Important dates


4 July

The All-Russian Congress of the Russian Workers’ and Military Councils in St. Petersburg discusses Finland’s autonomy. A delegation of the SDP demands recognition of full autonomy of Finland, but finds support only from the Bolsheviks.

A compromise proposal recognises the full autonomy of Finland and its parliament, with the exception of foreign policy and military affairs. The final decision on Finland’s autonomy is left to the Russian Constituent Assembly. Finns are urged to support democracy in Russia “in order to secure victory for the revolution.”

6–7 July

Crops around the country are damaged by night frost. Stems of potato and other root crops are blackened, and ears of grain are coated with ice in the morning. A dry summer had already slowed the growth, so the frost is fatal to the harvest. It is estimated that most of the potato and root crop is lost and the cereal harvest will be modest at best. In the spring, more potato had been planted than ever, and it had been estimated that the crop would be better than the year before, but these hopes are now crushed.

14 July

The parliament passes new municipal laws and a law on an eight-hour working day in commerce and industry. Municipal suffrage becomes universal and equal, and the age limit is lowered to 20 years.

18–19 July

The parliament passes the Power Act with 136 votes for and 55 against. The law is supported by socialists, non-socialist independence-seekers and part of the Agrarian League. During the discussion on the proposal, reports about unrest in St. Petersburg are received, indicating that the provisional government is about to fall. These reports affect the handling of the proposal. The parliament decides not to send the Power Act to be ratified in St. Petersburg.

25 July

The parliament sends the Russian provisional government a letter, explaining that the Power Act is only intended to strengthen the internal freedom of Finland and does not imply a declaration of independence of Finland.

26 July

The Russian provisional government decides to close the borders until 15 August.

31 July

The provisional government issues a manifesto, ordering the Finnish parliament to be dissolved and new elections to be held at the beginning of October. The new parliament shall convene on 1 November at the latest.