Nursery Rhymes

Finnish Immigration to America Timeline

The foundation of the United States of America was built upon the religions, ideals, skills and culture that the first immigrants from Finland brought with them. Famous historical events including the devastating Finnish Famine of 1866 - 1868 and the political conflicts that led to the emigration of thousands of Finns to the United States.

The History Timeline of Finnish Immigration to America is extremely important and reflects important dates and events that prompted the emigration of people from Finland. The History Timeline of Finnish Immigration to America includes important dates and events in the history of Finland that contributed to the push and pull factors which led to mass immigration from Finland.

Finnish Immigration to America Timeline

What were the reasons for Finnish immigration to America and what was happening in Finland to prompt the drastic action of leaving home for an unknown life in America? The Finnish Immigration to America Timeline provides dates and important events that provide the history of US immigration from Finland.

The Finnish Immigration to the United States Timeline highlights the Push and Pull factors of immigration such as political and religious persecution, wars that occured in Finland together with dates of any natural disasters such as floods, plague, crop failures and famine.

Finnish Immigration to America Timeline
The five US states with the largest Finnish population are California, Michigan, Minnesota, Washington and Massachusetts.. According to the US Bureau of the Census of 2000 a total of 623,000 Americans claimed to be solely or partially of Finnish descent. Finnish-Americans made a significant impact on the culture of Americans and the history of the United States as can be seen in the following timeline detailing these immigrants to America.  



The Christianization of the Finnish people during the Crusades of the Medieval period and the adoption of the Roman Catholic religion.



Finland was conquered by Sweden and the history of the two countries was combined.



50 Finnish and Swedish colonists established the first small colony in Delaware Bay that was called New Sweden (Nya Sverige).



The Finnish Captain Hans Ammundson Besk was awarded a huge tract of land in Delaware by Queen Christina of Sweden (1626 – 1689).



Martti Marttinen joined the New Sweden Colony and was the ancestor of the politician John Morton who signed the United States Declaration of Independence.



The areas of lands of the New Sweden colony fall to the Dutch.



The American colonies owned by the Dutch and previously the Swedish fall to the English.



A devastating famine in Finland (1696-1697) wiped out almost a third of the population.



The Great Northern War (1700–1721) led to the deaths of many thousands.



66% of the inhabitants of the city of Helsinki died of the Bubonic plague.



Finland was ceded to Russia by Sweden and political unrest led to people wanting to emigrate from Finland.



Finnish traders traveled to Alaska including Arvid Adolf Etholén and Johan Hampus Furuhjelm.



The Finnish Famine of 1866 - 1868, the "suuret nälkävuodet" led to the deaths of 15% of the entire population. The famine and following disease prompted the first major wave of Finnish immigrants.



The financial panic of 1873 hit the US lasting for 6 years halting the flow of migration to the United States.



Anti-Finnish policies of the Russian government led to the Great Migration from Finland as Finns saw the opportunities for a new life due to the the industrialization of America.



Immigration levels to the US reached massive levels. Between 1881 - 1890 5,246,613 immigrants arrived in the United States. The government were forced to take action and a restrictive law was passed called the 1882 Immigration Act.



The Ellis Island immigration center was opened where immigrants from Europe, including Finland, were required to undergo medical and legal examinations. Less than 2% of immigrants from Finland were turned away.



Finland obtained independence during the 1917 Russian Revolution.



Finland became a republic in 1919.



Finnish Immigration to America has declined from this time.

Finnish Immigration to America Timeline

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