In 1869 a submarine telegraph was laid between Sweden and Finland, via the Aland islands.-With the exception of 41,000 Greek and 800 Roman Catholics, nearly the whole population are Lutherans, divided into three dioceses. The archbishop resides at Abo, the two bishops at Borga and Kuopio. Education receives considerable care, and the study of the Finnish language, which was much neglected while the country was subject to Sweden, is encouraged by the Russian government. Besides the Alexander university, transferred from Abo to Helsingfors, there are six gymnasiums, 13 superior elementary schools, and a military academy, and most of the parishes have primary schools. In 1864 a Finnish normal school was established at Jyvaskyla; and in 1871 the establishment of two Swedish normal schools, one male and one female, was ordered. In 1872 the study of the Russian language in all state schools was made compulsory; up to that time it had been optional, and, from the aversion of the Finns to all that is Russian, generally neglected.-Since 1809 Finland has been united with the empire of Russia. Its fundamental laws are the Swedish constitution of 1772, and the act of union of 1789. These were confirmed by the emperor Alexander I., March 27, 1809; again by the emperor Nicholas, Dec. 24, 1825; and by Alexander II., March 4, 1855. The right of representation was regulated anew by a law in 1869. The government is administered by a governor general and a senate consisting of 14 members, half of whom are noble, and who are presided over by the governor general assisted by two vice presidents not included in the number of the members.
The senators are named for three years by the emperor. The vice presidents are chiefs of the departments of justice and finance. The deliberations of the senate are held at Helsing-fors, the modern capital. High courts of justice sit at Abo, Vasa, and Viborg. There is also a regular military court. Provincial governors reside at Helsingfors, Abo, Tavaste-huus, Viborg, St. Michael, Kuopio, Vasa, and Uleaborg. These dignitaries are all, by the terms of the constitution, Finns, and a secretary of state for Finnish affairs resides at St. Petersburg, and is a member of the imperial council. A diet, composed like the former diet of Sweden of the four orders, nobility, clergy, burghers, and peasants, is a constitutional privilege of Finland, according to the imperial recognition. The troops of the army as well as of the navy consist of men who volunteer for a term of six years. In 1872 Finland had only a battalion of sharpshooters, consisting of 679 men; the marine troops numbered 100 men. The revenue in the general budget for 1871 amounted to $3,058,370, of which $363,440 were from real estate, $1,322,092 from customs, stamps, etc, $500,-166 from casual dues, and $240,000 from tax on brandies, etc.
The expenditures amounted to $2,736,499, of which $575,076 were for the civil administration, $205,440 for government, $475,937 for agriculture and commerce, and $512,110 for extraordinary expenditures. The revenue and the expenditure of the military budget amounted to $492,788 each. The clergy, part of the troops, and various civil functionaries receive their emoluments and pay from resources not included in the foregoing list of revenue; namely, from country parishes, or from government lands reserved for this purpose. These expenditures therefore do not appear in the general budget. The debt of the state in 1871 amounted to $8,309,000.-Less is known of early Finnish history than of that of any other European country. The inhabitants, pagans, were governed by their own independent kings until about the middle of the 12th century. Their piracies at this period so much harassed the Swedes, that St. Eric, king of the latter people, undertook a crusade against them, and introduced Christianity, and also probably planted Swedish colonists upon their coasts. The Swedes thus acquired a hold upon the country which they retained for several centuries.
From this period down to 1809 the history of Finland is included in that of the kings of Sweden, during which the country was the frequent scene of Russian and Swedish wars. By the peace of Nystad (1721), three years after the death of. Charles XII., the territory of Viborg, the eastern division of Finland, became definitively Russian. In 1742 the Swedes, hoping to repair their losses, declared war, but in a few months the whole of Finland was overrun by the Russians. In the following year, at Abo, Sweden ratified anew all her former cessions, yielding additional territory also, but recovered the principal duchy. In 1787 Gustavus III. began his great attempt to recover these losses and to humble his antagonist; but the results of the war added little glory to the Swedish arms. In 1808 a fresh invasion from Russia took place, and Sweden purchased peace by the cession of all Finland and the islands of Aland, Sept. 17, 1809. The Swedish language and customs during 750 years had taken such firm root that Russian dominion has been unable to modify them. Abo remains in some degree a Swedish city, and the removal of the seat of government to its rival Helsingfors (1819), and of the university (1827), has not contributed to Russianize the ancient capital.
Indeed, at the present day Stockholm is for Abo much what St. Petersburg is for Helsingfors. During the whole period from 1809 to 1863 the Finnish diet was not convoked by the Russian government. On Sept. 18, 1863, the emperor Alexander opened the diet at Helsingfors, composed of 48 representatives of the rural population, 30 of the towns, 32 of the clergy, and 141 noblemen. The emperor promised that he would cooperate with this diet in the introduction of reasonable reforms. Several resolutions of the diet of 1863-'4, as well as of those which met in 1867 and 1872, have been sanctioned by the emperor. Besides the new electoral law, already referred to, a new church law for the Lutheran church of Finland was published in 1869. A new press law which had been adopted by the diet in 1864 was promulgated in 1865, and was to remain in force only till 1867; but as the diet of 1867 failed to agree on the proposed amendments, it remained in force till 1872, when all the four estates composing the diet declared in favor of the liberty of the press, which the government refused to concede.