January saw the start of the War of Independence to liberate the country of approximately 75,000 Russian troops. At the same time, a civil war broke out as a consequence of a socialist rebellion that started on 26 January. The war ended in the victory of the legitimate government and its death toll was 36,000, most of whom died in prison camps after the war. After the war, on 18 May, the parliament, with only one socialist member, elected P. E. Svinhufvud as State Regent and, on 29 May, replaced the red-and-yellow national flag with a new one with a blue cross on white background. In August, the parliament declared Finland a monarchy and elected the German Prince Frederick Charles as king in October. After Germany was defeated in the First World War, Frederick Charles renounced the throne and the government headed by J. K. Paasikivi, appointed in May, resigned. Svinhufvud, who was seen as committed to the cause of Germany, stepped down as State Regent in December and was replaced by General C. G. Mannerheim, who had been commander-in-chief in the War of Independence and was deemed to have better relations with the western powers.
Rebellion, king, democracy 1918
The Finnish Civil War was fought between two quickly recruited armies with mostly untrained fighters… [Read more]
The People’s Delegation led by Kullervo Manner acted as the Revolutionary Government in Finland in… [Read more]
The most tragic event in Finland’s history is the civil war that took place between January and Ma… [Read more]
Finland did not have an official flag when the country became independent. The “Blue Cross Flag”… [Read more]