The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Finland

Edition of 1879. See also Finland on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

FINLAND (Fin. Suomema, region of lakes), a grand duchy in the northwest of the Russian empire, lying between lat. 59° 45′ and 70° N., and lon. 20° 50′ and 32° 50° E., bounded N. by the Norwegian province of Tromsö, E. by the Russian provinces of Archangel and Olonetz, S. by the gulf of Finland, and W. by the gulf of Bothnia and Sweden; area, 134,830 sq. m. The name of Finland was given to it by the Swedes. The läns or governments and their population in 1867 were as follows:

Nyland 174,388
Abo-Björneborg  319,784
Tavastehuus 170,264
Viborg 279,944
St. Michael 161,936
Kuopio 226,670
Vasa 313,109
Uleaborg 184,758

Total 1,830,853

The population comprises 125,000 Swedish Finns, 8,000 Russians, 1,000 Lapps, 1,000 gypsies, and 400 Germans, the rest being Finns proper. In December, 1870, the population amounted to only 1,732,621, showing a considerable decrease since 1867; as in several years, in consequence of famine and epidemics, the number of deaths largely exceeded that of births. There are 34 towns with an aggregate population of 135,000, constituting only 7.5 per cent. of the total population, a smaller percentage than is found in any other country of Europe. The most populous districts are along the coast; there are some tracts in the interior wholly uninhabited. The population of the whole country is about 13 to the square mile.—The S. coast of Finland is bordered with rocky islets, between which and the mainland are narrow and intricate channels difficult of navigation. The W. coast is generally low, but becomes very rocky near the Quarken, and in some parts is not less dangerous than the southern. Some of the islands, as those of Sveaborg, which command the entrance to the harbor of Helsingfors, are strongly fortified. The rivers are few and unimportant; the principal is the Kymmene, which flows into the gulf of Finland, and is broad and deep, but owing to cataracts is not navigable. The lakes, however, constitute a prominent feature in the geography of the country, being very numerous and occupying a large proportion of the territory. Independently of Lake Ladoga, which lies partly in Finland, the largest of these sheets of water are Lakes Saima and Enare. The communication between the various watersheds and the Finnish gulf has been established since 1854 by the lake of Saima. The surface is table land from 400 to 600 ft. above the level of the sea, with occasional higher elevations. The Maan Selkä mountains, which with their various branches traverse the north, rise to an altitude of about 2,400 ft. The principal geological formation is red granite with hard limestone and slate. The granite is soft and readily disintegrates. The soil is poor and stony, but long furnished considerably more grain than was required for home consumption. The climate is more severe than that of Sweden, although resembling it in many other respects. Dense fogs are frequent, and the rains in autumn are very heavy. In the southern provinces the winter lasts seven months. In the northern the sun disappears in December, and is not seen again until the middle of January; but during the short summer it is almost continually above the horizon.—The mineral products comprise bog iron, lead, sulphur, arsenic, and a little copper ore. Salt is very scarce, and is one of the principal articles of importation. The entire mineral produce of the country was in 1870 valued at $1,152,245. Among the fauna are the bear, wolf, elk, deer, beaver, polecat, and various kinds of game. Large herds of reindeer are domesticated in the north, and cattle breeding is a prominent branch of industry. Seals and herrings are caught off the coasts, and the lakes and streams abound in salmon and a small species of herring which form an important part of the food of the inhabitants. Finland was formerly called the granary of Sweden; but since the Russian conquest agricultural production is said to have declined. The chief crops are barley, rye, hops, hemp, flax, oats, leguminous plants, and potatoes. A little tobacco, carrots, colewort, parsnips, and onions are also grown. Wild berries are almost the only fruit. The forests are extensive, reaching N. to lat. 69°, consisting principally of pine and fir, but containing also beech, elm, oak, poplar, ash, and birch. These forests are one of the chief sources of national wealth, but have been much wasted by a system of manuring land with their ashes. The soil requires frequent stimulus, and when the cleared land ceases to produce sufficiently it is abandoned for other portions of soil, the timber of which is purposely burned. Much tar, pitch, and potash, however, as well as firewood, are still exported. The pasture lands are good, but ill managed.—Manufactures are chiefly domestic. The peasant prepares his own tar, potash, and charcoal, builds his own boat, makes his own chairs and tables, and in his cottage are woven the coarse woollen and other fabrics of which his dress is composed. But there are several cotton manufactories. In 1865 there were in Finland 32 manufactories of tobacco, 19 of glassware, 7 of paper, and various others. The aggregate produce of the Finnish manufactures in 1865 was valued at $2,962,880; the number of workmen employed was 6,946. The exports of Finland amounted in 1870 to $8,514,720 ($3,200,000 to Russia), and the imports to $7,848,480 ($2,769,600 from Russia). The chief articles of export were timber and wooden ware, butter, iron, corn, tar, and fish; the chief imports were coffee, iron, sugar, raw cotton, salt, tobacco, wine, and brandy. Of foreign countries, England ranks first as regards the exports of Finland, and Germany first as regards its imports. Finland has two banks: one national bank, Finlands Bank, established in 1811, and administered since 1868 by deputies of the diet; and one private, Föreningsbanken i Finland, founded in 1862, which in 1870 had branches in 17 towns. The commercial marine consisted in 1870 of 78 steamships and 504 sailing vessels, of 81,352 tons, manned by 5,742 sailors. The largest number of commercial vessels is owned by the town of Brahestad; next in order follow Abo, Nystad, Vasa, Uleaborg, and Jakobstad. Not included in the above number are 1,109 coasting vessels, of 52,054 tons. There is regular steamship connection all along the coast from St. Petersburg to Tornea, as well as on most of the lakes in the interior of the country. There are 14 lighthouses and 740 pilots distributed among 97 stations. The first railway was opened in 1862 between Helsingfors and Tavastehuus; in 1870 the railway between St. Petersburg and Helsingfors was completed, and in 1874 that between the former city and Hango. The entire length of the Finnish railways in 1871 was 298 m., of telegraph lines 1,686 m., and of telegraph wires 2,758 m. In 1869 a submarine telegraph was laid between Sweden and Finland, via the Aland islands.—With the exception of 41,000 Greek and 800 Roman Catholics, nearly the whole population are Lutherans, divided into three dioceses. The archbishop resides at Abo, the two bishops at Borga and Kuopio. Education receives considerable care, and the study of the Finnish language, which was much neglected while the country was subject to Sweden, is encouraged by the Russian government. Besides the Alexander university, transferred from Abo to Helsingfors, there are six gymnasiums, 13 superior elementary schools, and a military academy, and most of the parishes have primary schools. In 1864 a Finnish normal school was established at Jyväskylä; and in 1871 the establishment of two Swedish normal schools, one male and one female, was ordered. In 1872 the study of the Russian language in all state schools was made compulsory; up to that time it had been optional, and, from the aversion of the Finns to all that is Russian, generally neglected.—Since 1809 Finland has been united with the empire of Russia. Its fundamental laws are the Swedish constitution of 1772, and the act of union of 1789. These were confirmed by the emperor Alexander I., March 27, 1809; again by the emperor Nicholas, Dec. 24, 1825; and by Alexander II., March 4, 1855. The right of representation was regulated anew by a law in 1869. The government is administered by a governor general and a senate consisting of 14 members, half of whom are noble, and who are presided over by the governor general assisted by two vice presidents not included in the number of the members. The senators are named for three years by the emperor. The vice presidents are chiefs of the departments of justice and finance. The deliberations of the senate are held at Helsingfors, the modern capital. High courts of justice sit at Abo, Vasa, and Viborg. There is also a regular military court. Provincial governors reside at Helsingfors, Abo, Tavastehuus, Viborg, St. Michael, Kuopio, Vasa, and Uleaborg. These dignitaries are all, by the terms of the constitution, Finns, and a secretary of state for Finnish affairs resides at St. Petersburg, and is a member of the imperial council. A diet, composed like the former diet of Sweden of the four orders, nobility, clergy, burghers, and peasants, is a constitutional privilege of Finland, according to the imperial recognition. The troops of the army as well as of the navy consist of men who volunteer for a term of six years. In 1872 Finland had only a battalion of sharpshooters, consisting of 679 men; the marine troops numbered 100 men. The revenue in the general budget for 1871 amounted to $3,058,370, of which $363,440 were from real estate, $1,322,092 from customs, stamps, &c., $500,166 from casual dues, and $240,000 from tax on brandies, &c. The expenditures amounted to $2,736,499, of which $575,076 were for the civil administration, $205,440 for government, $475,937 for agriculture and commerce, and $512,110 for extraordinary expenditures. The revenue and the expenditure of the military budget amounted to $492,788 each. The clergy, part of the troops, and various civil functionaries receive their emoluments and pay from resources not included in the foregoing list of revenue; namely, from country parishes, or from government lands reserved for this purpose. These expenditures therefore do not appear in the general budget. The debt of the state in 1871 amounted to $8,309,000.—Less is known of early Finnish history than of that of any other European country. The inhabitants, pagans, were governed by their own independent kings until about the middle of the 12th century. Their piracies at this period so much harassed the Swedes, that St. Eric, king of the latter people, undertook a crusade against them, and introduced Christianity, and also probably planted Swedish colonists upon their coasts. The Swedes thus acquired a hold upon the country which they retained for several centuries. From this period down to 1809 the history of Finland is included in that of the kings of Sweden, during which the country was the frequent scene of Russian and Swedish wars. By the peace of Nystad (1721), three years after the death of Charles XII., the territory of Viborg, the eastern division of Finland, became definitively Russian. In 1741 the Swedes, hoping to repair their losses, declared war, but in a few months the whole of Finland was overrun by the Russians. In the following year, at Abo, Sweden ratified anew all her former cessions, yielding additional territory also, but recovered the principal duchy. In 1787 Gustavus III. began his great attempt to recover these losses and to humble his antagonist; but the results of the war added little glory to the Swedish arms. In 1808 a fresh invasion from Russia took place, and Sweden purchased peace by the cession of all Finland and the islands of Aland, Sept. 17, 1809. The Swedish language and customs during 750 years had taken such firm root that Russian dominion has been unable to modify them. Abo remains in some degree a Swedish city, and the removal of the seat of government to its rival Helsingfors (1819), and of the university (1827), has not contributed to Russianize the ancient capital. Indeed, at the present day Stockholm is for Abo much what St. Petersburg is for Helsingfors. During the whole period from 1809 to 1863 the Finnish diet was not convoked by the Russian government. On Sept. 18, 1863, the emperor Alexander opened the diet at Helsingfors, composed of 48 representatives of the rural population, 30 of the towns, 32 of the clergy, and 141 noblemen. The emperor promised that he would coöperate with this diet in the introduction of reasonable reforms. Several resolutions of the diet of 1863-'4, as well as of those which met in 1867 and 1872, have been sanctioned by the emperor. Besides the new electoral law, already referred to, a new church law for the Lutheran church of Finland was published in 1869. A new press law which had been adopted by the diet in 1864 was promulgated in 1865, and was to remain in force only till 1867; but as the diet of 1867 failed to agree on the proposed amendments, it remained in force till 1872, when all the four estates composing the diet declared in favor of the liberty of the press, which the government refused to concede. On April 12, 1872, the customs frontier between Finland and Russia was abolished.—Language and Literature. The Finnish language (Finnish, Suomen Kieli) is one of the chief branches of the Uralo-Finnish family; being, with the Esthic and Lappic collaterals, kindred to the languages of the Ugrians or eastern Turks, Osmanli Turks, Samoyeds, Tartars, Magyars, Mongols, and Tunguses, whose chief branch is the Mantchoos. All these, with some other tribes, constitute the family variously designated as Scythic, Turanian, Allophylic, Mongolian, or Uralo-Altaic. (See Ethnology, Finns, and Turanian Race and Languages.) The Kieli, which is spoken by more than 2,000,000 people, consists of many dialects, of which the principal are the lower, used along the coasts (except the islands and towns, where Swedes have settled), its Abo variety being the dialect used in books; the upper, or that of the inland region, divided into the sub-dialects of Ulea and Viborg, and the varieties of Karelia, Ingria, &c. The Suomic language is written with 23 Latin or German letters, of which two are repeated at the end of the alphabet with a diacritic sign, viz., ä, ö. It contains, however, but 19 genuine sounds, viz., 8 vowels and 11 consonants. The letters b, c, d, f, g occur only in a few foreign words and in some dialects. K, p, h are the most frequent initials, k, p, t the most frequent consonants, and sound a little softer than in other languages. The concurrence of consonants is avoided, so that the foreign words Francis, Stephen, school, stable become Rantsi, Tehvan, koulu, tallis. There are many diphthongs. Long vowels are written double. The hiatus is not avoided. A few themes end in consonants, but none in m. The rhythm of the language is trochaic, and the root bears the tone. Rask considers the Suomic to be the most harmonious of tongues. The radical, which precedes all other syllables, never undergoes any change in its beginning and middle. The theme is originally dissyllabic, and often corresponds to monosyllabic Magyar roots; thus: käsi, Magyar kéz, hand; sata, száz, 100; vesi, víz, water; veri, vér, blood; sana, szó, word; tyvi, , stem, &c. The various relations of nouns to one another, which in other languages are expressed both by cases and prepositions, are indicated by post-positions or suffixes, forming from the nominative, which is sometimes the theme with a changed final, 14 cases, of which 7 are simple, the others more full. There are two declensions. The object is indicated by the genitive, nominative, or partitive, according to the shade of meaning. Plurality is denoted for the nominative by suffixing t, and for the other cases by inserting i before their endings. In some instances a euphonic e is inserted before the endings. Vocal harmony is strictly observed between the vowels of the theme (in nouns as well as verbs), and for this purpose the vowels are distinguished into three groups, viz.: a, o, u; e, i; and ä, ö, y; those of the first and last never occurring in one word together, but being compatible with those of the middle one. Hence the vowels of the first and last group are converted reciprocally in the suffixes, in order to suit the vowels of the theme; for instance, maa-ta, land-part, but pää-tä, head-part. No language of this family has grammatic genders, but all indicate sexes either by distinct words or by epithets. The Magyar alone uses an article. The adjectives in Suomic are immutable, and are rendered comparative by suffixing mpa, mma, mlu, and superlative by inserting i before that termination. Nouns and adverbs receive an intenser meaning by inserting mpa and impa. The numerals are: 1, yksi; 2, kaksi; 3, kolme; 4, neljä; 5, viisi; 6, kuusi; 7, seit-semän; 8, kahdeksan; 9, yhdeksän; 10, kymmenen; 11, yksi-to ista-kymmentä; 20, kaksi-kymmentä; 30, kolmi-kymmentä; 100, sata; 1,000, tuhanen, tuhot. The personal pronouns are: minä, I; sinä, thou; hän, he, she; me, we; te, you; he, hevat, they. The possessive is formed by a suffix, as isä, a father; isäni, my father; isäs, thy father; isänsä, his father; isämme, our father; isänne, your father; isänänse, their father. The verbs have but two simple tenses, viz., the present and past, the others being periphrastic. Their conjugation is more complicated than in any other family of languages, expressing by certain syllables inserted between the theme and the personal suffixes all voices, modes, species, and other nice shades of meaning. The infinitive shares more than in any other language in the nature of a noun; it comprehends the Latin gerunds, supines, and other shades of sense, and is declinable. The Finnish language has no separable particles, and even affirmation is expressed by means of the auxiliary olen, I am, and negation by means of the verb e. By connecting several such significant syllables into one word, the most complicated ideas may be very precisely expressed, which often require many separate words in other languages. Derived words may be formed almost indefinitely. The construction is extremely free, as in Magyar, without endangering the clearness of the sense; as for instance:

 Katso   kylväjä   meni   kylvänään,  ja  kylväisänsä 
Lo! sower  went  sow-to,  and   sowing-while 
 lankesivat  muutamat tien oheen ja  linnut 
fell  some (seeds)   road's   edge-on,   and  birds
 tulivat,  ja söivät ne.
came  and   picked-up   them. 

The best grammars of the language are those of Juden (Viborg, 1818) and Koskinen (Abo, 1865), in Swedish. Finnish dictionaries have been published in Latin and Swedish by D. Justenius in 1745, Renvall in Latin, Swedish, and German (Abo, 1826), C. Helenius in Swedish (Abo, 1838), and E. Lönnrot (Helsingfors, 1853).—The national songs or runes of the Finns may be divided into mythological and lyrical songs. They are sung by Runolainen (song men), to the sound of the favorite national instrument, the kantele, a species of harp with five wire strings. They have also magic songs (Luvut), which are not sung but recited in a solemn measured tone. The songs, scattered among the people for generations past, and some of which had been published since the beginning of this century, were at length collected by Lönnrot and published at Helsingfors in 1835 under the title of Kalevala, which work is now regarded as the great national epic of Finland. So great was its success that the Finnish literary society took immediate measures for a more comprehensive collection, and the second edition, which appeared in 1849, contains 50 songs, with 22,790 verses, while the first edition contained only about half as many. A Swedish translation of the poem by Castrén (Helsingfors, 1844) was speedily followed by a French translation by Léouzon le Duc (2 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1845), and by a German translation by A. Schiefner (Helsingfors, 1852). Lönnrot has further collected about 600 ancient lyrical songs and 60 ballads (Kanteletar, Helsingfors, 1840); 7,077 proverbs (Suomen kansan sanalskuja, 1842); and about 2,200 charades (Suomen kansan orwoituksia, 2d ed., 1851); while Rudbäk has edited a collection of legends and tales (Suomen kansan satuja, Helsingfors, 1854), and Salmelainen has edited Suomen kansan satuja ja tarinoita, a collection of prose tales and proverbs (4 vols., Helsingfors, 1854-'62). There are many poets in Finland of Swedish descent, and Swedish works are often translated into Finnish. The most popular modern Finnish poet is a peasant named Paavo Korhonen. An edition of his songs was published at Helsingfors in 1848, under the auspices of Lönnrot. Next in rank is probably the poet Oksaselta, who published in 1860 Säkeniä, kokous runoutta. The prose literature of Finland was formerly devoted almost exclusively to religious and moral subjects. A Finnish translation of the New Testament by Michael Agricola appeared in 1548, and a portion of the Old Testament in 1552; but the whole Bible was not translated into Finnish until 1642. The literature of Finland has, however, passed through a remarkable development during the last few decades. There are now publications in the national tongue on almost every branch of scientific research. Works on linguistics have been published by Geitlin, Stjerncreutz and Rothman, Ahlman, and others; a translation of Tacitus's Germania by Blomstedt (1865), of the Poema del Cid by Estlander (1863), and of the Hindoo epos Ramayana, part Sitaharanam, by Donner (1865). Prominent historical works are: Yrjö Koskinen's Nuija-sota, &c. (1857 et seq.), Blomstedt's Kapina Kauhajoella (1862), and Pütz's Yleisen historian oppikirja (1865 et seq.). Krohn's Suomenkielinen runollisuus ruotsinvallan aikana (1862) is a valuable contribution toward a history of Finnish literature. Periodical literature is well represented by Maiden ya meren takaa (since 1864) and the Kirjallinen kuukaus lehti (since 1866).