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History - Permanent Mission of Finland, Geneva : About Finland : History

PERMANENT MISSION OF FINLAND, Geneva

Mission Permanente de la Finlande
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Finnish History

Finland’s history in a nutshell from the prehistoric era to the present day.

Early history

8500–6000 BC

First people arrive in Finland after the ice cap retreated.

97 AD

Fenni, the ancient north-eastern people are mentioned for the first time by Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus in his book Germania.

1155

The first missionaries arrive in Finland from Sweden. Finland became a part of the Swedish kingdom.

1200s

The oldest city in Finland, Turku, is founded.

1238-1239/
1258-1259

The second crusade to Finland. Relations between Finland and Sweden grow stronger. History researchers have been unable to date the crusade more exactly.

1323

Treaty of Nöteborg (Pähkinäsaaren rauha). Sweden comes out on top, as Sweden and the Novgorod Republic (a medieval Russian state) make peace. Eastern Finland is ceded to Novgorod and the western and southern parts of Finland to Sweden.

From 1500s to 1699

1527

Reformation takes place in Sweden and Sweden becomes a Lutheran country, thus making Finland Lutheran.

1543

The Reformation sets in motion a great increase in Finnish-language culture. The first book in Finnish, The ABC-kiria, is published. In 1548, the New Testament is published in Finnish.

1550

Helsinki is founded.

1618-1648

Sweden takes part in the Thirty Years’ War. Finnish light cavalrymen, hakkapeliitta, fight in the service of the Swedish king.

1640

The first university, The Royal Academy of Turku, is founded.

1617-1700

Sweden extends its realm around the Baltic and managed to push the Finnish border further east.

 1700s and 1800s

1700-1721

The Great Northern War is fought, (Suuri pohjan sota) a war between Sweden and Russia. Russia invades and occupies Finland from 1714 until the Treaty of Nystad (Uudenkaupngin rauha) 1721, which brings the Great Northern War to an end. Sweden suffers a heavy defeat.

The Treaty of Nystad shifts the European power balance. The Swedish imperial era is over, and Russia emerges as a new empire. Sweden cedes almost all its dominions except for Finland. Some eastern parts of Finland are ceded to Russia.

1741-1743

The Russo-Swedish War (Hattujen sota) ends in a peace treaty between Sweden and Russia. In the Treaty of Åbo (Turun rauha), Sweden cedes the eastern parts of Finland to Russia. Russia guarantees religious freedom, properties, laws and privileges of the inhabitants of ceded territories.

1808-1809

The Finnish War (Suomen sota) between Sweden and Russia is fought. Sweden loses the war and surrenders Finland to Russia. The tsar declares Finland an autonomous grand duchy with himself as constitutional monarch represented by a governor general. However, the Swedish based legal system and other public structures remained largely intact. Finns were also allowed to remain their Lutheran faith.

1812

Helsinki is made the capital of Finland.

1835

The Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, is published.

1865

Finland gets its own currency. The markka is introduced by the Bank of Finland and replaces the Russian ruble.

 From 1906 to 1944

1906

Through parliamentary reform, the right to vote is extended to include all of the country’s adult citizens, irrespective of gender, class, wealth or position.

1917

Finland declares independence from Russia on 6 December.

1918

The Finnish Civil War is fought between the forces of the Social Democrats, led by the People's Deputation of Finland, commonly called the "Reds", and the forces of the non-socialist, conservative-led Senate, commonly known as the "Whites". The Whites win the war, in which about 37,000 people die out of a population of 3 million.

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland is founded.

1919

The constitution is adopted and Finland became a republic with a president as head of state.

1939-1940

The Soviet Union attacks Finland and the Winter War is fought.

1941-1944

Fighting between Finnish and Soviet forces resumes in the Continuation War. Some territory is ceded to the Soviet Union but Finland resists occupation and preserves its independence and sovereignty.

 From 1950s 

1952

Summer Olympics held in Helsinki.

1955

Finland joins the United Nations (UN).

1956

Finland joins the Nordic Council.

1961

Finland joins the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) as an associate member.

1973

Finland signed the European Economic Community (EEC).

1975

Finland hosts a summit for the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and signs the Helsinki Final Act 1975 together with 34 other countries. (In 2004, CSCE’s name is changed to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)).

 From 1990s

1995

Finland becomes a member of the European Union (EU).

1999

Finland backs European monetary union. Finland holds the Presidency of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December.

2000

The first female president is elected, and is re-elected in 2006.

2002

Banknotes and coins of the EU's single currency, the euro, enter circulation.

2006

Finland holds the Presidency of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December.

2008

Finland chairs the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe.

2020

Finland will again hold the EU Presidency in 2020.

 

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