Independence 1917

Finland became independent in 1917 as a result of its national and social development. In March, Russia reluctantly agreed to restore Finland’s constitutional autonomy. In July, the parliament passed a bill—the so-called Power Act— whereby the parliament declared itself to hold all powers of legislation, except with respect to foreign policy and military issues, but the Russian provisional government dissolved the parliament. On 7 November, Prime Minister Setälä declared that the union between Finland and Russia had been severed. On 15 November, the new parliament issued a declaration by which it assumed all powers of the Sovereign in Finland. During the autumn, the socialists became more radicalized and organized a general strike in mid-November in an attempt to start a revolution. The parliament passed bills on municipal democracy and an eight-hour working day. The Svinhufvud Senate was elected on 27 November, proclaimed Finland to be independent and obtained recognition for the independence from Russia, Sweden and Germany at the turn of the year. The parliament approved the Declaration of Independence on 6 December which, two years later, was chosen as the day on which independence would be celebrated.