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Finland

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Republic of Finland
Suomen tasavalta (Finnish)
Republiken Finland (Swedish)
Location of Finland on the European continent
Location of Finland on the European continent
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: Maamme (Finnish)
Vårt land (Swedish)
"Our Land"

Patron Saint(s): Saint Henry of Uppsala
CapitalHelsinki
Official language(s) Finnish, Swedish
Demonym Finns, Finnish
Government Semi-presidential republic
 -  Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (C)
 -  Speaker of Parliament Sauli Niinistö (NC)
Independence from Russian Empire 
 -  Water (%) 10.0
Population
 -  2008 estimate 5,323,489 (111)
 -  2000 census 5,155,000 
 -  Density 16/km2 (201)
41.4/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate
 -  Total 185,853,000,000 (52)
 -  Per capita 35,349 (12)
GDP (nominal) 2007 estimate
 -  Total 246,350,000,000 (31)
 -  Per capita 46,856 (9)
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .fi, .ax
Calling code 358
Template:Lower [1]


Finland (Finnish: Suomi), officially the Republic of Finland (Finnish: Suomen tasavalta), is a Nordic country situated in Northern Europe. Country is member of European Union and it's East border is also border between EU and Russia. It has borders with Sweden to the west, Russia to the east, and Norway to the north. The capital city is Helsinki.

Finland.

Finland has a population of 5,300,362 people, spread over an area of to 338145 km2. Finland is the sixth largest country in Europe in terms of area, with a low population density of 16 people per square kilometre, making it the most sparsely populated country in the European Union. The majority of the population is concentrated in the southern part of the country. As their mother tongue, most Finns speak Finnish, one of the few official languages of the European Union that is not of Indo-European origin. The second official language, Swedish, is spoken natively by a 5.5 percent minority.

Previously part of Sweden and from 1809 an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire, Finland declared its independence in 1917. Today, Finland is a democratic, parliamentary republic and has been a member state of the United Nations since 1955 and the European Union since 1995. Finland has thriving services and manufacturing sectors and is a highly democratic welfare state with low levels of corruption, consistently ranking at or near the top in international comparisons of national performance.

Finland is eleventh on the United Nations' Human Development Index and ranked as the sixth happiest nation in the world. According to the World Audit Democracy profile, Finland is the freest nation in the world in terms of civil liberties, freedom of the press, low corruption levels and political rights. Finland is rated the sixth most peaceful country in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and since 1945, Finland has been at peace, adopting Neutral country|neutrality in wartime.

Finland was rated the best country to live in by Reader's Digest study released in October 2007, which looked at issues such as quality of drinking water and greenhouse gas emissions as well as factors such as education and income.

History

  • 98 A.D.: The Roman historian Tacitus writes about the Fenni, a people of the north. This is the first reference to the Finns in recorded history.
  • 1150s King Erik of Sweden and the English-born Bishop Henry (Swedish: Henrik) lead a crusade to south-western Finland.
  • 1323 The peace treaty of Pähkinäsaari (Nöteborg, Schlusselburg) is signed by Sweden and Novgorod. The signatories divide up the territory of Finland. The border established by the peace treaty becomes a dividing line between states, religions and cultures. Finnish was spoken on both sides of the border.
  • 1362 Finns granted the right to send representatives to vote in Sweden's royal election.
  • 1493 Finland is mentioned for the first time on a printed map of Europe in the book "Liber Chronicarum" authored by Hartmann Schedel in Germany.
  • 1527 The Diet of Västerås approves the Lutheran Reformation and the confiscation of ecclesiastical property.
  • 1543 Bishop Mikael Agricola produces the first Finnish-language book, a volume of Finnish grammar.
  • 1617 Under the Peace of Stolbova, Sweden becomes supreme ruler of the Baltic Sea with control of the entire Gulf of Finland.
  • 1642 The first complete Finnish translation of the Bible appears.
  • 1808 Sweden is defeated by Russia in the Finnish War and loses Finland, which becomes an autonomous Grand Duchy with the Czar as its ruler. Finland´s position is confirmed in its first separate Diet. Finland retains its own legislation and its old form of society, including the free status of the peasantry, the Lutheran religion and the old Swedish system of law and government.
  • 1860 Finland acquires its own currency, the markka or Finnish mark.
  • 1902 More than 23,000 Finns apply for passports to [America]. This is the crest of the wave, which brought over 320,000 Finns to the United States and Canada in 1864-1914.
  • 1917 800px-Flag of Finland.png Revolution in Russia; Finland declares itself independent on December 6; Russia's Bolshevik government recognises Finnish independence on December 31.
  • 1921 An act is passed by the Finnish parliament granting autonomy to the Åland Islands.
  • 1939-40 The Red Army attacks Finland. In the Winter War (30.11. 1939 - 13.3. 1940) the Finnish defence forces, commanded by Marshal C.G. Mannerheim, though greatly outnumbered, fight alone against the Soviet would-be invaders for 105 days. Finland's stubborn resistance against a fifty-times larger nation seizes the attention of the world press, which writes about the "Miracle of the Winter War". In the ensuing peace of Moscow, Finland is forced to cede a large part of the Viipuri province, in the south-east.
  • 1941-1944 Fighting resumes in the Continuation War, during which a defiant Finland aligns itself with Germany against the Soviet Union in order to regain the lost territory. Finland takes the view that it is a cobelligerent with Germany but fighting a separate war that coincides with, but is not part of, the conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union. Nazi ideology is firmly rejected in Finland despite German efforts to promote it. In July the Finnish army halts a massive Soviet offensive before it reaches the 1940 border. The Red Army's aim is to occupy southern Finland, but once the offensive is stopped Stalin orders his forces to regroup for defence. An armistice agreement is signed in Moscow in September. The peace terms restore the frontier of 1940, except in the far north where the Soviet Union annexes the Petsamo area with its nickel mines and ice-free port on the Arctic Ocean. Finland has to pay huge war reparations to the Soviet Union in the form of manufactured goods. The entire population of the ceded areas - about 450,000 people - choose to leave their homes rather than live under Soviet rule. They are resettled in Finland. The peninsulta of Porkkala is rented to the Soviets for 50 years as a naval base.
  • 1944-45 War in Lapland. In accordance with the peace terms agreed with Russia, Finland drives some 200,000 German soldiers out of Finnish Lapland and into neighbouring Norway.
  • 1948 Finland and the Soviet Union sign a Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance.
  • 1989 Finland becomes a member of the Council of Europe.
  • 1991-1993 The Finnish economy in deep recession.
  • 1995 Eu flag.JPG Finland becomes a member of the European Union.
  • 2002 Finland and 11 other member states of the European Union began using euro coins and banknotes and phasing out their own currencies, in Finland's case the markka.

References

  1. Prior to 2002, the national currency was the Finnish markka (mk).

External links

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