- Project Runeberg -  A Précis of the Public Law of Finland /
3

(1889) [MARC] Author: Leo Mechelin Translator: Charles J. Cooke
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HISTORICAL SUMMARY.

2 5

of tlie Lutheran clergy for popular education.
The material interests of the inhabitants of the
country, Finns and Swedes alike,, were not
always identical with those of Sweden, and the
defence of Finland was left more especially to
native troops ; the geographical situation of the
land made its provinces a distinct group,
collectively styled, even in official documents, since
the end of the sixteenth century, " Grand Duchy
of Finland." Here, then, was the germ of a
national, independent existence ; but the people
did not wake to the consciousness of this as
long as the intimate association with Sweden
lasted.

(2) The founding, on the Neva, of the new
capital of the Russian empire by Peter the
Great, was the starting-point of the policy
pursued by the Russian rulers, with regard to
Finland, for a whole century. Conquered in
the great northern war, which terminated by
the peace of Nystad in 1721, and again in the
campaign of 1741-1743, Sweden was obliged to
cede to Russia a part of Finland : the province
of Viborg.

B 2

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