At present, many residents of Russia do not even remember that more recently (according to historical by standards) Finland was part of the Russian state and what exactly the Russians created Finnish statehood. That under the first princes of the Rurik dynasty, modern Finland was one of the northern outskirts of Russia. Moreover, Finland paid Russia for this with black ingratitude: Finns, having gained independence, began to build "Great Finland" (at our expense) and twice - in 1918-1922 and 1941-1944. - tried to seize the Russian lands.
Usually Finland likes to represent in the image of a “small and peace-loving” country, but it was the Finns who were the first to attack huge Russia twice and only for the sake of territorial seizures.
Russian and Swedish colonization
By the beginning of the 9th century, Finno-Ugric tribes occupied large areas of Northern Europe from the Gulf of Bothnia to the Urals. The settled population engaged in farming and animal husbandry was located mainly on the southwestern coast, as well as in the valley of the Kumo River (Kokemäen) and its lake system in Satakunta and Häme (Tavastland). In other parts of the region, there were mostly small groups of hunters and gatherers (Saami). By origin, the Finns were a mixed people with Indo-European (German and Baltic) and Siberian (Uralic language family) roots.
Finnish tribes had neither statehood nor a single culture. Already during the reign of Prince Rurik (Falcon), much of modern Finland entered the sphere of influence of Russia. Finnish tribes paid tribute to the Russian princes. Residents of the southwestern part of Finland in Russia were called Sum, Finnish tribes living in Central and Eastern Finland were called em (Yam). In the 10th-12th centuries, the tribes living in the territories of modern Finland and Karelia paid tribute to the Russians. These lands were considered the property of Great Novgorod. Thus, the Finnish and Karelian tribes began to be part of the Old Russian state at about the same time as the Finno-Ugric tribes who lived in the districts of Murom, Meshchery and other places.
Western leaders, and homegrown Westerners, like to call any expansion of the Russian lands and spheres of influence “aggression”, explain the expansion as “the genetic tendency of Russians to violence and cruelty”. They say that the Finns were almost included in their “totalitarian” empire. However, this is a deception and a distortion of reality. If we compare Russian expansion and Western colonization, we can find a fundamental difference. The western world, expanding and absorbing new lands, killed local civilizations, cultures and nationalities. The West is a kind of “civilization-ghoul”, which sucks all the juices from the victim. No wonder, apparently, they are so fond of movies about vampires. So, at the time, the Romano-Germanic world crushed the Celtic civilization, almost killing its identity. Then the Romano-Germanic world destroyed the Slavic (part of the superethnos of the Rus) civilization in Central Europe. So, almost all of modern Germany, Denmark, Austria, and part of Italy (in particular, the Venetian Venetians founded the famous Venice) are the lands of the Slavic tribes. Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and Brandenburg are ancient Slavic cities. Then you can endlessly talk about the cultures and ethnic groups in America, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania that were destroyed by the Western colonizers (mainly the Anglo-Saxons). Peoples that were not completely destroyed, assimilated or reduced to a minimum (used a variety of methods - from brute force to "fire water" -alcohol and biological weapons). Thus, the descendants of the once proud and powerful tribes of Indians, Australian and New Zealand Aborigines now entertain tourists. Representatives of Western civilization needed land, resources, and other people's wealth, while “excess eaters” were simply “cleaned up”.
Russian colonization was different. The Rus (Russians) did not consider the representatives of other nationalities and races to be “subhumans” who must be destroyed or enslaved. Russia has always made the new lands "Russian", and the people who inhabited them had the same rights as the Russians themselves. It often happened that they also received privileges, privileges, in particular, were exempted from military service. It is clear that no conflicts could not do. But there are plenty of them in the modern world, this is a common phenomenon. But conflicts did not cause total sweeps and genocide.
And in the North, the Russian colonization of the Finno-Ugric tribes was radically different from the German and Swedish expansion. For example, German and Swedish feudal lords always acted in a rather simple, tough, but effective pattern. They built strongholds (castles, fortresses) on the colonized lands, some of which grew into cities where feudal lords, knights and their servants lived. The surrounding population, regardless of their will, was declared to be feudal serfs, and had to pay tribute and perform various duties. Local residents recruited slaves for the invaders' servants and formed militias that served as cannon fodder in various conflicts. Possible or obvious resistance leaders were immediately destroyed, or attracted to their camp by various promises. The natives who resisted punished themselves with brutal methods — burned, hung, crucified, etc. Destroyed entire villages and clans.
At the same time, the local population was Christianized. Christianization was necessary to eliminate the identity of the local population. The natives lost their native gods, gradually lost their language, switching to the language of the invaders, the names, their holidays, rituals, etc. The natives who tried to keep their faith were destroyed. Reformatting the “matrix” was an essential part of Western expansion. Religion played the role of a program that deprived the local peoples of their roots, the past, turned them into “ethnographic material” with which one could do anything. Therefore, Catholic priests and hierarchs were an important part of the occupational administration, always included in the retinue of feudal lords and themselves were spiritual feudal lords.
The Russians carried out colonization in a completely different way. It is clear that armed clashes with Finnish tribes took place, but in general, the colonization was peaceful. Several factors contributed to this. The Russians did not suppress the local culture. Russian did not need slaves and serfs. The Russians did not take the “ecological niche” from the Finns. The north was inhabited extremely weakly, and the Russians, having a much more developed material culture and methods of management, occupied empty niches. This allowed them to infiltrate extremely painlessly. And the tribute that was imposed on the locals was small, not burdensome. In fact, it was a sign of resignation, not real wealth.
You can pay attention to the fact that the Rus-Novgorod XI-XIII centuries. practically they did not build fortresses in the area of the Neva River, in Karelia and in Southern Finland. Novgorodians did not need powerful support bases here to control vast territories. It should also be noted that after the Christianization of Russia, the Russian church for a long time led missionary activities with relatively weak and peaceful methods. In addition, Christianity in Russia, in most of the regions, and especially in the North, had weak positions, for a long time there was a dual faith. Most of Novgorod in the XI-XIII centuries. were pagans or Dvoevers, that is, they worshiped both Perun and Christ.
However, the process of the peaceful entry of Finnish lands into Russia was interrupted by external forces. If the Murom and Meshchersky Territories became primordially Russian lands, and the Murom and Meshchera tribes (as well as some others) became part of the Rus superethnos, the territory of modern Finland began to be actively mastered by the Swedish feudal lords, who were guided by Rome. Rome was an old enemy and implacable Slavs and Russia. The Swedes and the Roman popes intervened in the relatively peaceful coexistence of the Finns and the Rus.
Rome constantly set Swedish feudal lords against Finns, Karelians and Russians. Rome also sent the German feudal lords to the Baltic States, where the Balts and Finno-Ugrians were colonized. By the twelfth century, royal power was consolidated in Sweden, which increased the pressure on Finland, it was called Österland (Swede Österlanden - Eastern Country). By order of Rome, new archdiocese was founded - in Lund (1104) and Uppsala (1164). Three crusades to Finland are known - 1157, 1249 — 1250 and 1293 — 1300. At the same time, the Swedes, apparently in alliance with the Swordtails, tried to consolidate on the Neva, and, with good luck, seize Ladoga and defeat Novgorod. However, their plans put an end to Alexander Yaroslavich, who in the Neva battle in 1240, defeated the invaders.
In 1249, the Swedes conquered the land of Tavastov-Emi (Tavastlandia) and founded the Tavastgus Castle. In 1293, Swedish troops conquered southwestern Karelia and laid down Vyborg Castle there. In 1300, the Swedes again tried to gain a foothold on the Neva and erected the fortress of Landskrona. However, a year later, the fortress was taken and destroyed by the Novgorodians, led by Alexander Nevsky’s son, Prince Andrey Gorodetsky.
Russia at that time was weak, it fell apart into specific princedoms and lands that could not independently fight back a well-organized expansion. The long-term strategy of Rome bore fruit. Mr. Novgorod the Great was a trade republic, where the rules of the boyar-merchant elite, which had no strategic plans and lived for one day, thinking only of their incomes. Novgorod was unable to organize a proper response to the Swedes. In addition, the Novgorodians themselves did not know how far their possessions stretched in the north and northeast, one area less or more, small loss. Russian princes, however, mired in internecine strife and also did not pay much attention to the northern outskirts of Russia.
However, hostilities between the Swedes and Novgorod continued almost continuously until the 1323 year, and the Swedish feudal lords, having no strength for further expansion, were able to capture only the southern and part of the central territory of modern Finland. In 1323, the Swedish king Magnus concluded a peace treaty with Novgorod Prince Yury Daniilovich in the Oreshek fortress at the source of the Neva River. Under the terms of the agreement, the border of Sweden and Veliky Novgorod was established on the Karelian Isthmus along the line: from the mouth of the Sestra River (Sisterbek) to its source, then through the swamps from where the Sister originated, to the sources of the Saya river, down the Saya river before its confluence with Vuoksa, then along Vuoksa to the point where the river makes a sharp turn to the north and there is a huge boulder - “Sun Stone”. As a result, the new border divided the Karelian Isthmus from south to north and then went to the Saimaa basin and then to the confluence of the Pühajoki River in the Gulf of Bothnia. It was the ancient tribal border between Sumy (Suomi) and Karelians, it was confirmed and preserved. In addition, Novgorod retained the right to hunt and fish on the outgoing lands to the Swedes; Novgorod and the Swedes could use equal land equally with six land plots, and at another two land plots they were entitled to one sixth of the loot. An interesting fact is that in the Orekhovetsky treaty only the south-western frontier of the Russian lands near the Gulf of Bothnia (River Pyuhayoki-Pocheoki) was fixed. How far north the Russian possessions were was not indicated.
After the World of Orekhovets there were several more Russian-Swedish clashes, but in all peace agreements the borders approximately corresponded to the Treaty of Orekhovets. Only Tyavzinsky peace treaty of 1595 of the year, which ended the Russian-Swedish war of 1590 — 1593, seriously changed the position of the borders. Russia ceded Sweden Estland principality (Esterbotnia).
During this period, the Finns were baptized (they later adopted Lutheranism). The Swedes were actively colonizing the island and coastal regions of Finland. Swedish has become the official language of the region. Swedish feudal lords owned vast territories, in the hands of the Swedes were all the highest administrative and judicial positions.
In the Time of Troubles, Sweden was able to capture a significant part of North Russia. Russia lost all access to the Baltic Sea and the northern coast of Lake Ladoga: the cities of Ivangorod, Yam, Koporye, Oreshek and Korela. However, most of Karelia managed to save for Russia.
To be continued ...