The Union of Finland with the Russian Empire

  • D. G. Kirby
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History book series (SREEHS)


On 20 February 1808, Russian troops invaded Finland. By midsummer much of the country, including the strategically vital fortresses of Svartholm and Sveaborg, was in their hands. These initial easy successes may have prompted Emperor Alexander I to abandon the policy of conciliation and consultation which he had outlined in his proclamation to the inhabitants of Finland on 18 February, in favour of a policy of simple annexation without conferment of special status, as advocated by the former Anjala conspirator Major K. H. Klick (7). The manifesto issued on 17 June spoke simply of union with Russia, although it did promise the preservation of ancient laws and privileges (1).


Army Officer Grand Duchy Russian Army Finnish People Political Existence 
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© D. G. Kirby 1975

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  • D. G. Kirby

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