& Tornado Alley
The Timeline of the Economic|
History of Helsinki, Finland
The cultural ancestors of the people living in Finland, Estonia, Karelia and Lappland came into these areas several thousands of years
ago. In addition there are people of the same cultural heritage living in the Lake Onega area of present day Saint Petersburg, the Veps, and several
cultural enclaves of North Russia. The genetic origins of the Finns of Finland, Estonia and Karelia are more mixed, including a large component
from the people of Indo-European cultural ancestry. The Finns and Lapps despite speaking linguistically related languages and having similar
names for themselves, Suomi and Sami, respectively, are genetically separate.
The Kingdom of Sweden gained control of the region of Finland in about 1100 CE and held on to it for about seven hundred years.
In 1808 and 1809 the Russian Empire fought a war with the Kingdom of Sweden over control of Finland and won. Finland became a grand
duchy with the Czar of Russia as its monarch. This arrangement, rather than the assimilation of Finland into Russia, was important because
when the Bolsheviks of Russia executed the Czar and his family this severed the tie between Finland and Russia and Finland became independent
Timeline for Helsinki
- 1550: The city of Helsinki, under the name Helsingfors, was founded by King Gustav Vasa of Sweden on the Vantaa estuary. It was to be
a seaport that could compete with the other port cities on the Gulf of Finland of the Baltic Sea
- 1640: Helsinki was relocated from its origin site on the Vantaa estuary to its present site closer to the sea with an excellent harbor.
- 1710: A plague devistates the city.
,li>1713: The city of Helsinki is destroyed in a fire.
- 1748: Russian attacks led to the construction of a fortress on islands in Helsinki's harbor.
- 1808: Helsinki is again devistated by a fire.
- 1809: The war between Sweden and Russia ended in a Russian victory and Finland was ceded to the Czar of Russia
to be ruled as a grand duchy.
- 1812: Helsinki was made the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland by the Czar of Russia. Previously Turku had been
- 1852: Completion of the Great Church, a Lutheran cathedral on the central square of Helsinki. Also included in the
building program for Helsinki were government buildings and the main building of Helsinki University. An Orthodox cathedral
was also built near downtown Helsinki.
- 1866-67: The destruction of food crops by a severe summer frost induced a famine that killed about 15 percent of the
population of Finland.
- 1914: Completion of the railway station of Helsinki designed by the famous Finnish archetect Eliel Saarinen.
- 1917: Finland declares its independence from Russia. A brief war with Russian troops ended in Finnish victory but
a civil war between Finnish leftists, the Reds, and Finnish rightists, the Whites, resulted in victory for the
- 1919: The Parliament of Finland in Helsinki elects a president of Finland.
- (To be continued.)