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The Fennomans were the most important political movement in the 19th century Grand Principality of Finland. They succeeded the fennophile interests of the 18th and early 19th century.


After the Crimean War, Fennomans founded the Finnish Party and intensified the language strife, yearning to raise the Finnish language and Finnic culture from peasant status to the position of a national language and a national culture. The opposition, the Svecomans, tried to defend the status of Swedish and the ties to the Germanic world.

Although the notion of Fennomans was not as common after Paasikivi's (born 1870) generation, their ideas have dominated the Finns' understanding of their nation[further explanation needed].

The mother tongue of many of the first generation of Fennomans, and of Snellman himself, was Swedish. Some of the originally Swedish-speaking Fennomans learned Finnish, and made a point of using it inside and outside the home.

Several Fennomans were from Finnish or bilingual homes. Some originally had Swedish surnames, common in Finland at that time.

Most of the Fennomans also Finnicized their family names, particularly from the end of the 19th century.

In the last years of the 19th century, and in the first years of the 20th, the Fennoman movement split into two political parties: the Old Finnish Party and the Young Finnish Party.


The Fennoman motto was coined by Adolf Ivar Arwidsson: "Svenskar äro vi icke mera, ryssar kunna vi icke bli, derför måste vi vara finnar."

"Swedes we are no more,
Russians we cannot become,
therefore Finns we must be."

Prominent Fennomans

See also


External links

  • The Association of Finnish Culture and Identity
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