Finland has occupied the political, religious, cultural and economic border between eastern and western Europe since prehistoric times. Despite its peripheral location, the country has found itself in the mainstream of developments that created modern Europe, such as nationalism, world wars, industrialization, and the current political and economic integration. The first evidence of human life in Finland began sometime in the millennium 7,000-8,000 B.C. when small, tribal groups populated the area. In 1155, Finland became a part of the Swedish kingdom, when most of the Finnish peninsula came under the rule of the Swedish king. Finland was annexed to Russia as a result of wars between the Swedish king and Russian rulers in 1809, bringing about the Age of Autonomy or Imperial Era. The Age of Independence came when Finland's leaders declared the country's political independence in 1917 as a result of turmoil in Russia after World War I. Finland, along with several newly independent countries, had to find its place in the new Europe. The country not only did that, but created a secure and prosperous country during times of turmoil. It has emerged into a place of privilege, with high levels of prosperity, cultural achievements, and social peace.
Ideal for students and general readers, the History of Finland is part of Greenwood's Histories of Modern Nations series. With over thirty nation's histories in print, these books provide readers with a concise, up-to-date history of countries throughout the world. Reference features include a biographical section highlighting notable figures in Finland's history, a timeline of important historical events, and a bibliographical essay.
About the Author
Jason Lavery is Associate Professor of History at Oklahoma State University.
Table of Contents
Timeline of Historical Events
An Introcution to Finland
Finland's Origins: Prehistoic and Historic
Finland as Part of the Swedish Realm (circa 1157-1809)
The Creation of Autonomous Finland (1809-1890)
Oppression, Independence, and Civil War (1890-1918)
Finland between the World Wars (1918-1939)
Finland at War (1939-1945)
Finland during the Cold War (1944-1991)
European Finland in a Globalizing World
Notable People in the History of Finland
Selected Bibliographical Essay
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A good overview with none of the so-called "anti-Finnish bias" imputed by the previous reviewer. If people have an issue with a balanced account it is usually because they themselves have an agenda, and from reading LAvery's work this is what seems to have happened here. Of course issues involving war are not black and white, and the place of war in national memory deserves to be treated with scepticism. It is the place of academic authors to question national myths and narratives, and for some this is apparently unpalatable.
The author seems to be an old lefty and turns Finland into a bad guy in WWII despite being the victim of Soviet aggression. He seems to have a personal gripe with Finland.