Finnish Independence Day Reading List

December 6th is Finland’s Day of Independence, marking the date that the country declared its independence from the Russian Empire in 1917, after the Bolshevik Revolution. Join us in recognizing 106 years of Finnish independence by checking out some articles from the Journal of Finnish Studies!

“Informing as National Indifference? The Case of Finnish Citizens’ Collaboration with the Russian Authorities, 1899–1917” by Sami Suodenjoki

Between 1899 and 1917, hundreds of Finnish citizens approached the Russian authorities to report about the anti-government activity of their fellow citizens. Finnish nationalists eagerly labeled informers as Russian-minded traitors, but how did the informers themselves relate to the nation and the empire? This article (published in Volume 25, Issue 2) tackles this question by analyzing the communication of these citizens.

“Konrad Zilliacus and Revolutionary Russia” by Ira Jänis-Isokangas

The Russian revolutionary movement was not well known in the Grand Duchy of Finland. Connections between Finnish Constitutionalists and Russian revolutionaries started only in the first years of the 20th century, but these connections would become an integral part of the road to Finnish independence. In Volume 25, Issue 2, this article investigates Swedish-speaking author and activist Konrad Zilliacus’s relation with the Russian revolutionaries.

“A Twin Grip on ‘The National Disease’: Finnish Anti-Tuberculosis Associations and Their Contribution to Nation-Formation (1907–17)” by Heini Hakosalo

Tuberculosis was a major killer in early twentieth-century Finland and led to the first national public health campaign. The first stage of this campaign was led by two non-governmental anti-tuberculosis associations, both founded in 1907. This article from Volume 21, Issue 1-2 of the Journal charts the founding and the early activities of these associations and argues that they made a significant contribution to nation-formation. 

“‘Lest They Go Hungry’: Negotiations on Money and Survival” by Tiina Seppä

In this article from Volume 21, Issue 1-2, Seppä sheds light on the nation-building project in Finland before its independence. In the center of this study are the individuals who at the most part created the material of the national culture and literature: folklore collectors and early Finnish writers.

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Since 1997, the Journal of Finnish Studies (JFS) is an international, peer-reviewed journal for high-quality scholarly articles pertaining to Finland. JFS publishes the best and most timely articles regarding the study of Finnish and Finnish-American topics from interdisciplinary and traditional perspectives.

About Kristina Stonehill