1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Finland
FINLAND (Finnish, Suomi or Suomenmaa), a grand-duchy governed subject to its own constitution by the emperor of Russia as grand-duke of Finland. It is situated between the gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, and includes, moreover, a large territory in Lapland. It touches at its south-eastern extremity the government of St Petersburg, includes the northern half of Lake Ladoga, and is separated from the Russian governments of Arkhangelsk and Olonets by a sinuous line which follows, roughly speaking, the water-parting between the rivers flowing into the Baltic Sea and the White Sea. In the north of the Gulf of Bothnia it is separated from Sweden and Norway by a broken line which takes the course of the valley of the Torneå river up to its sources, thus falling only 21 m. short of reaching the head of Norwegian Lyngen-fjord; then it runs south-east and north-east down the Tana and Pasis-joki, but does not reach the Ocean, and 13 m. from the Varanger-fjord it turns southwards. Finland includes in the south-west the Åland archipelago—its frontier approaching within 8 m. from the Swedish coast—as well as the islands of the Gulf of Finland, Hogland, Tytärs, &c. Its utmost limits are: 59° 48′—70° 6′ N., and 19° 2′—32° 50′ E. The area of Finland, in square miles, is as follows (Altas de Finlande, 1899):—
|St Michel||5,652||1018||. .||2,149||8,819|
Orography.—A line drawn from the head of the Gulf of Bothnia to the eastern coast of Lake Ladoga divides Finland into two distinct parts, the lake region and the nearly uninhabited hilly tracts belonging to the Kjölen mountains, to the plateau of the Kola peninsula, and to the slopes of the plateau which separates Finland proper from the White Sea. At the head-waters of the Torneå, Finland penetrates as a narrow strip into the heart of the highlands of Kjölen (the Keel), where the Haldefjäll (Lappish, Halditjokko) reaches 4115 ft. above the sea, and is surrounded by other fjälls, or flat-topped summits, of from 3300 to 3750 ft. of altitude. Extensive plateaus (1500–1750 ft.), into which Lake Enare, or Inari, and the valleys of its tributaries are deeply sunk, and which take the character of a mountain region in the Saariselkä (highest summit, 2360 ft.), occupy the remainder of Lapland. Along the eastern border the dreary plateaus of Olonets reach on Finnish territory altitudes of from 700 to 1000 ft. Quite different is the character of the pentagonal space comprised between the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, Lake Ladoga, and the above-mentioned line traced through the lakes Uleå and Piellis. The meridional ridges which formerly used to be traced here along the main water-partings do not exist in reality, and the country appears on the hypsometrical map in the Atlas de Finlande as a plateau of 350 ft. of average altitude, covered with countless lakes, lying at altitudes of from 250 to 300 ft. The three main lake-basins of Näsi-järvi, Päjäne and Saima are separated by low and flat hills only; but one sees distinctly appearing on the map a line of flat elevations running south-west to north-east along the north-west border of the lake regions from Lauhanvuori to Kajana, and reaching from 650 to 825 ft. of altitude. A regular gentle slope leads from these hills to the Gulf of Bothnia (Osterbotten), forming vast prairie tracts in its lower parts.
A notable feature of Finland are the åsar or narrow ridges of morainic deposits, more or less reassorted on their surfaces. Some of them are relics of the longitudinal moraines of the ice-sheet, and they run north-west to south-east, parallel to the striation of the rocks and to the countless parallel troughs excavated by the ice in the hard rocks in the same direction; while the Lojo ås, which runs from Hangöudd to Vesi-järvi, and is continued farther east under the name of Salpauselliä, parallel to the shore of the Gulf of Finland, are remainders of the frontal moraines, formed at a period when the ice-sheet remained for some time stationary during its retreat. As a rule these forest-clothed åsar rise from 30 to 60 and occasionally 120 ft. above the level of the surrounding country, largely adding to the already great picturesqueness of the lake region; railways are traced in preference along them.
Lakes and Rivers.—A labyrinth of lakes, covering 11% of the aggregate territory, and connected by short and rapid streams (fjården), covers the surface of South Finland, offering great facilities for internal navigation, while the connecting streams supply an enormous amount of motive-power. The chief lakes are: Lake Ladoga, of which the northern half belongs to Finland; Saima (three and a half times larger than Lake Leman), whose outlet, the Vuoksen, flows into Lake Ladoga, forming the mighty Imatra rapids, while the lake itself is connected by means of a sluiced canal with the Gulf of Finland; the basins of Pyhä-selkä, Ori-vesi and Piellis-järvi; Päjäne, surrounded by hundreds of smaller lakes, and the waters of which are discharged into the lower gulf through the Kymmene river; Näsi-järvi and Pyhä-järvi, whose outflow is the Kumo-elf, flowing into the Gulf of Bothnia; Uleå-träsk, discharged by the Uleå into the same gulf; and Enare, belonging to the basin of the Arctic Ocean. Two large rivers, Kemi and Torneå, enter the head of the Gulf of Bothnia, while the Uleå is now navigable throughout, owing to improvements in its channel.
Geology.—Cambrian, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous deposits are found on the coasts of the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, and also along the coasts of the Arctic Ocean (probably Devonian), and in the Kjölen. Eruptive rocks of Palaeozoic age are met with in the Kola peninsula (nepheline-syenites) and at Kuusamo (syenite). The remainder of Finland is built up of the oldest known crystalline rocks belonging to the Archaeozoic or Algonkian period. The most ancient of these seem to be the granites of East Finland. The denudation and destruction of the granites gave rise to the Ladoga schists and various deposits of the same period, which were subsequently strongly folded. Then the country came once more under the sea, and the debris of the previous formations, mixed with fragments from the volcanoes then situated in West Finland, formed the so-called Bothnian series. New masses of granites protruded next from underneath, and the Bothnian deposits underwent foldings in their turn, while denudation was again at work on a grand scale. A new series of Jatulian deposits was formed and a new system of foldings followed; but these were the last in this part of the globe. The Jotnian series, which were formed next, remain still undisturbed. It is to this series that the well-known Rapakivi granite of Åland, Nystad and Viborg belongs. No marine deposits younger than those just mentioned—all belonging to a pre-Cambrian epoch—are found in the central portion of Finland; and the greater part of the country has probably been dry land since Palaeozoic times. The whole of Finland is covered with Glacial and post-Glacial deposits. The former of these, representing the bottom-moraine of the ice-sheet, are covered with Glacial and post-Glacial clays (partly of lacustrine and partly of marine origin) only in the peripheral coast-region—or in separate areas in the interior depressions. Some Finnish geologists—Sederholm for one—consider it probable that during the Glacial period an Arctic sea (Yoldia sea) covered all southern Finland and also Scania (Skåne) in Sweden, thus connecting the Atlantic Ocean with the Baltic and the White Sea by a broad channel; but no fossils from that sea have been found anywhere in Finland. Conclusive proofs, however, of a later submergence under a post-Glacial Littorina sea (containing shells now living in the Baltic) are found up to 150 ft. along the Gulf of Finland, and up to 260, or perhaps 330 ft., in Osterbotten. Traces of a large inner post-Glacial lake, similar to Lake Agassiz of North America, have been discovered. The country is still continuing to rise, but at an unequal rate; of nearly 3.3 ft. in a century in the Gulf of Bothnia (Kvarken), from 1.4 to 2 ft. in the south, and nearly zero in the Baltic provinces.
Climate.—Owing to the prevalence of moist west and south-west winds the climate of Finland is less severe than it is farther east in corresponding latitudes. The country lies thus between the annual isotherms of 41° and 28° Fahr., which run in a W.N.W.-E.S.E. direction. In January the average monthly temperature varies from 9° Fahr. about Lake Enare to 30° along the south coast; while in July the difference between the monthly averages is only eight degrees, being 53° in the north and 61° in the south-east. Everywhere, and especially in the interior, the winter lasts very long, and early frosts (June 12-14 in 1892) often destroy the crops. The amount of rain and snow is from 251 in. along the south coast to 13.8 in. in the interior of southern Finland.
Flora, Forests, Fauna.—The flora of Finland has been most minutely explored, especially in the south, and the Finnish botanists were enabled to divide the country into twenty-eight different provinces, giving the numbers of phanerogam species for each province. These numbers vary from 318 to 400 species in Lapland, from 508 to 651 in Karelia, and attain 752 species for Finland proper; while the total for all Finland attains 1132 species. Alpine plants are not met with in Finland proper, but are represented by from 32 to 64 species in the Kola peninsula. The chief forest trees of Finland are the Scotch fir (Pinus sylvestris, L.), the fir (Picea excelsa, Link.); two species of birch (B. verrucosa, Ehrh., and B. odorata, Bechst.), as well as the birch-bush (B. nana); two species of Alnus (glutinosa and incana); the oak (Q. pedunculata, Ehrh.), which grows only on the south coast; the poplar (Populus tremula); and the Siberian larch, introduced in culture in the 18th century. Over 6,000,000 trees are cut every year to be floated to thirty large saw-mills, and about 1,000,000 to be transformed into paper pulp. The total export of timber was valued in 1897 at 82,160,000 marks. It is estimated, however, that the domestic use of wood (especially for fuel) represents nearly five times as many cubic feet as the wood used for export in different shapes. The total area under forests is estimated at 63,050,000 acres, of which 34,662,000 acres belong to the state. The fauna has been explored in great detail both as regards the vertebrates and the invertebrates, and specialists will find the necessary bibliographical indications in Travaux géographiques en Finlande, published for the London Geographical Congress of 1895.
Population.—The population of Finland, which was 429,912 in 1751, 832,659 in 1800, 1,636,915 in 1850, and 2,520,437 in 1895, was 2,712,562 in 1904, of whom 1,370,480 were women and 1,342,082 men. Of these only 341,602 lived in towns, the remainder in the country districts. The distribution of population in various provinces was as follows:—
The number of births in 1904 was 90,253 and the deaths 50,227, showing an excess of births over deaths of 40,026. Emigration was estimated at about three thousand every year before 1898, but it largely increased then owing to Russian encroachments on Finnish autonomy. In 1899 the emigrants numbered 12,357; 10,642 in 1900; 12,659 in 1901; and 10,952 in 1904.
The bulk of the population are Finns (2,352,990 in 1904) and Swedes (349,733). Of Russians there were only 5939, chiefly in the provinces of Viborg and Nyland. Both Finns and Swedes belong to the Lutheran faith, there being only 46,466 members of the Greek Orthodox Church and 755 Roman Catholics.
The leading cities of Finland are: Helsingfors, capital of the grand-duchy and of the province (län) of Nyland, principal seaport (111,654 inhabitants); Åbo, capital of the Åbo-Björneborg province and ancient capital of Finland (42,639); Tammerfors, the leading manufacturing town of the grand-duchy (40,261); Viborg, chief town of province of same name, important seaport (34,672); Uleåborg, capital of province (17,737); Vasa, or Nikolaistad, capital of Vasa län (18,028); Björneborg (16,053); Kuopio, capital of province (13,519); and Tavastehus, capital of province of the same name (5545).
Industries.—Agriculture gives occupation to the large majority of the population, but of late the increase of manufactures has been marked. Dairy-farming is also on the increase, and the foreign exports of butter rose from 1930 cwt. in 1900 to 3130 cwt. in 1905. Measures have been taken since 1892 for the improvement of agriculture, and the state keeps twenty-six agronomists and instructors for that purpose. There are two high schools, one experimental station, twenty-two middle schools and forty-eight lower schools of agriculture, besides ten horticultural schools. Agricultural societies exist in each province.
Fishing is an important item of income. The value of exports of fish, &c., was £140,000 in 1904, but fish was also imported to the value of £61,300. The manufacturing industries (wood-products, metallurgy, machinery, textiles, paper and leather) are of modern development, but the aggregate production approaches one and a half millions sterling in value.
Some gold is obtained in Lapland on the Ivalajoki, but the output, which amounted in 1871 to 56,692 grammes, had fallen in 1904 to 1951 grammes. There is also a small output of silver, copper and iron. The last is obtained partly from mines, but chiefly from the lakes. In 1904 22,050 tons of cast iron were obtained. The textile industries are making rapid progress, and their produce, notwithstanding the high duties, is exported to Russia. The fabrication of paper out of wood is also rapidly growing. As to the timber trade, there are upwards of 500 saw-mills, employing 21,000 men, and with an output valued at over £3,000,000 annually.
Communications.—The roads, attaining an aggregate length of 27,500 m., are kept as a rule in very good order. The first railway was opened in l862 and the next, from Helsingfors to St Petersburg, in 1870 (cost only £4520 per mile). Railways of a lighter type began to be built since 1877, and now Finland has about 2100 m. of railway, mostly belonging to the state. The gross income from the state railways is 26,607,622, and the net income 4,684,856 marks. Finland has an extensive and well-kept system of canals, of which the sluiced canal connecting Lake Saima with the Gulf of Finland is the chief one. It permits ships navigating the Baltic to penetrate 270 m. inland, and is passed every year by from 4980 to 5200 vessels. Considerable works have also been made to connect the different lakes and lake-basins for inland navigation, a sum of £1,000,000 having been spent for that purpose.
The telegraphs chiefly belong to Russia. Telephones have an enormous extension both in the towns and between the different towns of southern Finland; the cost of the yearly subscription varies from 40 to 60 marks, and is only 10 marks in the smaller towns.
Commerce.—The foreign trade of Finland increases steadily, and reached in 1904 the following values:—
| From or to
|From or to
The chief trade of Finland is with Russia, and next with Great Britain, Germany, Denmark, France and Sweden. The main imports are: cereals and flour (to an annual value exceeding £3,000,000), metals, machinery, textile materials and textile products. The chief articles of export are: timber and wood articles (£5,250,000), paper and paper pulp, some tissues, metallic goods, leather, &c. The chief ports are Helsingfors, Åbo, Viborg, Hangö and Vasa.
Education.—Great strides have been made since 1866, when a new education law was passed. Rudimentary teaching in reading, occasionally writing, and the first principles of Lutheran faith are given in the maternal house, or in “maternal schools,” or by ambulatory schools under the control of the clergy, who make the necessary examination in the houses of every parish. All education above that level is in the hands of the educational department and school boards elected in each parish, each rural parish being bound (since 1898) to be divided into a proper number of school districts and to have a school in each of them, the state contributing to these expenses 800 marks a year for each male and 600 marks for each female teacher, or 25% of the total cost in urban communes. Secondary education, formerly instituted on two separate lines, classical and scientific, has been reformed so as to give more prominence to scientific education, even in the classical (linguistic) lyceums or gymnasia. For higher education there is the university of Helsingfors (formerly the Åbo Academy), which in 1906 had 1921 students (328 women) and 141 professors and docents. Besides the Helsingfors polytechnic there are a number of higher and lower technical, commercial and navigation schools. Finland has several scientific societies enjoying a world-wide reputation, as the Finnish Scientific Society, the Society for the Flora and Fauna of Finland, several medical societies, two societies of literature, the Finno-Ugrian Society, the Historical and Archaeological Societies, one juridical, one technical and two geographical societies. All of these, as also the Finnish Geological Survey, the Forestry Administration, &c., issue publications well known to the scientific world. The numerous local branches of the Friends of the Folk-School and the Society for Popular Education display great activity, the former by aiding the smaller communes in establishing schools, and the latter in publishing popular works, starting their own schools as well as free libraries (in nearly every commune), and organizing lectures for the people. The university students take a lively part in this work.
Government and Administration.—From the time of its union with Russia at the Diet of Borgå in 1809 till the events of 1899 (see History) Finland was practically a separate state, the emperor of Russia as grand-duke governing by means of a nominated senate and a diet elected on a very narrow franchise, and meeting at distant and irregular intervals. This diet was on the old Swedish model, consisting of representatives of the four estates nobility,—clergy, burghers and peasants—sitting and voting in separate “Houses.” The government of the country was practically carried on by the senate, which communicated with St Petersburg through a Finnish secretary attached to the Russian government. War and foreign affairs were entirely in the hands of Russia, and a Russian governor had his residence in Helsingfors. The senate also controlled the administration of the law; The constitutional conflict of 1899-1905 brought about something like a revolution in Finland. For some years the country was subject to a practically arbitrary form of government, but the disasters of the Russo-Japanese War and the growing anarchy in Russia resulted in 1905 in a complete and peaceful victory for the defenders of the Finnish constitution. As a Finnish writer puts it: “just as the calamities which had befallen Finland came from Russia, so was her deliverance to come from Russia.” The status quo ante was restored, the diet met in extraordinary session, and proceeded to the entire recasting of the Finnish government. Freedom of the press was voted, and the diet next proceeded to reform its own constitution. Far-reaching changes were voted. The new diet, instead of being composed of four estates sitting separately, consists of a single chamber of 200 members elected directly by universal suffrage, women being eligible. By the new constitution the grand-duchy was to be divided into not less than twelve and not more than eighteen constituencies, electing members in proportion to population. A scheme of “proportional representation,” the votes being counted in accordance with the system invented by G. M. d'Hondt, a Belgian, was also adopted. The executive was to consist of a minister-secretary of state and of the members of the senate, who were entitled to attend and address the diet and who might be the subject of interpellations. The members of the senate were made responsible to the diet as well as to the emperor-grand-duke for their acts. The diet has power to consider and decide upon measures proposed by the government. After a measure has been approved by the diet it is the duty of the senate to report upon it to the sovereign. But the senate is not obliged to accept the decision of the majority of the diet, nor, apparently, is the sovereign bound to accept the advice of the senate. The first elections, April 1907, resulted in the election to the diet of about 40% representatives of the Social Democratic party, and nineteen women members. The budget of Finland in 1905 was £4,273,970 of “ordinary” revenue. The “ordinary” expenditure was £3,595,300. The public debt amounted at the end of 1905 to £5,611,170.
History.—It was probably at the end of the 7th or the beginning of the 8th century that the Finns took possession of what is now Finland, though it was only when Christianity was introduced, about 1157, that they were brought into contact with civilized Europe. They probably found the Lapps in possession of the country. The early Finlanders do not seem to have had any governmental organization, but to have lived in separate communities and villages independent of each other. Their mythology consisted in the deification of the forces of nature, as “Ukko,” the god of the air, “Tapio,” god of the forests, “Ahti,” the god of water, &c. These early Finlanders seem to have been both brave and troublesome to their neighbours, and their repeated attacks on the coast of Sweden drew the attention of the kings of that country. King Eric IX. (St Eric), accompanied by the bishop of Upsala, Henry (an Englishman, it is said), and at the head of a considerable army, invaded the country in 1157, when the people were conquered and baptized. King Eric left Bishop Henry with his priests and some soldiers behind to confirm the conquest and complete the conversion. After a time he was killed, canonized, and as St Henry became the patron saint of Finland. As Sweden had to attend to her own affairs, Finland was gradually reverting to independence and paganism, when in 1209 another bishop and missionary, Thomas (also an Englishman), arrived and recommenced the work of St Henry. Bishop Thomas nearly succeeded in detaching Finland from Sweden, and forming it into a province subject only to the pope. The famous Birger Jarl undertook a crusade in Finland in 1249, compelling the Tavastians, one of the subdivisions of the Finlanders proper, to accept Christianity, and building a castle at Tavestehus. It was Torkel Knutson who conquered and connected the Karelian Finlanders in 1293, and built the strong castle of Viborg. Almost continuous wars between Russia and Sweden were the result of the conquest of Finland by the latter. In 1323 it was settled that the river Rajajoki should be the boundary between Russia and the Swedish province. After the final conquest of the country by the Swedes, they spread among the Finlanders their civilization, gave them laws, accorded them the same civil rights as belonged to themselves, and introduced agriculture and other beneficial arts. The Reformed religion was introduced into Finland by Gustavus Vasa about 1528, and King John III. raised the country to the dignity of a grand-duchy. It continued to suffer, sometimes deplorably, in most of the wars waged by Sweden, especially with Russia and Denmark. His predecessor having created an order of nobility,—counts, barons and nobles, Gustavus Adolphus in the beginning of the 17th century established the diet of Finland, composed of the four orders of the nobility, clergy, burghers and peasants. Gustavus and his successor did much for Finland by founding schools and gymnasia, building churches, encouraging learning and introducing printing. During the reign of Charles XI. (1692-1696) the country suffered terribly from famine and pestilence; in the diocese of Åbo alone 60,000 persons died in less than nine months. Finland has been visited at different periods since by these scourges; so late as 1848 whole villages were starved during a dreadful famine. Peter the Great cast an envious eye on Finland and tried to wrest it from Sweden; in 1710 he managed to obtain possession of the towns of Kexholm and Villmanstrand; and by 1716 all the country was in his power. Meantime the sufferings of the people had been great; thousands perished in the wars of Charles XII. By the peace of Nystad in 1721 the province of Viborg, the eastern division of Finland, was finally ceded to Russia. But the country had been laid very low by war, pestilence and famine, though it recovered itself with wonderful rapidity. In 1741 the Swedes made an effort to recover the ceded province, but through wretched management suffered disaster, and were compelled to capitulate in August 1742, ceding by the peace of Åbo, next year, the towns of Villmanstrand and Fredrikshamn. Nothing remarkable seems to have occurred till 1788, under Gustavus III., who began to reign in 1771, and who confirmed to Finland those “fundamental laws” which they have succeeded in maintaining against kings and tsars for over two centuries. The country was divided into six governments, a second superior court of justice was founded at Vasa, many new towns were built, commerce flourished, and science and art were encouraged. Latin disappeared as the academic language, and Swedish was adopted. In 1788 war again broke out between Sweden and Russia, and was carried on for two years without much glory or gain to either party, the main aim of Gustavus being to recover the lost Finnish province. In 1808, under Gustavus IV., peace was again broken between the two countries, and the war ended by the cession in 1809 of the whole of Finland and the Åland Islands to Russia. Finland, however, did not enter Russia as a conquered province, but, thanks to the bravery of her people after they had been abandoned by an incompetent monarch and treacherous generals, and not less to the wisdom and generosity of the emperor Alexander I. of Russia, she maintained her free constitution and fundamental laws, and became a semi-independent grand-duchy with the emperor as grand-duke. The estates were summoned to a free diet at Borgå and accepted Alexander as grand-duke of Finland, he on his part solemnly recognizing the Finnish constitution and undertaking to preserve the religion, laws and liberties of the country. A senate was created and a governor-general named. The province of Viborg was reunited to Finland in 1811, and Åbo remained the capital of the country till 1821, when the civil and military authorities were removed to Helsingfors, and the university in 1827. The diet, which had not met for 56 years, was convoked by Alexander II. at Helsingfors in 1863. Under Alexander II. Finland was on the whole prosperous and progressive, and his statue in the great square in front of the cathedral and the senate house in Helsingfors testifies to the regard in which his memory is cherished by his Finnish subjects. Unfortunately his successor soon fell under the influence of the reactionary party which had begun to assert itself in Russia even before the assassination of Alexander II. One of Alexander III.'s first acts was to confirm “the constitution which was granted to the grand-duchy of Finland by His Majesty the emperor Alexander Pavlovich of most glorious memory, and developed with the consent of the estates of Finland by our dearly beloved father of blessed memory the emperor Alexander Nicolaievich.” But the Slavophil movement, with its motto, “one law, one church, one tongue,” acquired great influence in official circles, and its aim was, in defiance of the pledges of successive tsars, to subject Finland to Orthodoxy and autocracy. It is unnecessary to follow in detail the seven years' struggle between the Russian bureaucracy and the defenders of the Finnish constitution. Politics in Finland were complicated by the rivalry between the Swedish party, which had hitherto been dominant in Finland, and the Finnish “nationalist” party which, during the latter half of the 19th century, had been determinedly asserting itself linguistically and politically. With some exceptions, however, the whole country united in defence of its constitution; “Fennoman” and “Svecoman,” recognizing that their common liberties were at stake, suspended their feud for a season. With the accession of Nicholas II. (see Russia) the constitutional conflict became acute, and the “February manifesto” (February 15th, 1899) virtually abrogated the legislative power of the Finnish diet. A new military law, practically amalgamating the Finnish with the Russian forces, followed in July 1901; Russian officials and the Russian language were forced on Finland wherever possible, and in April 1903 the Russian governor, General Bobrikov, was invested with practically dictatorial powers. The country was flooded with spies, and a special Russian police force was created, the expenses being charged to the Finnish treasury. The Russian system was now in full swing; domiciliary visits, illegal arrests and banishments, and the suppression of newspapers, were the order of the day. To all this the people of Finland opposed a dogged and determined resistance, which culminated in November 1905 in a “national strike.” The strike was universal, all classes joining in the movement, and it spread to all the industrial centres and even to the rural districts. The railway, steamship, telephone and postal services were practically suspended. Helsingfors was without tramcars, cabs, gas and electricity; no shops except provision shops were open; public departments, schools and restaurants were closed. After six days the unconstitutional government—already much shaken by events in Russia and Manchuria—capitulated. In an imperial manifesto dated the 7th of November 1905 the demands of Finland were granted, and the status quo ante 1899 was restored.
But the reform did not rest here. The old Finnish constitution, although precious to those whose only protection it was, was an antiquated and not very efficient instrument of government. Popular feeling had been excited by the political conflict, advanced tendencies had declared themselves, and when the new diet met it proceeded as explained above to remodel the constitution, on the basis of universal suffrage, with freedom of the press, speech, meeting and association.
In 1908-10 friction with Russia was again renewed. The Imperial government insisted that the decision in all Finnish questions affecting the Empire must rest with them; and a renewed attempt was made to curtail the powers of the Finnish Diet.
Ethnology.—The term Finn has a wider application than Finland, being, with its adjective Finnic or Finno-Ugric (q.v.) or Ugro-Finnic, the collective name of the westernmost branch of the Ural-Altaic family, dispersed throughout Finland, Lapland, the Baltic provinces (Esthonia, Livonia, Curland), parts of Russia proper (south of Lake Onega), both banks of middle Volga, Perm, Vologda, West Siberia (between the Ural Mountains and the Yenissei) and Hungary.
Originally nomads (hunters and fishers), all the Finnic people except the Lapps and Ostyaks have long yielded to the influence of civilization, and now everywhere lead settled lives as herdsmen, agriculturists, traders, &c. Physically the Finns (here to be distinguished from the Swedish-speaking population, who retain their Scandinavian qualities) are a strong, hardy race, of low stature, with almost round head, low forehead, flat features, prominent cheek bones, eyes mostly grey and oblique (inclining inwards), short and flat nose, protruding mouth, thick lips, neck very full and strong, so that the occiput seems flat and almost in a straight line with the nape; beard weak and sparse, hair no doubt originally black, but, owing to mixture with other races, now brown, red and even fair; complexion also somewhat brown. The Finns are morally upright, hospitable, faithful and submissive, with a keen sense of personal freedom and independence, but also somewhat stolid, revengeful and indolent. Many of these physical and moral characteristics they have in common with the so-called “Mongolian” race, to which they are no doubt ethnically, if not also linguistically, related.
Considerable researches have been accomplished since about 1850 in the ethnology and archaeology of Finland, on a scale which has no parallel in any other country. The study of the prehistoric population of Finland—Neolithic (no Palaeolithic finds have yet been made)—of the Age of Bronze and the Iron Age has been carried on with great zeal. At the same time the folklore, Finnish and partly Swedish, has been worked out with wonderful completeness (see L'Œuvre demi-séculaire de la Société de Littérature finnoise et le mouvement national finnois, by Dr E. G. Palmén, Helsingfors, 1882, and K. Krohn's report to the London Folklore Congress of 1891). The work that was begun by Porthan, Z. Topelius, and especially E. Lönnrot (1802-1884), for collecting the popular poetry of the Finns, was continued by Castrén (1813-1852), Europaeus (1820-1884), and V. Porkka (1854-1889), who extended their researches to the Finns settled in other parts of the Russian empire, and collected a considerable number of variants of the Kalewala and other popular poetry and songs. In order to study the different eastern kinsfolk of the Finns, Sjögren (1792-1855) extended his journeys to North Russia, and Castrén to West and East Siberia (Nordische Reisen und Forschungen), and collected the materials which permitted himself and Schiefner to publish grammatical works relative to the Finnish, Lappish, Zyrian, Tcheremiss, Ostiak, Samoyede, Tungus, Buryat, Karagas, Yenisei-Ostiak and Kott languages. Ahlqvist (1826-1889), and a phalanx of linguists, continued their work among the Vogules, the Mordves and the Obi-Ugrians. And finally, the researches of Aspelin (Foundations of Finno-Ugrian Archaeology, in Finnish, and Atlas of Antiquities) led the Finnish ethnologists to direct more and more their attention to the basin of the Yenisei and the Upper Selenga. A series of expeditions (of Aspelin, Snellman and Heikel) were consequently directed to those regions, especially since the discovery by Yadrintseff of the remarkable Orkhon inscriptions (see Turks, p. 473), which finally enabled the Danish linguist, V. Thomsen, to decipher these inscriptions, and to discover that they belonged to the Turkish Iron Age. (See Inscriptions de l'Iénissei recueillies et publiées par la Société Finl. d'Archéologie, 1889, and Inscriptions de l'Orkhon, 1892.)
Authorities.—The general history of Finland is fully treated by Yrjö Koskinen (1869-1873) and M. G. Schybergson (1887-1889). Both works have been translated into German. The constitutional conflict gave rise to a host of books and pamphlets in various languages. Mechelin, Danielson and Hermanson were the leading writers on the Finnish side, and M. Ordin on the Russian. Most of the political documents have been published and translated. A finely illustrated book, Finland in the Nineteenth Century, by various Finnish writers, gives an excellent account of the country; also Reuter's Finlandia, a very complete work with an exhaustive bibliography. The constitutional question was fully discussed in English in Finland and the Tsars, by J. R. Fisher (2nd ed., 1900). The Atlas de Finlande, published in 1899 by the Geographical Society of Finland, is a remarkably well executed and complete work. The Statistical Annual for Finland—Statistisk Arsbok för Finland—published annually by the Central Statistical Bureau in Helsingfors, gives the necessary figures. (P. A. K.; J. S. K.; J. R. F.*)
The earliest writer in the Finnish vernacular was Michael Agricola (1506-1557), who published an A B C Book in 1544, and, as bishop of Åbo, a number of religious and educational works. A version of the New Testament in Finnish was printed by Agricola in 1548, and some books of the Old Testament in 1552. A complete Finnish Bible was published at Stockholm in 1642. The dominion of the Swedes was very unfavourable to the development of anything like a Finnish literature, the poets of Finland preferring to write in Swedish and so secure a wider audience. It was not until, in 1835, the national epos of Finland, the Kalewala (q.v.), was introduced to readers by the exertions of Elias Lönnrot (q.v.), that the Finnish language was used for literary composition. Lönnrot also collected and edited the works of the peasant-poets P. Korhonen (1775-1840) and Pentti Lyytinen, with an anthology containing the improvisations of eighteen other rustic bards. During the last quarter of the 19th century there was an ever-increasing literary activity in Finland, and it took the form less and less of the publication of Swedish works, but more and more that of examples of the aboriginal vernacular. At the present time, in spite of the political troubles, books in almost every branch of research are found in the language, mainly translations or adaptations. We meet with, during the present century, a considerable number of names of poets and dramatists, no doubt very minor, as also painters, sculptors and musical composers. At the Paris International Exhibition of 1878 several native Finnish painters and sculptors exhibited works which would do credit to any country; and both in the fine and applied arts Finland occupied a position thoroughly creditable. An important contribution to a history of Finnish literature is Krohn’s Suomenkielinen runollisuns ruotsinvallan aikana (1862). Finland is wonderfully rich in periodicals of all kinds, the publications of the Finnish Societies of Literature and of Sciences and other learned bodies being specially valuable. A great work in the revival of an interest in the Finnish language was done by the Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura (the Finnish Literary Society), which from the year 1841 has published a valuable annual, Suomi. The Finnish Literary Society has also published a new edition of the works of the father of Finnish history, Henry Gabriel Porthan (died 1804). A valuable handbook of Finnish history was published at Helsingfors in 1869–1873, by Yrjö Koskinen, and has been translated into both Swedish and German. The author was a Swede, Georg Forsman, the above form being a Finnish translation. Other works on Finnish history and some works in Finnish geography have also appeared. In language we have Lönnrot’s great Finnish-Swedish dictionary, published by the Finnish Literary Society. Dr Otto Donner’s Comparative Dictionary of the Finno-Ugric Languages (Helsingfors and Leipzig) is in German. In imaginative literature Finland has produced several important writers of the vernacular. Alexis Stenwall (“Kiwi”) (1834–1872), the son of a village tailor, was the best poet of his time; he wrote popular dramas and an historical romance, The Seven Brothers (1870). Among recent playwrights Mrs Minna Canth (1844–1897) has been the most successful. Other dramatists are E. F. Johnsson (1844–1895), P. Cajander (b. 1846), who translated Shakespeare into Finnish, and Karl Bergbom (b. 1843). Among lyric poets are J. H. Erkko (b. 1849), Arwi Jännes (b. 1848) and Yrjö Weijola (b. 1875). The earliest novelist of Finland, Pietari Päivärinta (b. 1827), was the son of a labourer; he is the author of a grimly realistic story, His Life. Many of the popular Finnish authors of our day are peasants. Kauppis Heikki was a wagoner; Alkio Filander a farmer; Heikki Maviläinen a smith; Juhana Kokko (Kyösti) a gamekeeper. The most gifted of the writers of Finland, however, is certainly Juhani Aho (b. 1861), the son of a country clergyman. His earliest writings were studies of modern life, very realistically treated. Aho then went to reside in France, where he made a close study of the methods of the leading French novelists of the newer school. About the year 1893 he began to publish short stories, some of which, such as Enris, The Fortress of Matthias, The Old Man of Korpela and Finland’s Flag, are delicate works of art, while they reveal to a very interesting degree the temper and ambitions of the contemporary Finnish population. It has been well said that in the writings of Juhani Aho can be traced all the idiosyncrasies which have formed the curious and pathetic history of Finland in recent years. A village priest, Juho Reijonen (b. 1857), in tales of somewhat artless form, has depicted the hardships which poverty too often entails upon the Finn in his country life. Tolstoy has found an imitator in Arwid Järnefelt (b. 1861). Santeri Ingman (b. 1866) somewhat naïvely, but not without skill, has followed in the steps of Aho. It would be an error to exaggerate either the force or the originality of these early developments of a national Finnish literature, which, moreover, are mostly brief and unambitious in character. But they are eminently sincere, and they have the great merit of illustrating the local aspects of landscape and temperament and manners.
Authorities.—E. G. Palmén, L’Œuvre demi-séculaire de la Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura, 1831–81 (Helsingfors, 1882); J. Krohn, Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden waiheet (Helsingfors, 1897); F. W. Pipping, Förteckning öfver böcker på finska språket (Helsingfors, 1856–1857); E. Brausewetter, Finland im Bilde seiner Dichtung und seiner Dichter (Berlin, 1899); C. J. Billson, Popular Poetry of the Finns (London, 1900); V. Vasenius, Öfversigt af Finlands Litteraturhistoria för skolor (Helsingfors, 1893). For writers using the Swedish language, see Sweden: Literature. (E. G.)
- The Finnish mark, markka, of 100 penni, equals about 9½d.