1944-1948 1969-1990

Finland 1948-1969

Administration . The presidency was held by Juho Kusti Paasikivi from 1946 to 1956, by Urho Kekkonen from 1956 to 1982.
Between 1948 and 1969, Finland had 18 prime ministers. General elections were held in 1948, 1951, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966. The capital is Helsinki.

Foreign Policy . The conditions for Finland;'s continuing independence were formulated in the treaty of 1948, a treaty with originally was to be renewed after 10 years. The Finns stuck to the treaty, and the USSR extended it in 1955, 1970 and 1983. The USSR continued to exert political influence in Finland, especially impose restriction on the Finnish press, since the late 1960es. The Finnish press thus brough little coverage on the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, and what it covered was not critical of the USSR. The Finnish government pursued the Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line, i.e. a policy of giving in to Soviet demands in order to maintain a maximum of room for political decisions, as well as the country's multiparty democracy and capitalist economy. The overriding influence of a powerful state in domestic affairs of a less powerful neighbour, according to the Finnish example, was termed Finlandization.
Finland and the PR China established diplomatic relations in 1950.
Finland pursued a policy of neutrality in international affairs. Finland joined GATT in 1949, the Nordic Council in 1955, and EFTA, as an associated member, in 1961.

Political History . While the office of prime minister frequently changed occupants, the country's presidents guaranteed continuity in politics. The autonomy of the Åland Islands was confirmed in 1951.

The Economy . In 1948 the issuance of food coupons was ceased. Imports would fall under strict regulations into the late 1950es.
In 1948 Finland produced 0.265 million metric tons of wheat, in 1969 0.481 million (IHS p.267).

Social History . In the late 1940es and early 1950es, veteran soldiers and Karelian refugees had to be integrated into Finnish society, a process largely accomplished under the Paasikivi presidency.
In the 1950es Sweden experienced an economic boom and attracted immigrants from Finland, where the standard of living at that time was considerably lower, the country still having to see the wounds caused by the war being healed.
In 1958, the unemployment rate in Finland was 3.1 %, in 1960 1.5 %, in 1966 1.5 %, in 1968 3.9 % (IHS p.162).
Like its scandinavian neighbour countries, Finland established a Welfare State.

Cultural History . In 1952 the Finnish capital Helsinki hosted the Olympic Games, the dominant athlete being Czechoslovak Emil Zatopek who won the 5.000 and 10.000 m. Finnish athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of London 1948, Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964 and Mexico City 1968, and in the Winter Olympics of St. Moritz 1948, Oslo 1952, Cortina d'Ampezzo 1956, Squaw Valley 1960, Innsbruck 1964 and Grenoble 1968.
Finns took 8 gold in London 1948, 6 in Helsinki 1952, 3 in Melbourne 1956, 1 in Rome 1960, 3 in Tokyo 1964 and 1 in Mexico City 1968.
Television broadcasting began in 1957.
Lahti hosted the World Nordic Ski Championships in 1958.
In 1955 the (Catholic) Apostolic Vicariate of Helsinki was elevated to the status of Diocese of Helsinki.
In 1959, the Lutheran Dioceses of Lapua and Helsinki were established, suffragan to the Archdiocese of Turku.

Articles History of Finland : Post-War Era, Agreement of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, Finlandization, Paasikivi-Kekkonen Line, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, Urho Kekkonen, Prime Minister of Finland, Elections in Finland, Åland : Autonomy, Finland at the 1948 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1956 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1964 Summer Olympics, Finland at the 1968 Summer Olympics, Lahti, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland : History, Roman Catholicism in Finland, from Wikipedia
Library of Congress, Country Studies : Finland
History of the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, from about.com
The Silent Estate? by Esko Salminen, review, book on Finlandization. From David McDuff's Home Page
Post-war Era since 1945, from A Virtual History of Finland, by Pasi Kuoppamäki
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Finland, by Ben Cahoon
Helsinki Olympic Games 1952, Final Medal Standings, from damoni.net
Finnish banknotes, from Ron Wise's World Paper Money, and from Currency Museum
UN General Assembly 3rd Session 1948-1949, Resolution No.203
REFERENCE IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Europe 1750-1988, NY : Stockton Press 1992 [G]
Chapter 20 : Scandinavia - The Outer Bastion, pp.273-286 in : John Gunther, Inside Europe Today, NY : Harper & Bros. 1961 [G]
Article Finland, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.283-284, 1951 p.288, 1952 pp.282-283, 1953 p.278, 1954 p.275, 1955 pp.321-322, 1956 pp.259-260, 1957 pp.322-323, 1958 p.258, 1959 pp.254-255, 1960 pp.255-256, 1961 pp.266-267, 1962 pp.254-255, 1963 pp.369-370, 1964 pp.365-366, 1965 pp.360-361, 1966 pp.306-307, 1967 pp.338-339, 1968 pp.342-344, 1969 pp.339-341 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.278-279, 1961 pp.262-263, 1962 pp.262-264, 1963 pp.242-243, 1964 pp.239-240, 1965 p.273, 1967 pp.273-274, 1968 p.266, 1969 p.289, 1970 p.291 [G]
Article : Finland, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.155-156, 1961 pp.114-115 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 20th 2008

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz