This video is part of a series of 19 animated maps.

View series: Europe and nations, 1918-1942

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Independence for Finland

This map is part of a series of 19 animated maps showing the history of Europe and nations, 1918-1942.

Following the fall of the Russian Empire and as part of the process of re-establishing peace in Europe in 1919-1920, Finland became an independent state.

For many centuries, the Grand Duchy of Finland had been part of Sweden.  It came under Russian domination in 1809 until finally released at the end of the First World War.

When the Tsarist Empire fell in 1917, the conservatives proclaimed independence for Finland but, during the first months of 1918, an attempted coup d’état by groups close to the Russian Bolsheviks dragged the country into civil war.

A republican constitution was adopted in 1919. The Treaty of Tartu, signed the following year, established Finland’s frontier with Bolshevik Russia.