Åland’s oldest stone-age finds are part of the camp-ceramic fishing culture: the first immigrants came from mainland Finland around 4,200 BC. Towards the end of the Stone Age, the islands were also populated from the west, by representatives of the ceramic culture. The population mainly fed on seal hunting and fishing, and judging by the rich bargain material from several large settlements, among other things. Jettböle, society experienced an economic upswing. The cornerstone of the economy was the hunt for Greenland seals, an animal that, however, died out at the end of the Stone Age, probably due to overexploitation. However, new research shows that livestock management gained entry during the end of the ceramic ceramic culture. Characteristic of Åland are small human-like figures of burnt clay, idols.

During the Bronze Age, the dead were buried in the stone cairns; the existing bronze objects were imported from the Swedish mainland. Some settlements were in typical cut-out mode (see Otterböte). The older iron age is mainly known through ceramic finds from the cane. Towards the end of the 500s, large burial fields were built with piles and triads. Like the numerous house exits, they testify to the move from Central Sweden; Among the objects, however, there are also Finnish and Eastern Baltic forms. The Viking Age silver treasures of early Arab coins are probably indicative of the fact that the Åland people actively participated in the Viking voyages eastwards.

The youngest pre-Christian graves are from the first half of the 11th century, which indicates that Åland was Christianized early. It has also been suggested that Åland must have been depopulated at the end of the Viking Age to be re-colonized in the early Middle Ages, a theory which is nonetheless contentious.

History of Aland


Christianity’s position was consolidated during the 12th century. Prior to the 1300s, several churches had been erected and Åland was joined by the diocese of Turku, whose bishop 1309-21, Ragnvald  II, was Ålander. At Kökar, a Franciscan monastery was founded in the mid-1400s. Administratively, Åland was divided into triads with its own judges; a county council is mentioned in 1322, as is a royal collector. The collector was from the 1328 joint, later the castle joint on the castle Kastelholm, which was erected in the 1380s. Officially the chief was at the Turku castle, but Kastelholm often had his own chiefs.

The archipelago obeyed the Austrian lawman and heard from Norrfinne’s law from 1435. In 1544, an ordinary district governor was appointed in the Åland court case. Åland belonged to the duchy of Duke Johan (later Johan  III) in 1556–63. In the county reform in 1635, the feeder was transferred to Turku and Pori county.

During the Great Nordic War, Åland was occupied by Russian troops in 1714–21; most of the population had then moved to Sweden. The years 1718–19 led to fruitless peace negotiations in Lövö village on Vårdö, and in 1719 Åland was the basis for Russian attacks against Sweden. The following year a smaller naval battle was fought at Flisö in Föglö. After the peace settlement in Nystad in 1721, the islanders returned; their number at the mid-18th century was about 9,000.

During the Finnish war, a peasant rebellion in May 1808 led to the islands being liberated from Russian troops, but the Swedish troops under von Döbeln were forced to leave Åland as early as the winter of 1809. Through the peace in Fredrikshamn the same year, Åland joined Russia, under whose rule Bomarsund’s fortress began to be erected in 1830. -the number. However, the fortress was destroyed by an English-French force in 1854 during the Crimean War, and in the peace of Paris in 1856 Russia pledged not to fortify the islands (the Åland Servitude). In 1861 Mariehamn was founded as the center of Åland.

From the second half of the 19th century, the Åland sailing industry experienced an upswing that culminated in the interwar period; Mariehamn then had the world’s largest sailing vessel fleet (compare Gustaf Erikson). During the First World War, Åland was fortified by Russia, but after the March Revolution of 1917, the situation quickly changed, and the Ålanders began to seek support from Sweden. Struggles were fought in Åland between Russian troops and “red” Finns, on the one hand, and Nystadskåren, a “white” force from the mainland. In mid-February 1918, Sweden sent a naval force to Eckerö. Nystadskåren let itself, misled by Swedish information, be transported to Sweden. In early March, German troops landed on Åland, as a first step in the intervention in the Finnish civil war. The Russian troops were disarmed, and in the spring of 1919 the fortifications of the islands were demolished.

Sweden now claimed Åland with reference to national self-determination and the will of the population. In Åland, the popular movement for connection to Sweden was led, among other things. by Åland’s founder Julius Sundblom and the mayor of Mariehamn Carl Björkman. The conflict, which aroused strong opinions in both Sweden and Finland, was resolved after scrutiny by a legal commission and a reporter group from the League of Nations in the summer of 1921 through a compromise: Åland attacked Finland on condition that it remained Swedish-speaking and demilitarized and received a high degree of autonomy; see also Aaland question, Aland Agreement and the Aland Convention. From 1938 to 39, Sweden and Finland jointly planned to fortify the islands (the so-called Stockholm Plan), but the plans, which also aroused opposition in Åland, were destroyed by the Soviet Union. However, Åland was fortified by Finland in 1939–44.

The Finnish Parliament had in 1920 adopted a self-governing law for Åland and in 1922 the so-called guarantee law. These were both in force under the Self-Government Act of 1951. This was replaced in 1993 by an expanded Self-Government Act. When self-government was once introduced, it did not satisfy any of the parties involved. However, the solution has proved to be sustainable and has often been highlighted as one of NF’s few successful efforts and a model for conflict resolution and minority protection. Åland received representation in the Nordic Council in 1970 and became a member of the EU on its own terms in 1996 following a referendum.

History of Aland
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