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Finnish War

From Academic Kids

The Finnish War was fought between Sweden and Russia from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland, according to the Finns in personal union with Imperial Russia. Another notable effect was the Swedish parliament's adoption of a new constitution and a new royal house, that of Bernadotte.

Contents

Background

In the treaty of Tilsit in 1807 Napoleon and the Russian tzar Alexander I decided that Russia should force Sweden to join the Continental System.

The war

On February 21, 1808 Russian troops crossed the border. At the same time southern Sweden was threatened by an attack from Denmark. The plan of the Swedish army under Johan Adam Cronstedt was to retreat into Ostrobothnia leaving only the strongly fortified Sveaborg behind. The fort surrendered although there was enough ammunition and food to last several months.

Under a new commander, Carl Johan Adlercreutz, the Swedish army counter-attacked and halted the Russian offensive at the Battle of Siikajoki. Although the Swedes were successful for a while they didn't receive needed reinforcements. Adlercreutz fought a defensive battle at Oravais, but lost and was forced to retreat. The day before Georg Carl von Döbeln had won the legendary Battle of Jutas.

On November 19 the convention of Olkijoki was signed and the Swedish army was forced to leave Finland.

Battles

Major commanders

Aftermath

The Finnish war was finished with the treaty of Fredrikshamn on September 17, 1809. Finland came to retain the Gustavian constitution of 1772 with only slight modifications until 1919. In Sweden, the king was dethroned and the constitution was rewritten immediately after the lost war.

See also

sv:Finska kriget

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