Indiana University Bloomington
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Finland in the Twentieth Century



This course carries S & H distribution credit

This course offers an intensive study of Finnish history in the 20th century, covering political, economic, social, and cultural aspects of development. After a brief look at historical background, the course will stress the following topics: Russification and the Revolution of 1905; the establishment of independence and the Civil War; domestic evolution and foreign policy during the interwar era; the Winter War and the Continuation War; postwar foreign policy, especially relations with the USSR/Russia and the issue of Finlandization; the postwar economic “miracle” and the rise of the welfare state; the transformation of Finnish society, including the changing role of women; Finland as a Nordic country and part of Scandinavia; cultural developments, including literature, art, and music; and Finland in the 1990s and the early years of the 21st century, including the impact of membership in the European Union. Throughout the course Finland’s development will also be viewed in the larger context of Northern and Eastern Europe.


The requirements of the class will be as follows: (1) undergraduates--a midterm exam, a final exam (both of the essay type), and a 5-7 page paper due December 5 (each written effort is of equal weight); (2) graduates--a 7 page book review (20%), a 15 page research paper (40%), and a comprehensive final exam (40%). The topic for the paper is chosen by the student, with instructor approval. Oral participation is encouraged, and a strong performance in this area will enhance a student’s grade.

Regions Covered


When Taught

Spring 2012


Department of Central Eurasian Studies