The History of Finland. Timeline.

8,000-1,500 BCE Tribes believed to be ancestors of the Sami arrive from Easter Europe and settle on the Arctic coast of present-day Finland.

500 BCE-400 BCE The Finns cross the Baltic and settle in FInland. Their language becomes modern Finnish.

800 CE Fleets of Swedish adventurers called Vikings come to Finland.

1155 King Erik of Sweden tries to force the Roman Catholic faith on Finland, beginning almost seven hundered years of Swedish rule in Finland.

1528 Finland breaks away from the Catholic church when Mikael Agricola introduces the teachings of Martin Luther.

1543 Mikael Agricola publishes the first Finnish language book, and ABC and cathechism book. It was called the “Abckiria.”

Cr. Wiki Commoms

This poem translation is:

“Learn now, old and young, who have a fresh heart, God’s commandments and the mind, so that you shall know the Finnish language. Law, it makes the soul fearful, but Christ soothes it again. So read from here good child, the beginning of learning without obstacles. Remember them all your life, so Jesus lends you his mercy.” (3)

1550 Helsinki is founded by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550 as the town of Helsingfors.

1640 Per Brake establishes Finland’s first university, at Turku.

1696-1697 Hunger and disease kill one third of Finland’s population.

1700-1721 Sweden and Russia battle each other for control of Northern Europe. Finland suffers under “The Great Wrath,” the occupation of Finland by Russia.

1741-1743 The War of the Hats begins with Sweden attacking eastern Karelia which is under Russian control. Russian counterattacks and occupies all of Finland in a period known as “The Lesser Wrath.”

1808 Russia and Sweden battle each other in the Finnish war. The Russians gain full control of Finland.

1835 Elias Lonnrot publishes the Kalevala, a collection of ancient Finnish folktales. It inspires Finns to promote their own culture. They become an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia the following year. They are able to retain their own legal system and religion and are exempt from Russian military service.

1863 Johan Vilhelm Snellman and others force the government, to use Finnish as well as the traditional Swedish.

1906 Finnish women are given the right to vote. They are the first in Europe.

1917 The Finnish parliament declares the independence of Finland.

1939 World War II begins. Even though they declare neutrality, they are invaded by the Soviet Union. A winter war between the two begins.

1995 Finland becomes a member of the European Union (EU).

2000 Finland elects its first female president, Tarja Halonen. A new constitution is established. She is relected later in 2006.

2008 Former president of Finland Martti Ahtisaari wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

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2009 Nokia, Finland’s largest corporation, releases mimi-laptops called booklets.

2014 Same sex marriage is legalized.

Current Political Leaders: President: Sauli Niinistö (since 1 March 2012; … Prime Minister: Sanna Marin (since 10 December 2019) – Social Democratic Party … Finland has a multi-party system to ensure a single party does not have a chance to gain power alone. Parties work with each other to form coalition governments.


  1. Cultures of the World: Finland. By Chung Lee Tan and Elizabeth Schmermund. 2017. Cavendish Square Publishing.
  2. Finland in Pictures. By Francesca Davis DiPiazza. 2011. Lerner Publishing Group.
  3. Wikipedia

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