Probably in the first centuries AD, Finnish tribes from the Baltic States and the south-east invaded the largely sparsely populated area of today’s southern and central Finland (Finns). Visit printerhall for Finland Since 2000.
Part of the Swedish Empire
After first contact with Christianity in the 11th century, the Christianization of Finland by Swedish missionaries began in the middle of the 12th century. At the same time, the country came politically under Swedish influence. In 1249 (according to other information 1238/39) Birger Jarl declared today’s malice to be part of the Swedish Empire. In a crusade in 1293, Sweden turned against the attempts at influence of Greek Orthodox monks who were evangelizing in Karelia from Novgorod. In the Peace of Nöteborg (today Schlisselburg) the Finnish eastern border between Sweden and Novgorod was established for the first time in 1323. Under King Gustav I. Wasa, M. Agricola promoted with his translation of the Bible he spread the Lutheran faith and at the same time contributed to the development of the written Finnish language. In Finland, which was elevated to a Grand Duchy in 1581, but which was de facto administered like a Swedish province, Swedish colonists continued to advance north and east. In 1595 the Moscow Empire recognized the border up to the Arctic Ocean and, after armed conflicts in 1617, was forced to cede Ingermanland and part of Karelia to Finland. Under the Swedish Governor General Count Per Brahe (* 1602, † 1680), the country experienced an economic and cultural heyday (including the establishment of the University of Turku in 1640).
In the 2nd Northern War Finland was occupied by Russia from 1713-21, which in the Peace of Nystad in 1721 secured the part of Karelia belonging to Finland with Vyborg. In the following Swedish-Russian war, Russia was unable to achieve its goal of establishing an independent Finnish state under Russian rule, but in the Peace of Turku in 1743 it was awarded further parts in the southeast of Finland (up to Kymijoki). After 1743 the Swedish pressure on Finland increased; however, the feeling for Finnish independence also increasingly gained ground. During the Swedish-Russian hostilities of 1788–90 they showed themselves in the Anjalabund first national independence movements, but these were initially limited to officers and small circles of the nobility.
Autonomous Russian Grand Duchy
In the alliance between Tsar Alexander I and Napoleon I concluded in Tilsit in 1807, Russia and France delimited their spheres of interest in Europe, with Finland falling to Russia.
Russian troops conquered the country in 1808. In the Peace of Fredrikshamn in 1809 Sweden had to give up Finland. On March 29, 1809, Alexander I declared Finland an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire in a state parliament and confirmed the basic Swedish laws of 1772 and 1789 that had been enacted in favor of Finland. The government was set up by the emperor with the participation of the state parliament. The President of the Senate was the Russian Governor General. A Finnish state secretary took care of Finland’s government affairs in Saint Petersburg and had the right to speak to the emperor. Helsinki was elevated to the capital by the emperor in 1812.
In the first half of the 19th century, as a result of Tsar Nicholas I’s restorative policy, the development of Finland’s state stagnated. Tsar Alexander II (1855–81) ushered in a period of national reforms prepared by the spiritual leaders of the national Finnish movement, who espoused Finnish as the official, school and literary language.
With Juhana Vilhelm Snellman (* 1806, † 1881) and Yrjö Sakari Yrjö-Koskinen (* 1830, † 1903) at the head, they saw their goal in an independent Finnish nation-state, of which the radical Finnish party of the »Fennomans« – as their exponent applied to E. Lönnrot - wanted to see the Swedes living in Finland excluded. Against the nationalist views of this group came the “Svekomanen”, who took the view that Swedes and Finns should jointly oppose Russian attacks in Finland. The language rescript of 1863 stipulated the equality of the Finnish language with the Swedish from 1883 on. In 1865 Finland received its own coin, since 1869 the state parliament met again regularly, in 1878 Finland was granted its own army with the introduction of conscription. While the Swedish-speaking upper class had been the bearer of the culture until the beginning of the 19th century, a Finnish-speaking intellectual class has now developed, partly from the national-Finnish-minded, previously Swedish-speaking, partly from the Finnish.
Under Alexander III. (1881–94) began a policy of Russification, which culminated in the “February Manifesto” of 1899, which abolished Finnish autonomy. After the Russian Revolution of 1905, Nicholas II granted autonomy again. The reform of the state parliament of 1906 introduced a unicameral state parliament with general and equal (including women’s) voting rights. The strongest party was the Social Democratic Party of Finland (SDP), which was organized on the German model. Large sections of the population responded with passive resistance to the policy of russification, which began again after a few years.