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Chapter I

Who Are They,

Whence Did They Come?

An outline o f Finnish history, based on most recent research

The Finno-Ugric Language Family

The overwhelming majority of American colonists, the pioneers and the immigrants, have come from Europe. All nationalities, from the Anglo-Saxons to the Slavs, from the Swedes to the Italians, have taken part in settling the new continent. It was a few thousand years ago that the Indo-Europeans first made their appearance on the old continent, and world history from that point on has essentially been the history of the Indo-Europeans. From a basic language common to them all there developed in time the present-day Babel of languages; today the differences are so great that only scholars can prove, for example, that English and Russian, or Swedish and Persian, are related tongues.

Within this vast Indo-European area, there has managed to survive a small Finno-Ugric language group, to which some 18,000,000 people belong. The main clusters within it are the Hungarians, the Finns, the Esthonians, and the Mordvinians. The so-called Baltic Finns, to which belong the Finns, the Esthonians, the Carelians, the Vepsians, the Votians and the Livonians, form such a closely related group that their languages are as closely related to each other as are, for example, the Scandinavian languages. On the other hand, the Finnish and Hungarian languages differ from each other at least as much as does English from Russian. With such a degree of variance, all claims of blood relationships remain without concrete evidence. A Finno-Ugric parent people once did exist, but that was thousands


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