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Russification of Finland

The policy of Russification of Finland, 18991917, aimed at the termination of Finlandís autonomy but resulted in fierce Finnish resistance that ultimately led to Finland's declaration of independence in 1917. The russification was suspended and partially reversed 190507 and 191417 in connection with the Russo-Japanese War and the First World War.

The russification is for the Finnish public one of the most significant events in history, second only to the Winter War, for a long time determining their understanding of international politics and their relation to international powers and other nations, such as the French, the British, the Scandinavians and, of course, foremost to the Russians. The Finns saw the successful outcome of their struggle as a proof for the efficiency of appeals to the international community and as a support for a legalist understanding of international relations. World War II would lead to profound disappointment in this respect, but the Finnish debate does still emphasize the literal wording of international treaties more than most other peoples seeing references to changed conditions as proof of low moral standards.


See also: russification

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45