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to being ordered about by others. 30 Sometimes, of course, there would be the case of someone whose deeds had brought him into conflict with society, someone avoiding the long arm of the law, someone defaulting on his debts, or evading difficult family relationships. 31 The conservativeness of the older generation sometimes came into conflict with the demands of the younger, and the result was the departure of the weaker. 32 And ill-fated love - there was a romantic reason for facing the real hardships of pioneer life.

Although the more recent mass emigration of the Finns did not begin until toward the end of the last century, at a time when religion in most of the world had become an individual concern, in spite of that emigration from the very poor and barren northern Finland did have religious reasons also. Old customs were being widely undermined by decadence; the state (Lutheran) church had lost its hold, and then the evangelists appeared on the stage. The teachings of Laestadius began to get wide popular support, but the cult was soon in difficulties with the state church. Although it would be wrong to speak of religious persecution, the conflict nevertheless resulted in many of the followers of Laestadius moving to America, where they knew complete freedom of religion to be.

Some scholars have also developed as a cause for the emigration, the theory of the simple desire of seeing the new, of Wanderlust. 33 Others again have commented that, although this phenomenon has been given considerable attention among researchers in Central and southern Europe, it cannot be given much weight as far as Finland is concerned. 34 However, it is difficult to find other suitable classification for quite a few immigrants who have not been able to give a single reason to account for

their move. 35

Each of these reasons individually, and all of them together, explain a bit of human life : the reason why the Minnesota Finns left the country of their birth.

The Extent of Finnish Immigration

At the present time it is still impossible to procure completely accurate statistics of the numbers of Finns who have come to the

30. E. Sulkanen, op. cit. p. 10.

31. James T. Adams, Amerikan eepos. Helsinki, 1947. p. 274. 32. Kolehmainen and Hill, op. cit. p. 23.

33. Cf M. Tarkkanen, Siirtolaisuus, sen syyt ja seuraukset. p. 7, 34. 0. H. Kilpi, op. cit. p. 31.

35. Kolehmainen and Hill, op. cit. p. 23,


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