Finland

Article

July 6, 2022

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomi/Suomen Tasavalta; Swedish: Finland/Republiken Finland), is one of the twenty-seven sovereign states that make up the European Union. It is located in northeastern Europe. It has borders to the west with Sweden, to the east with Russia and to the north with Norway. To the west and south it is surrounded by the Baltic Sea, which separates it from Sweden and Estonia, crossing the Gulfs of Bothnia and Finland, respectively. The country's capital and largest city is Helsinki, and the second largest city and largest urban area is Tampere, 180 kilometers north of Helsinki. In 2017, it had a population of 5.5 million inhabitants in an area of ​​338,145 km².[11] The vast majority of the country's population is concentrated in the extreme south, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland and its surroundings (including the Helsinki Metropolitan Area). Finland is the seventh largest country in Europe and has a low population density of 16 inhabitants per km², making it the least densely populated country in the European Union. Most Finns speak Finnish[Note 1] as their mother tongue, which is one of the few official languages ​​of the European Union that is not descended from the Indo-European family. The second official language of Finland is Swedish, spoken as a mother tongue by 5.6% of the population.[14] Finland was part of Sweden until it was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1809, becoming the Grand Duchy of Finland (an autonomous entity of Russia until 1917, when it gained independence). Since independence, there have been a total of four wars in Finland: the Finnish Civil War in 1918, the Winter War in 1939-1940, the Continuation War in 1941-1944, and the Lapland War in 1944-1945; and in each war for Finnish independence, the army was led by C. G. E. Mannerheim, Finnish Field Marshal. Today, Finland is a parliamentary and democratic republic, and has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, as well as the European Union since 1995. The Finnish economy is one of the most prosperous in Europe, based on the important services sectors, as well as manufacturing. In the country there is a welfare state, as well as highly democratic politics and extremely low levels of corruption.

Etymology

The origin of the name Suomi ("Finland") is uncertain, but one of the most accepted proposals is that it derives from the proto-Baltic word žemē, "land". Its spelling is very similar to the term Saami, the way in which the Sami people are called. In addition to the closest relatives of Finnish - Estonian Soome - this name is also used by some Baltic languages ​​such as Latvian and Lithuanian - Somija and Suomija, respectively.

History

Finland's nearly 700-year association with the Kingdom of Sweden began in 1154, with the introduction of Christianity by King Erik IX of Sweden. Although Swedish was originally the dominant language of administration, Finnish regained prominence during the nationalist revival of 1842, following the publication of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884). Until the 14th century, the Finnish territory was disputed by the Kingdom of Sweden and the Republic of Novgorod in the Swedish-Novgorod wars, after which Finland was divided between the two powers. In the 15th century, Novgorod was annexed to the principality of Moscow and the conflict with Sweden, called the "Ingrian War" (1610-1617), broke out again, leaving the Swedes as the dominant power in Finnish territory. In 1808, the so-called Finnish War broke out, resulting in the annexation of Finland by Tsar Alexander I of Russia, who created the Grand Duchy of Finland whose mandate he assumed as the first Duke. The Duchy of Finland