1920-1929 1939-1944


Administration . The presidency was held by Lauri Kristian Relander from 1925 to 1931, by Pehr Evind Svinhufvud 1931-1937, by Kyösti Kallio from 1937 to 1940. The office of PM was held by Kyösti Kallio (Agrarian League) 1929-1930 and 1936-1937, by Pehr Evind Svinhufvud (National Coalition Party) 1930-1931, by Juho Sunila (Agrarian League) 1931-1932, by Toivo Mikael Kiivimäki (National Progressive Party) 1932-1936, by Aimo Calander (NPP) 1937-1939, by Risto Ryti (NPP) 1939-1941. Parliamentary elections were held in 1930, 1933, 1936, 1939.

Foreign Policy . In 1932, Finland and the USSR signed a Non-Aggression Pact; in 1934 it was extended until 1945. In 1938 the USSR demanded a border revision; negotiations were opened April 14th.

Political History . In the early 1930es, paramilitary rightist groups, the Lapua Movement, again began a period of white terror, abducting social democrats and, under cover of darkness, dumping them on the Russian side of the border, or similar acts of illegitimate violence. Following a failed coup in 1932, the Lapua Movement was banned.

The Economy . In 1929, Finland had 5,040 km of railroad track, in 1929 5,740 km (IHS pp.660).
In 1930, Finland produced 24,000 metric tons of wheat, in 1938 0.256 million; potato production was 0.928 million metric tons in 1930, 1.198 million in 1938 (IHS p.266). If consumer prices for 1929 are set at 100, the price level of 1934 was at 80, that of 1939 at 89 (IHS p.848).

Social History . The population of Finland in 1929 was 3.45 million, that of 1938 3.83 million (Lahmeyer). In 1928 the number of unemployed 1,700, in 1932 17,400, in 1935 7,200, in 1939 3,300 (IHS pp.159, 162).

Cultural History . Finnish athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Los Angeles 1932 and Berlin 1936, and in the Winter Olympics of Lake Placid 1932 and Garmisch-Partenkirchen 1936. Finns took 5 gols in Los Angeles, 7 in Berlin, 1 in Lake Placid and 1 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Lahti (Finland) hosted the World Nordic Ski Championships in 1938.
Helsinki Malmi Airport was officially opened in 1938.
Prohibition was law in Finland from 1919 to 1932; since 1932 a state-owned company, present name Alko, has the monopoly on the sales of alcoholic beverages.
In 1939 the Lutheran Diocese of Kuopio was established, suffragan to the Archdiocese of Turku.

Article Prime Minister of Finland, Elections in Finland, Lauri Kristian Relander, Pehr Evind Svinhifvud, Kyösti Kallio, Lahti, Helsinki Malmi Airport, Prohibition : Nordic Countries, Alko, Finland at the 1932 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1936 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1932 Winter Olympics, Finland at the 1936 Winter Olympics, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland : History, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Finland
Early Independence 1917-39, from A Virtual History of Finland, by Pasi KuoppamÄki
Timeline Finnish History 1917-1941, from The Finnish Navy in World War II , click Timeline
DOCUMENTS List of Finnish Presidents, Prime Ministers etc., from Finland, by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Finland, from Population Statistics (Jan Lahmeyer)
Finnish banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
REFERENCE IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1932 pp.834-844, 1937 pp.872-882 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Americana Annual 1930 pp.317-319, 1931 pp.317-318, 1932 pp.285-287, 1933 pp.315-317, 1934 pp.246-248, 1935 pp.284-286, 1936 pp.288-291, 1937 pp.286-288, 1938 pp.277-279, 1939 pp.300-302 [G]
Article : Finland, in : New International Year Book 1930 pp.267-269, 1932 pp.281-283, 1933 pp.267-269, 1934 pp.234-235, 1935 pp.240-242, 1938 pp.253-254, 1939 pp.272-276 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1932 pp.255-256, 1933 pp.209-210, 1934 pp.229-231, 1935 pp.223-224, 1936 pp.196-197, 1937 pp.197-199, 1938 pp.206-207, 1939 pp.220-223 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 24th 2007

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