Finland’s history in a nutshell from the prehistoric era to the present day.
First people arrive in Finland after the ice cap retreated.
Fenni, the ancient north-eastern people are mentioned for the first time by Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus in his book Germania.
The first missionaries arrive in Finland from Sweden. Finland became a part of the Swedish kingdom.
The oldest city in Finland, Turku, is founded.
The second crusade to Finland. Relations between Finland and Sweden grow stronger. History researchers have been unable to date the crusade more exactly.
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.
Reformation takes place in Sweden and Sweden becomes a Lutheran country, thus making Finland Lutheran.
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.
Helsinki is founded.
Sweden takes part in the Thirty Years’ War. Finnish light cavalrymen, hakkapeliitta, fight in the service of the Swedish king.
The first university, The Royal Academy of Turku, is founded.
Sweden extends its realm around the Baltic and managed to push the Finnish border further east.
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.
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.
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.
Helsinki is made the capital of Finland.
The Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, is published.
Finland gets its own currency. The markka is introduced by the Bank of Finland and replaces the Russian ruble.
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.
Finland declares independence from Russia on 6 December.
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.
The constitution is adopted and Finland became a republic with a president as head of state.
The Soviet Union attacks Finland and the Winter War is fought.
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.
Summer Olympics held in Helsinki.
Finland joins the United Nations (UN).
Finland joins the Nordic Council.
Finland joins the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) as an associate member.
Finland signed the European Economic Community (EEC).
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)).
Finland becomes a member of the European Union (EU).
Finland backs European monetary union. Finland holds the Presidency of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December.
The first female president is elected, and is re-elected in 2006.
Banknotes and coins of the EU's single currency, the euro, enter circulation.
Finland holds the Presidency of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December.
Finland chairs the Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe.
Finland will again hold the EU Presidency in 2020.