Civil War, January–May 1918

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


The war years placed a great strain on Finnish society. The rampant inflation, food shortages and growing unemployment of 1917 further exacerbated an already tense situation (121, 122, 123). By the end of the year, radical elements in the labour movement were threatening to attempt a seizure of power with or without official party backing (125). On 12 January the Diet granted the Senate the authority it sought to take firm steps to restore law and order (124). This was seen by the labour movement as a whole as an overt declaration of war on the working class, and if anything, it served to weaken the moderates’ stand against the revolutionary elements within the Social Democratic Party.


Labour Movement Social Democratic Party Parliamentary Group German Troop Labour Archive 
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© D. G. Kirby 1975

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  • D. G. Kirby

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