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it provided with other nations, brought western cultural patterns to the Finns. Christianity began to be stabilized around the year 1150, as Sweden's crusading spirit and aggressive eastern policies conquered Finland. The new area soon began to take shape as a geographical entity as well, and although the homogeneity was most apparent in its religion, even as a state Finland began to appear as an entity. The population began to spread out along the southern coast, from the western shores toward the Carelian Isthmus, and in the interior Häme (Tavastland) was also relatively densely populated, but the rest of the land was still quite deserted. Western Finland already practised agriculture, while elsewhere the woodlands were being cleared. In the most densely populated areas there developed communities, from whose local self-governments developed the concepts of Finnish democracy. 2

During the reign of the first king of Sweden-Finland of the modern era, Gustavus Vasa (1523-1560), many reforms were put into effect. This same period saw Mikael Agricola guide the Reformation in Finland. It was a gradual turning from Catholicism to Lutheranism, and a literature was necessary for carrying out the process. Turning to the creation of a written Finnish language, Agricola proceeded systematically: first of all he published a Finnish primer, in 1542, then a Catechism in 1543, a prayer book the following year, and finally a translation of the New Testament in 1548. Thus he succeeded in creating a unified Finnish language, understood in all the various dialect areas. Agricola's motives were primarily religious, but possibly colored in part with an awareness of a unified Finnish nation. Among the people themselves, any national spirit there may have been was still dormant. 3

In the beginning of the 17th century, guided by Gustavus II Adolphus (1611-1632), Sweden-Finland rose to the position of a major power as a result of its active military campaigns and expansionist policies. The primary reason for success lay not so much in the power resources of Sweden-Finland as it did in the relative weakness of the surrounding countries. Finland was assigned the mission of the stabilization of its own eastern frontiers, but at the same time made its contribution to the kingdom as well: eight infantry regiments under the command of Gustav Horn and three cavalry regiments under Ake Tott added fifteen to sixteen thousand Finnish men to the Swedish armies, and the

2. op. cit. R. Rosen, "Varhaiskeskiaika", I, pp. 105-214.

3. op. cit. Pentti Renvall, "Uuden ajan murros", I, pp. 278-313.


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