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The Middle Ages is called Historical time because the history of this period is available in written texts, compared with the prehistorical time which has no available written texts. In Finland Middle Ages was the time of The Roman Catholic ChurchFinns had already received information of Christianity in the Viking Age . One example of this is that Finns had already stopped putting objects in graves.At the end of the Middle Age 300,000 people lived in Finland.
Middle Ages (1150-1520 A.D.)
Castle of Turkuwww.nordicwebstore.com2
The Roman Pope executed the crusades to the Nordic countries.The Popes goal was to Christianize Nordic people.The first crusades took place in Sweden and Denmark.There were three Crusades in Finland. The first was in 1155 and it was ordered by the Swedish King Erik Holy (Erik Pyh) and Bishop Henrik.The Swedish regent Birger-Jarl (Birger Jaarli) made the second crusade in 1248. He connected the Tribe of Hmliset to the Swedish empire. He also organized Swedish people to move permanently to live on Finlands west coast.The third crusade happened in Karelia in 1293. After this Finland was connected to the Swedish empire totally. Finland became part of the Roman Catholic Church region and cultural area. Swedish laws came into effect too.
Orthodox Church from the Novgorod (Russia) also Christianized Finns.Finns rebelled against the Roman Catholic Church and the Swedish empire because of tax collections (tithe) and Finnish peasantry were forced to build churches and castles. The words pappi, risti and pakana are based on the Russian language from that time.Pappi = priestRisti = crossPakana = Pagan
Middle Age church in Finland
Church inside Turku castlewww.nordicwebstore.com4
Finland was a battlefield of the Catholich church and the Ortohodox church (from Russia) during the Middle Ages. The First agreement between Sweden and Novgorod (Russia) was signed in 1323. It was the first agreement that sought to define the Finnish eastern border. The name of that agreement is the peace of Phkinnsaari. After the agreement, western Finland became part of Sweden and the rest was under Russian power.The border line wasnt exact because Finnish people moved North across it in the backwoods all the time. First border
Sweden built castles to secure its border in the east.
The most important castles were Olafs Castle (Olavinlinna) in Savonlinna City and Viaborgs Castle in Viaborg, which is located in modern Russia. (Lower left)
Finlands oldest cities are Turku, Viipuri, Ulvila, Porvoo, Rauma and Naantali. Turku is the oldest. It received city rights in 1290. Oldest Cities in Finland
Old Turku is now a museum area. www.nordicwebstore.com7
Oldest Cities in Finland
Kalmar Union was a confederation between Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It was established (1397-1523) to strengthen their power in Nordic areas against Hansa Union. Hansa was a German based trade association which operated actively also in Nordic area. Kalmar Unions administration was in Denmark and Sweden had to protect their interest actively there. During that period Finnish aristocracy increased in power which allowed for them more independence in Finland. Finland was often called Eastern Country (Itmaa) in Kalmar Union. Finland was still a part of Sweden but ties with Sweden were slackened and Finnish identity was strengthened.Fighting between Denmark and Sweden escalated a massacre in Stockholm. Then Swedish people expelled the Danes out of Stockholm and the Rebel Director Gustav Vasa (Kustaa Vaasa) was elected King of Sweden. Kalmar Union
sterland (Swedish) Itmaa (Finnish)Eastern CountryThis map was made in 1880.www.nordicwebstore.com10
At the end of the Middle Age, Smi people populated the largest part of the area which is now Finland. Finnish people populated the green area of the map and Smi people populated the white area. Cultural polarization between Finnish and Smi people began over four thousand years ago when people on the west coast begin farming and inland people continued only hunting and gathering. Finnish population Despite the polarization some southern Smi people begin farming too and they assimilated to the Finnish Tribes slowly.Languages evolved, Pre- Finnish and Pre-Sami-language were formed.
In the Middle Age Finnish population expanded and livelihood became more difficult in old living areas. Due to this Finns moved inland and North. Finnish people continually made trips to the Northern woods for hunting and fishing. Northern backwoods was their usufruct area.A New border which was defined in 1323 did not really prevent the spread of the Finnish population. Despite that, the Middle Age Finns still lived mostly near the coast. During the Middle Age more Swedish people moved to the west coast and Finland became a bilingual country.
In the 1500s, the Swedish administration became more interested in northern Finland/Lapland. They began to collect taxes and the church expanded their actions in Lapland. International trade expanded to Lapland when Finnish, Swedish and German traders became interested in buying furs from Smi people. The effects of these things were not entirely positive for the Smi people and that created conflicts.In the 1500s Sweden and Russia also had battles in Lapland and they shared Smi peoples living areas. (more in the next section peace of Tyssin)So all these groups; Finnish people, Swedish administration, Church, traders and finally the battles between Russia and Sweden forced Smi people to move more north and inland to areas where they could live peacefully.. Unfortunately Smi history has very little written information and therefore investigation of it has been limited.Smi people www.nordicwebstore.com13
Smi people's living area in 1100. After that it decreased!
In the end of the Middle Age, Finnish people consisted of different tribes:KarjalaisetSavolaisetEtel-PohjalaisetHmlisetLounais-Suomalaiset