The first inhabitants of Finland were the Sami (Lapp) people.

-1000 B.C: Finnish speakers migrated to Finland, the Sami were forced to move northward to the arctic regions.

1157: The Finns’ repeated raids on the Scandinavian coast impelled Eric IX, the Swedish king, to conquer the country. It was made a part of the Swedish kingdom and converted to Christianity.

1809: the whole of Finland was conquered by Russia, who set up Finland as a grand duchy.

1809-1914: The period of Russification. Russian was the country’s official language and Rusia had the political power.

1917:Russia became engulfed by the March Revolution.

6 December, 1917: Indepencende of Finland.

28 January 1918: the Civil War flared in two separate locations. Reds (working class, aspired to a Russian-style socialist revolution) Vs. Whites ( The nacionalists dreamed of monarchy and sought to emulate Germany). 108 days of heavy fighting, 30,000 Finns were killed. The whites won the war.

1939: The USSR attacked Finland after Finland refused to give in to Soviet territorial demands. The Finns staged a strong defense for three months before being forced to cede to the Soviets kilometers. 

1941: Under German pressure, the Finns joined the Nazis against Russia, but they were defeated again and forced to cede the Petsamo area to the USSR. 

1948: a treaty of friendship and mutual assistance was signed by the two nations. 

Finally, Finland was neutral in the cold-war era.

References:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/finland/history#253725

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