Updated on January 2, 2016
History of Finland: A selection of events and documents
in Finnish / Urkunder
of Finland -
Swedish rule c. 1200-1809
Pope Innocentius IV's Letter
Protection to the Confessors of the Christian Faith in
Finland 27 August 1249.
medieval church from the 15th century
is a fine example of the Catholic time churches
in Finland, with biblical stories painted on the walls..
A Letter of Protection
by King Birger Magnusson for womankind in Karelia on Oct. 1, 1316.
A letter (1539) by Martin
Luther to the Swedish king Gustavus Vasa, original in Latin
with a Swedish
translation. The king sought a tutor to his son, and Luther recommends
also the Finn Michael Agricola, who later in 1548 translated the New
into Finnish. April 20, 1539.
Georg North's short description
about Finland. Printed in London, 1561. North's text is based on
Sebastian Münster's Cosmographia, Basle 1544.
between Sweden and Russia May 18, 1595. The Duchy of Estonia was
recognized to belong to Sweden and the eastern border of Finland was
defined through this treaty. Even though its final signatories, the
Russian Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich (died 1598) and the Swedish King
Sigismund (deposed 1599) never signed the treaty, it was put into
effect right after the negotiations. Parallel
old Swedish text included.
1662. The first printed map
of the Grand Duchy of Finland (Magnus Ducatus Finlandiæ). It
was published by Dr Joan Blaeu, a Dutch publisher of fine atlases. The
original cartographer was the Swede Anders Bure (Andreas Bureus). The
arms of Finland and her provinces are beautifully presented on the map.
The arms of two Finnish provinces,
Satakunta and Varsinais-Suomi, on the tomb
of the Swedish king, Gustaf Vasa, 1581.
Uppsala Domkyrka, Sweden.
Johannes Schefferus: The
history of Lapland 1674. Digital copy
at the National Library Digital Collection (link, pdf, 78 MB)
Peace Treaty of August 30, 1721 between Sweden and Russia. In Swedish and German.
The treaty ended Swedish dominance in the Baltics. Russian troops
withdraw from Finland. Karelian isthmus, city of Viipuri (Vyborg) and
areas north of Lake Ladoga were annexed to Russia. That part of the
country, Old Finland, was reunited with rest of the
country by the imperial decree
of Alexander I in 1811.
expedition organised by the French Academy of Sciences was
sent to Tornio (Swedish
Torneå), Finland, near the polar circle. It was lead by Moreau
Maupertuis and its purpose was to make precise geodesic measurements to
prove the globe to be an oblate spheroid. En español.
After the Peace Treaty of Turku
(Åbo) in 1743 the eastern border against Russia was drawn
the River of Kymi, considerably to the west of the previous one. To
strengthen the country's defence, the construction of the sea-fortress
began on islands facing Helsinki in 1748. (The Governing
Body of Suomenlinna).
An economic description of
Turku (Åbo), the provincial capital of Finland. A university dissertation
of Niclas Wasström, a local student in the Academy of
Nationnale Winsten (The National Gain/National Profit and
Loss). A study by Anders
from the year 1765. It was published as a partial answer to the debate
provoked by his book "Källan Til Rikets Wan-Magt" (The Source
the Nation's Weakness). (Chydenius Foundation)
The Form of
Government of Sweden (pdf). Given by the
Estates and King Gustavus III of Sweden. Dated Stockholm August 21,
1772. In Swedish.
The King's Proclamation concerning the Swedish
colony of the island of
St. Barthélemy in the West Indies, dated September
7, 1785. An overview to the history of the Swedish era.
His Royal Majesty's Gracious Proclamation about the fall of Sveaborg
Fortress to the hands of the enemy. May 6, 1808.
of Finland - Russian rule 1809-1917
secret treaty (in
between Napoleon and Alexander at Tilsit June 7, 1807. Countries, as
Sweden, which did not participate in the Continental System (a
commercial blockade against the British), were declared their enemies. In
English (The Napoleon Series). A convention of British
economic support in the eventuality of Sweden being attacked by allies
of France, Feb. 8, 1808.
The Russian declaration
of war (in
French) on Sweden, Feb. 10, 1808. The declaration of the Russian
commander-in-chief, Count von Buxhoevden, to Finns, to
give up resistance, on the day Russian troops crossed the border on
February 22, 1808. The convention
of the commander of the fortress of Sveaborg, Vice Admiral Cronstedt,
with Russian General de Suchtelen to surrender Sveaborg without fight,
April 6, 1808. The armistice at Olkijoki, November 7, 1808 (original text
in French, in English),
between Swedish and Russian troops after they already had taken the
major part of Finland.
Solemn Assurance of the Sovereign
given by the Emperor Alexander I on 27 March 1809 to respect all
constitutional rights of citizens in the newly acquired Grand Duchy of
Finland. In Russian.
The Peace Treaty between Russia and Sweden
on 17 September 1809. Sweden accepted throught this treaty the de
facto situation of having already lost Finland to Russia.
Original in French.
The text in Russian
of the 1809 borderline against Sweden (The National Library
of Finland was established in Turku as Exchange, Loan and
Deposit Office of the Grand Duchy of Finland by an Imperial decree (in
Finnish and Swedish) of November 20, 1811. The decree in Russian.
His Imperial Majesty's Manifesto on December 11,
1811 concerning the reunification of the Vyborg Governmental
District (guberniya) with Finland (in
Naturalized Germans, although a small minority, had during the Russian
rule established a considerable foothold in the administration of the
city of Viipuri
(Vyborg). In Russian. Eine kurze Geschichte (in
German) der Stadt Wiburg.
A Yearbook of Government
and Public Institutions and Officeholders (State
Calender) for the Leap-Year 1812.
border convention concerning
Lapland between Russia and Sweden-Norway (in French).
May 14, 1826. Fixing of the borderline between Russia and Norway, and
checking the old border between Norway and Grand Duchy of Finland in
1826-27. (In French).
of Finland (in Swedish) by Friedr.
Rühs. 1827. Full digital copy of the 1813 Swedish
edition and the 1809 German
edition (links, pdf, 51 MB & 96 MB,
National Library of Finland)
A statistical overview
of the Russian Empire by Finnish statistician and scholar Gabriel Rein
in 1838. Main geographical features, government institutions,
fundamental laws and
remuneration of the Imperial family, commerce, natural resources etc.
An edition of tens of pages (in Swedish).
A Yearbook of Government and
Public Institutions and Officeholders (State
Calender) for the Leap-Year 1840. A full edition with tens of
letter of thanks
by the world-famous professor and linguist Jacob Grimm, for the
honorary diploma granted to him by the Finnish Literature Society.
December 19, 1845.
and the Crimean War 1854-55. Optical telegraphy
in Russia and Finland. The Paris Peace Treaty of March 18/30, 1856,
ending the Crimean war in Russian
(Biblioteka elektronnykh resursov).
The The Kalmberg military
1855-56. Southern parts of Finland. Largescale sample maps of Helsinki,
Turku, Tampere and Viipuri area. Original scale 1:100000.
Convention relative à la démilitarisation des îles
d'Aland 1856 (Convention on the demilitarisation of
the Åland Islands) et Convention relative à
la non-fortification et à la neutralisation des îles
d'Aland 1921 (Convention respecting the non-fortification and
neutralisation of the Aaland Islands.) Texts are shown in
parallel French and Swedish texts and with the 1921 convention first. (Swedish
Government, 2.8 MB pdf-file.)
The 1856 treaty in
Russian. (Moscow State University)
and the speech from the throne by Alexander II, Emperor of Russia and
Grand Duke of Finland, at the opening of the second Finnish Diet, on
Sept. 18, 1863.
A detailed Railway
and Travel Map
of Finland. A special prize was awarded a year later to land
surveyor I.J. Inberg for this excellent map of 1875.
(The International Convention of 1875 Respecting Weights and Measures).
Russia and thus Finland joined the Convention. The metric system was
made mandatory in 1887 with a transition period up till 1891.
Imperial Majesty's Gracious Rescript to the Governor General of Finland
concerning public anxiety aroused by certain measures taken to increase
uniformity between the Grand Duchy and other parts of Russian Empire.
February 28, 1891. English
Finland. An article in Harper's Magazine N:o 489, February,
(see № 17) of Nicholas II, Emperor of Russia and Grand Duke
to uphold the rights and laws of the Grand Duchy of Finland (tarefer.ru).
All his predecessors had given a similar assurance when ascending the
throne. November 6 (October 25), 1894.
An extensive photographic
tour through Finland by I.K. Inha. 1896. (link,
pdf, 275 MB, National Library of Finland).
Text in Swedish, Finnish, Russian, French, German, and English.
G.W. Edlund: Helsinki Album.
34 views from Helsinki.
A Reference Map of Finland 1898
(in Finnish only). The indexes and accurate maps include, in addition
to standard contents, sites for industrial enterprises, prominent farms
of Alexander Federley
of early 20th century Finland.
Imperial Majesty's Gracious
concerning the Fundamental Rules to be complied with preparation,
inspection and promulgation of laws of the Empire, the Grand Duchy of
Finland therein included. February 3, 1899.
Deputation to the Czar, March
8-13, 1899. An address consisting of more
than 520,000 names was collected all over Finland in two weeks. A
deputation of 471 persons representing 484 Finnish municipalities
travelled to St. Petersburg and tried to hand this appeal to restore
the fundamental rights of the Finnish people to the Emperor. Nicholas
II refused to receive them an audience. A
contemporary book of the photos of the deputation members
arranged according to provinces and municipalities (Ulrika
June 26-July 2, 1899. A deputation representing 1,050 European learned men and
prominent people tried to leave to the Czar addresses
supporting Finland's campaign to preserve her assured constitutional
rights. A report
of July 5, 1899 to the signers.
June 8, 1899. Imperial Majesty's Gracious
Rescript to the
Governor General of Finland (in Russian),
concerning public anxiety caused by the forthcoming change in the
Conscription Act of the Grand Duchy of Finland and promulgation of the
Manifesto given on the 3rd of February. English translation.
of the Imperial Majesty (in Russian),
on June 20, 1900, concerning the gradual transition of language into
Russian in principal administrative establishments of the Grand Duchy
of Finland. English translation.
Russian military topographical maps
of the Helsinki area 1902..1911
Act (in Russian),
passed by the Russian State Council and the State Duma, concerning the
procedure to be complied with introducing bills and decrees of
all-Empire significance given on 17 (30)th of June 1910. This act de
facto abrogated the Constitution of Finland. It was enacted
without the Finnish Diet's consent. In
français. The Governor-General F.A. Seyn 1909..1917.
A picture postcard: Helsinki (near Market
in the beginning of the 1910's. The tram seen in the historical picture
is one of the new type cars ordered by Helsinki Tramlines &
Omnibuses Ltd. from ASEA in 1908. The same site in 1997. The
traditional yellow-green colours are preserved.
The Insurance Year-Book of
Finland for the year 1912. Finnish and foreign companies. Joint tariff companies
The declaration of a
state of war
in the Grand Duchy of Finland, July 31, 1914. In Russian. Gracious
Manifesto about declaring a state of war between Russia and Germany, Aug.
2, 1914. In Russian.
And between Austria-Hungary,
Aug. 8, 1914. This in
Russian. And Turkey
on Nov. 2, 1914 (in Russian).
And Bulgaria Oct.
18, 1915. In Russian.(Collection
of decrees with respect to Finland)
Encircling of Helsinki
with fortifications 1914-17. (John Lagerstedt and Markku
of the Prussian Minister of War to enlarge military training of Finnish
independence fighters to 2,000 men on Aug. 26, 1915. Background.
Der Beschluss des
preussischen Kriegsministers die Militärausbildung den
finnischen Selbstständigkeitskämpfern auf 2000
Männer zu erhöhen den 26.8.1915. Hintergrund.
Emperor Nicholas II's Abdication
Manifesto of March 2/15, 1917, manifesto of Grand Duke Michael
Alexandrovich. Proclamation of the acting Governor General of
Finland. Abdication manifesto in
Russian.. Street block on Liteini Str.,
Petrograd, March 5, 1917. The grave
of Anna Vyrubova (née Taneeva, 1884-1964), Empress Alexandra's
lady-in-waiting in Helsinki Orthodox cemetary. She succeeded in fleeing
to Finland after the revolution broke out.
A Manifesto by the Provisional Government of Russia, March 7/20, 1917, on restoration and full reinstatement
of the Constitution of Finland . The original
text of the Manifesto (in Russian). A memoir of the hectic days in
Helsinki and (St.) Petersburg by Professor Edv. Hjelt. Governor-General
Seyn's arrest. Kerenski in the Finnish
Parliament April 13, 1917.
of Finnish cities in 1902.
by Alexander Federley from early 20th century Finland.
The Resolution of the Finnish
Senate on May 21, 1917 to remove
the portraits of the deposed emperor Nicholas II and his family
members, etc. from the office rooms.
||LIST OF NAMES of the
who have arrived at Russian [Finnish] border in Tornio in the
train nr. 353. The arrival date is on April 2, 1917 (Old Style).
Source: The National Archives of Finland. The Russian Gendarmery in Finland. Commandant for railway and water areas of Tornio station.
The manifesto of the Russian
Provisional Government about dissolving the Finnish Diet, June 31,
The speech of People's
Commissar I.V. Stalin at the conference of the Finnish
Social-Democratic Party in Helsinki in Nov. 14 (27), 1917.
A communication of the Finnish Diet relating to instituting a new Government of Finland.
November 27, 1917. In Russian.
of Finland - Independence, Dec. 6, 1917.
engine nr. 293 in the Finland
Station, St. Petersburg. The Bolshevik leader
Lenin, disguised as stoker, returned to Russia
on Oct. 7, 1917, after hiding in Finland
to organize a coup to overthrow the
Kerenski government The railway line
from Finland to St. Petersburg
of the Finnish State Railways
in the Grand Duchy of Finland and run
by Finnish staff. The engine was donated
to the Soviet government
by the Finnish government in 1957.
of Independence adopted by the Finnish Diet on Dec. 6, 1917. In Russian.
Sixty years of independence: The Senate Square in Helsinki on Dec 6, 1977.
The recognition of Finland's
independence (in Russian)
by the Soviet of People's Commissars and the All-Russian Executive
Committee. 18/31 Dec. 1917 and 23 Dec/4 Jan. 1918. In English. Stalin on the independence
of Finland, Dec. 22, 1917. A magazine article
and a video clip about the meeting of Svinhufvud and Lenin at the
Smolny Institute. Lenin comments
the recognition of the Finnish independence at the VIII Party Congress,
March 19, 1919.
A civil war broke out on
January 28, 1918, when the Reds seized
power in Helsinki and other cities and set up their rule in
southern Finland. The legal government
fled to Vaasa. A treaty
of friendship (Heninen) was concluded
between the revolutionary governments of Russia and Finland on March 1,
of April 5, 1918 in Vaasa concerning German troops arriving in Hanko.
Peace Treaty (Brigham Young University Library)
between Russia and the Central Powers, March 3, 1918. The Peace Treaty
between the government of Finland in Vaasa and Germany, March 7, 1918 (in
Documents of 1917-1920,
relations between Finland and Russia and the Civil war
The Peace Treaty
between Finland and the Federal Socialist Republic of Soviet Russia,
Dorpat (Tartu), Oct. 14, 1920. Includes declarations of the Russian
delegation concerning Eastern Carelia and Ingria. English
translation. (The League of Nations Treaty Series).
Map of Finland
after the this peace treaty. (Suomen koulukartta = Map of
Finland for schools).
miniature atlas of Finland
from 1929, published by
the National Survey of Finland
(pdf, 5 MB).
agreement in the Council of the League of Nations 1921. (Ålands
A map of Helsinki Metropolitan
1:400000 from the year 1923. A combination of two pages from an atlas
originally published by the National Land Survey of Finland in 1920.
A map of southern Finland
1:3750000. Süd-Finnland. Meyers
Geographischer Handatlas, Leipzig, 1926. Enlarged from the original.
Exchange of notes between
Finland and the USSR on appointing Frontier
Commissars and defining their duties, Sept. 14, 1928. (League
of Nations, International treaties registry).
A short overview of the Finnish air traffic
during the years 1924-1937. Published in the book Finland
Outpost of the North by the National Union of Students of
1937. Part of a route map
of Conciliation, June 7, 1928, and Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and
Consular Rights, February 13, 1934, between USA and Finland. (The
League of Nations Treaty Series)
Treaty of Non-Aggression (original
text in French) between the Soviet Union and Finland, January
21, 1932, and the protocol
prolonging the treaty up to 1945, signed on April 7, 1934. Signing
of the protocol (picture). In
Nordic declaration for similar rules of
neutrality, May 27, 1938. (The League of Nations
of the German-Soviet
non-aggression pact of Aug. 23, 1939, and its secret
additional protocol (Ibiblio).
In the secret protocol Finland and the Baltic countries were included
in the Russian side of spheres of interest in the event of a
territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to these
countries. The Pact
and the Secret Additional
Protocol in Russian. Der Originaltext des
Vertrags und des geheimen Zusatzprokolls (in
bei dem Deutschen Historischen Museum (viele Bilder).
The front page of Pravda
on Aug. 24, 1939. Molotov's speech
(English, Russian) at the Supreme Soviet on Aug.
31, 1939. A joint parade
of German and Soviet troops in Brest-Litovsk - then in Poland - Sept.
22, 1939. The assessment
of the Pact by the Congress of People's Deputies, Moscow 24 Dec. 1989. See
also Finland in Great Power
commentary on 3 September 1939: No
Stop to the 1940 [Helsinki] Olympic Games Preparations.
The Winter War
of the New York Times on 1 December 1939.
A sizable number of journalists
were in Helsinki
and elsewhere in Finland during the whole Winter War.
For many days the NY Times ran news from
the Soviet invasion as its main front page topics.
Front page of Pravda,
Nyheter (Stockholm) on Dec. 1, 1939.
Molotov makes Soviet territorial demands public in his report at the
Supreme Soviet of the USSR Oct. 31, 1939. In Russian
address by Prime Minister A. K. Cajander
in Helsinki November 23, 1939, concerning territorial demands by the
Soviet Union and Finland's willingness to negotiate all kinds of
solutions without surrendering Finland's vital interests. An article in
Pravda: "A Buffoon Holding the
Post of Prime Minister" on November 26, 1939, as an answer to
Prime Minister Cajander's speech. Finland in the Soviet foreign policy of 1939-1940.
Diplomatic and other documents in Russian and English. With document
A brief summary
to the propagandists of the Red Army describing the situation in
Finland, November 1939 (Propagandist
RKKA). The local commander report
to the Leningrad Military District commander on the planned offensive
against Finland, November 25, 1939. Original in
Russian. Molotov's note
of the alleged shelling of Soviet territory at Mainila village on
November 26 and subsequent diplomatic correspondence on Nov. 27-29.
speech on November 29, 1939, on the Soviet unilateral
denouncement of the non-aggression pact. The war broke out Nov. 30,
1939. A pictorial
report of American journalist H.B. Elliston leaving the
border area the very day of Soviet invasion ("Finland
Fights", Boston, 1940).
press statement by President Roosevelt of the United States,
December 1, 1939. A telegram
by K.A. Umanskii, the Soviet plenipotentiary to USA, December 2, 1939. In Russian. Pact of
Assistance and Friendship, which the Soviet Union signed with the "Democratic
Government of Finland" Dec. 2, 1939, in Moscow (Andrew
Heninen). Molotov's denial
of civilian bombings, December 4, 1939. A propaganda
leaflet dropped from Soviet airplanes during the first days
of the Winter War.
reports and news.
League of Nations examined,
on the Finnish initiative, the measures of the Soviet and Finnish
governments in the light of its own covenant, and international and
bilateral treaties as well, and decided that Soviet Union had lost its membership on Dec.
14, 1939. The Times of Dec. 11, 1939, evaluates
the possible outcome of this assembly. Pravda giving an "appraisal" on the decision (Moscow
News, Dec. 18, 1939). In
Russian. The Times' leading article on
Soviet commentary, on 18 Dec. 1939. Radio
speech of Kyösti Kallio, President of Finland, on
Dec. 17, 1939.
The top three telegrams
by Hitler, von Ribbentrop and Kuusinen congratulating Stalin on his
60th birtday on Dec. 21, 1939 (in
Russian, Pravda). In
English (Moscow News). Kuusinen congratulates
Voroshilov for Red Army victories in Finland.
President Roosevelt denounces
Soviet attack on Finland on Feb. 10,1940: Newsreel
clip (36s, mkv; Turner Cold War series, 1
on March 13, 1940, as the Winter War ended. British diplomatic correspondence
during the Winter War. Sound
a Finnish language version of Axis Sally in Radio Moscow during the
Russo-Finnish wars of Nov. 30, 1939-March 13, 1940 and June 26,
1941-Sept. 4, 1944. The sign-on tune of Radio
Moscow's Finnish language broadcasts in the 1970's.
in Great Power
politics 1939-1940. Documents and statements: German documents
(transl.) | Deutsche
Dokumente | Swedish
(transl.) | Svenska
diplomatic documents | U.S.
documents . Contemporary worldwide politics as
reflected by German
diplomatic messages. Source: Documents on German
Foreign Policy, Series D, Volumes VIII-XIII (Sept. 4, 1939-Dec. 11,
1941). Annotated list of documents in each volume.
Finland in the Soviet foreign policy of 1939-1940.
Diplomatic and other documents in Russian and English. With document
U.S. President Roosevelt made
pleads to the Soviet
government to respect the independence and vital
interests of Finland. His statements were rejected and
argued to be in violatation
of the U.S. neutrality by the
Soviet government. The Soviet attack on Finland on
November 30 led to a large popular support and
pressure in the U.S. to help Finland. One of the leading
figures was former president Herbert Hoover.
The peace delegation to Moscow. Notes
taken in shorthand in the session of the Finnish government
on March 9, 1940 (four days before the end of the war).
The Moscow Peace
Treaty of March 12, 1940 (Heninen). The Russian texts as
published in "Izvestiya" on March 14, 1940.
The Commander-in-Chief's Order of
March 14, 1940. Field Marshal C.G.E.
Mannerheim gave this order a day after the Winter War was
ended. In Russian as
a contemporary NKVD translation. Order of the Soviet Military Council
of the North-Western front on March 14, 1940. Urho Kekkonen's, MP,
later President of Finland 1956-1981, speech in the
Finnish Parliament, March 15, 1940.
announcements and debates on the Winter War: The Prime
Chamberlain, informed the House of Commons on Nov. 30, 1939,
members of the Parliament seeked support to Finland (e.g. Dec.
13, 1939 and Feb.
1, 1940). When the war ended on March. 13, 1940, the Prime
Chamberlain, gave a statement in the House of Commons and the
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Viscount
Halifax, in the House of Lords. (Hansard, the
Official Report of Debates in the British Parliament).
organ of the National Socialist Party of Germany,
"Völkischer Beobachter", comments
(in German) the peace treaty between the Soviet
Union and Finland, on March 14, 1940. In
English. Pravda's leading
article on March 13, 1940 (in Russian)
of the Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung on March 14, 1940 (in
A Report by V.M. Molotov,
for Foreign Affairs, at the VI session of the Supreme Soviet
on the good relationship between Germany and the Soviet Union, hostile
attitudes of the British and French governments, and the Winter War.
March 29, 1940. In
The exchange of
letters between Aleksi Lehtonen, Bishop of Tampere, and the
British Foreign Secretary, Lord Halifax, on April 1 and 10, 1940 (British
enacted by the Finnish Parliament, concerning compensation for property
left in the areas ceded to the Soviet Union. August 9, 1940. The total
area lost was 35,000 sq.km (ab. 9 per cent of the Finnish territory).
The entire population, consisting of 422,000 people, was resettled
elsewhere in Finland and compensated, in means available, for their
losses by this law.
Finland after 1940. Documents of 1941-1948
comments or suggestions will be welcomed and appreciated .
Copyright of the digitized form of the text owned by Pauli Kruhse.
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