Table of contents:
- How the Grand Duchy of Finland became part of the Russian Empire
- Who is Nikolai Bobrikov and how did he end up at the helm of Finland
- For what "draconian measures" the Russian general was called "Raklyatty poprikoff" and why the quiet land turned into the "rear of the revolution"
- How did the Finns take revenge on the "accursed" Bobrikov?
Video: What Russian General Bobrikov "annoyed" the Finns and why his policy was called "draconian"
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
The history of the nation's self-determination and the development of Finland as an independent state has always flowed imperceptibly, covered by more powerful achievements and world events - the Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, the Russian Revolution, the Second World War. Finnish episodes fell into each of these world-significant events, as if by accident.
This was the case in 1809, when Finland was part of Russia, which won the war with Sweden. But the country was lucky - the Russian tsar turned out to be a great liberal and did not in any way infringe upon the independence of Finland, giving it in fact the broadest autonomy. Only now, during the reign of Nicholas II, the governor-general Bobrikov, appointed by him to govern the region, dramatically changed the situation and reduced such broad rights and freedoms of the Finns, for which he paid.
How the Grand Duchy of Finland became part of the Russian Empire
For over six hundred years, Finland has been part of the Swedish state. After the victory of Russia in the Russian-Swedish war of 1808-1809, Finland became part of it. This war was called Finnish. The Swedish side fought in it for the return of Eastern Finland - the Russian Vyborg province and the restoration of dominance in the Baltic (in addition, it wanted to recapture Norway). The Russian side, on the other hand, had the goal of securing its northern capital and establishing full control over the Bothnian and Finnish gulfs, and, as you know, received the whole of Finland.
Behind each side was an influential power - France was behind Russia, and England was behind Sweden. Finland was part of Russia until 1917. The ruler of the territory was the Russian tsar, but in fact self-government operated in the country (which, being part of Sweden, the Finns could not even imagine, which is why they often raised uprisings against it).
Who is Nikolai Bobrikov and how did he end up at the helm of Finland
Russia wanted to show the Finns that its army is not occupiers, but liberators from the Swedish burden, that life within this country is more profitable than under the Swedish monarchy. Alexander I fully applied his liberal views to this country - during the war with Sweden, he promised the Finns preferences so that they would not resist his army, and kept his word. It includes the northern Russian lands, conquered by Peter I from the Swedes, into the Finnish autonomy.
The Finns not only formed their principality, but also increased their territory without wars. Finland was not integrated into the life of Russia. The Finnish principality had its own currency (Finnish mark), an army (the Finns were exempted from compulsory service in the Russian army), police, customs and the border. All important domestic and foreign policy issues were decided by the Finnish Sejm (unicameral parliament), and since 1816 - by the Imperial Finnish Senate, which elected the country's government - the State Council, made decisions on the state budget and international agreements.
The country's income did not replenish the Russian treasury and was distributed at its own discretion. There have never been uprisings and riots on the territory of Finland. Finns still honor the memory of the Russian emperor (capital A is an indispensable element of the country's two main holidays, such as Independence Day and Christmas), who provided their country with autonomy and great freedoms, thanks to which it flourished.
By 1870, Finland's population had almost doubled, and its economy, language and culture developed at a rapid pace. But at the same time, ideas of separatism began to form in the region.
In October 1898, Nikolai Bobrikov was appointed to the post of Governor-General of Finland, who took a course on reducing the benefits granted by Alexander I. When in 1899 Emperor Nicholas II signed a manifesto on the restriction of Finns' rights and freedoms, as an objection and protest, people laid a monument to Alexander I from top to bottom with flowers. But the last Russian emperor never reversed his decision. The autonomy of Finland was not based on documentary acts and was entirely dependent on the goodwill of the ruler. None of the previous emperors dared to change the autonomous position of the Finnish principality.
For what "draconian measures" the Russian general was called "Raklyatty poprikoff" and why the quiet land turned into the "rear of the revolution"
The Finns called and call the six years of Bobrikov's governorship nothing other than the years of oppression. Office work began to be conducted in Russian, in addition, it was introduced for use in the Senate, administration, educational institutions. Finnish newspapers were closed, and a Russian government newspaper was founded. The army was abolished (or rather, merged with the Russian army), as well as the customs, and the monetary unit.
The role of the Senate became deliberative. Nicholas II and Governor-General Bobrikov considered their policy to be correct - Finland has too many privileges compared to other Russian regions. Finance Minister Witte spoke about this to Bobrikov: "Some are appointed to extinguish the uprising, and you, apparently, were appointed to create an uprising …". In his opinion, through the efforts of the governor-general, the calm region has turned into the “rear of the revolution”. Indeed, many revolutionaries from Russia later found refuge in Finland.
How did the Finns take revenge on the "accursed" Bobrikov?
The Finns could not bear to restrict the independence of their country, infringement of their rights. For ninety years they have become too accustomed to freedom and self-government. Here is how Bobrikov himself wrote about the difficulties he faced, defending the given political line: “The representative of the Russian government in the region has absolutely no one to rely on, no one to trust, all institutions and all educated classes form a solid wall against the most natural and just Russians requirements.
In 1904, Governor-General Bobrikov was killed for the national idea by the son of the Finnish Senator Eisen Schauman. Three bullets from the Browning were fired at Bobrikov: one in the neck, the other in the stomach. The third was "intended" for the heart, but ended up in the order. The wounded governor-general was deliberately sent to the hospital with a delay of several hours; the operation also began late. Nikolai Bobrikov died a few hours later on the operating table.
After that, Nicholas II had to soften his policy towards the Finnish principality. In December 1917, Finland declared its independence, which was recognized by the Soviets.
But after gaining independence, Finland began to pursue an extremely aggressive policy towards the former overlord, invading the territory of the USSR three times with the war.
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