Russification of Finland

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Russification of Finland

The policy of Russification of Finland (1899–1905 and 1908–1917, called sortokaudet/sortovuodet (times/years of oppression) in Finnish and förtrycksperioderna in Swedish) was a governmental policy of the Russian Empire aimed at limiting the special status of the Grand Duchy of Finland and possibly the termination of its political autonomy and cultural uniqueness. It was a part of a larger policy of Russification pursued by late 19th–early 20th century Russian governments which tried to abolish cultural and administrative autonomy of non-Russian minorities within the empire. The two Russification campaigns evoked widespread Finnish resistance, starting with petitions and escalating to strikes, passive resistance (including draft resistance) and eventually active resistance. Finnish opposition to Russification was one of the main factors that ultimately led to Finland's declaration of independence in 1917.