
1830: 1,372,000
1850: 1,637,000
1870: 1,769,000
1890: 2,380,000
1910: 2,943,000
1930: 3,463,000
1950: 4,030,000
1970: 4,598,000
1990: 4,977,000
2010: 5,375,000

Russian Grand Duchy

During the Finnish War between Sweden and Russia, Finland was again conquered by the armies of TsarAlexander I. The four Estates of occupied Finland were assembled at the Diet of Porvoo on March 29, 1809 to pledge allegiance to Alexander I of Russia. Following the Swedish defeat in the war and the signing of theTreaty of Fredrikshamn on September 17, 1809, Finland remained a Grand Duchy in the Russian Empire until the end of 1917, with the czar as Grand Duke. Russia assigned Karelia ("Old Finland") to the Grand Duchy in 1812. During the years of Russian rule the degree of autonomy varied. Periods of censorship and political prosecution occurred, particularly in the two last decades of Russian control, but the Finnish peasantry remained free (unlike the Russian serfs) as the old Swedish law remained effective (including the relevant parts fromGustav III's Constitution of 1772). The old four-chamber Diet was re-activated in the 1860s agreeing to supplementary new legislation concerning internal affairs.


Before 1860 overseas merchant firms and the owners of landed estates had accumulated wealth that became available for industrial investments. After 1860 the government liberalized economic laws and began to build a suitable physical infrastructure of ports, railroads and telegraph lines. The domestic market was small but rapid growth took place after 1860 in export industries drawing on forest resources and mobile rural laborers. Industrialization began during the mid-19th century from forestry to industry, mining and machinery and laid the foundation of Finland's current day prosperity, even though agriculture employed a relatively large part of the population until the post–World War II era.
The beginnings of industrialism took place in Helsinki. Alfred Kihlman (1825–1904) began as a Lutheran priest and director of the elite Helsingfors boys' school, the Swedish Normal Lyceum. He became a financier and member of the diet. There was little precedent in Finland in the 1850s for raising venture capital. Kihlman was well connected and enlisted businessmen and capitalists to invest in new enterprises. In 1869, he organized a limited partnership that supported two years of developmental activities that led to the founding of the Nokiacompany in 1871.
After 1890 industrial productivity stagnated because entrepreneurs were unable to keep up with technological innovations made by competitors in Germany, Britain and the United States. However, Russification opened up a large Russian market especially for machinery.


The Finnish national awakening in the mid-19th century was the result of members of the Swedish-speaking upper classes deliberately choosing to promote Finnish culture and language as a means of nation building, i.e. to establish a feeling of unity between all people in Finland including (and not of least importance) between the ruling elite and the ruled peasantry. The publication in 1835 of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, a collection of traditional myths and legends which is the folklore of the Karelian people (the Finnic Russian Orthodox people who inhabit the Lake Ladoga-region of eastern Finland and present-day NW Russia), stirred the nationalism that later led to Finland's independence from Russia.
Particularly following Finland's incorporation into the Swedish central administration during the 16th and 17th centuries, Swedish was spoken by about 15% of the population, especially the upper and middle classes. Swedish was the language of administration, public institutions, education and cultural life. Only the peasants spoke Finnish. The emergence of Finnish to predominance resulted from a 19th-century surge of Finnish nationalism, aided by Russian bureaucrats attempting to separate Finns from Sweden and to ensure the Finns' loyalty.[26]
In 1863, the Finnish language gained an official position in administration. In 1892 Finnish finally became an equal official language and gained a status comparable to that of Swedish. Nevertheless, the Swedish language continued to be the language of culture, arts and business all the way to 1920s.
Movements toward Finnish national pride, as well as liberalism in politics and economics involved ethnic and class dimensions. The nationalist movement against Russia began with the Fennoman movement led by Hegelian philosopher Johan Vilhelm Snellman in the 1830s. Snellman sought to apply philosophy to social action and moved the basis of Finnish nationalism to establishment of the language in the schools, while remaining loyal to the czar. Fennomania became the Finnish Party in the 1860s.
Paavo Ruotsalainen, a layman, led pietistic revivals
Liberalism was the central issue of the 1860s to 1880s. The language issue overlapped both liberalism and nationalism, and showed some a class conflict as well, with the peasants pitted against the conservative Swedish-speaking landowners and nobles. As complications, the Finnish activists divided into "old" (no compromise on the language question and conservative nationalism) and "young" (liberation from Russia) Finns. The leading liberals were Swedish-speaking intellectuals who called for more democracy; they became the radical leaders after 1880. The liberals organized for social democracy, labor unions, farmer cooperatives, and women's rights.


The Finns were Lutherans but there were two strains that eventually merged to form the modern Finnish church. On the one hand was the high-church emphasis on ritual, with its roots in traditional peasant collective society. Paavo Ruotsalainen (1777–1852) on the other hand was a leader of the new pietism, with its subjectivity, revivalism, emphasis on personal morality, lay participation, and the social gospel. The pietism appealed to the emerging middle class. The Ecclesiastical Law of 1869 combined the two strains. Finland's political and Lutheran leaders considered both Russian Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism to be threats to the emerging nation. Orthodoxy was rejected as a weapon of Russification, while anti-Catholicism was long-standing. Anti-Semitism was also a factor, so the Dissenter Law of 1889 upgraded the status only of the minor Protestant sects.


Before 1790 music was found in Lutheran churches and in folk traditions. In 1790 music lovers founded the Åbo Musical Society; it gave the first major stimulus to serious music by Finnish composers. In the 1880s, new institutions, especially the Helsinki Music Institute (since 1939 called the Sibelius Academy), the Institute of Music of Helsinki University and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, integrated Finland into the mainstream of European music. By far the most influential composer was Jean Sibelius (1865–1957); he composed most of his music before 1930.[31] In April 1892 Sibelius presented his new symphony 'Kullervo' in Helsinki. It featured poetry from the Kalevala, and was celebrated by critics as truly Finnish music.


Upper and upper middle class women took the lead in the deaconess movement in Finland. Coordinated by the Lutheran church, the women undertook local charitable social work to ameliorate harsh living conditions created by peasants adjusting to city life. They promoted nursing as a suitable profession for respectable women. Their efforts helped redefine the complex relationship between private charities and the traditional state and church responsibility for social welfare. Because they volunteered without pay and emphasized motherhood and nurturing as moral values for women, they contributed to the entrenchment of what in the 20th century became widespread gender roles.


The policy of Russification of Finland (1899–1905 and 1908–1917, called sortokaudet/sortovuodet(times/years of oppression) in Finnish) was the policy of the Russian czars designed to limit the special status of the Grand Duchy of Finland and more fully integrate it politically, militarily, and culturally into the empire. Finns were strongly opposed and fought back by passive resistance and a strengthening of Finnish cultural identity.[35]Key provisions were the "February Manifesto of 1899" which asserted the imperial government's right to rule Finland without the consent of local legislative bodies. Second, the "Language Manifesto of 1900" which made Russian the language of administration of Finland. Third, the conscription law of 1901 incorporated the Finnish army into the imperial army and sent conscripts away to Russian training camps.

Democratic change

In 1906, as a result of the Russian Revolution of 1905 and the associated Finnish general strike of 1905, the oldfour-chamber Diet was replaced by a unicameral Parliament of Finland (the "Eduskunta"). For the first time in Europe, universal suffrage (right to vote) and eligibility was implemented to include women: Finnish women were the first in Europe to gain full eligibility to vote; and have membership in an estate; land ownership or inherited titles were no longer required. However, on the local level things were different, as in the municipal elections the number of votes was tied to amount of tax paid. Thus, rich people could cast a number of votes, while the poor perhaps none at all. The municipal voting system was changed to universal suffrage in 1917 when a left-wing.
Emigration was especially important 1890–1914, with many young men and some families headed toFinnish settlements in the United States, and also to Canada. They typically worked in lumbering and mining, and many were active in Marxist causes on the one hand, or the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America on the other. In the 21st century about 700,000 Americans and 110,000 Canadians claim Finnish ancestry.
1880s: 26,000
1890s: 59,000
20th century: 159,000
1910s: 67,000
1920s: 73,000
1930s: 3,000
1940s: 7,000
1950s 32,000.