Previously on Finland Absorbed by Russia. This segment is by Baron Sergius Witte, Prime Minister of Russia at this time.
Subsequent history justified the rosiest hopes of the Emperor. The immediate consequence of the policy he adopted toward Finland was that the country quickly became calmed and settled after the fierce war that had been waged there, and that in this way Russia was enabled to concentrate all her forces upon the contest with Napoleon. According to the words of Alexander I. himself, the annexation of Finland "was of the greatest advantage to Russia; without it, in 1812, we might not, perhaps, have won success, because Napoleon had in Bernadotte his steward, who, being within five days' march of our capital, would have been inevitably compelled to join his forces with those of Napoleon. Bernadotte himself told me so several times, and added that he had Napoleon's order to declare war against Russia." And afterward, during
almost a century, Finland never occasioned any worries, political or economic, to the Russian Government, and did not require special sacrifices or special solicitude on its part.
If we may judge, not by the speeches and articles of particular Separatists, but by overt acts, during that long period of time the Finnish people never failed in their duty as loyal subjects of their monarch or citizens of the common fatherland, Russia. The successors of the conqueror of Finland spoke many times from the height of the throne "of the numerous proofs of unalterable attachment and gratitude which the citizens of this country have given their monarchs." And in effect, neither general insurrections against Russia's dominions, nor political plots, nor the tumults of an ignorant rabble - such as our cholera riots, workmen's outbreaks, Jewish pogroms, and other like disturbances - have ever occurred in Finland; and when disorders of that kind broke out in other parts of the empire or alarming tidings from abroad came in they never evoked the slightest dangerous echo there. It is a most remarkable fact that during the trying time the Russian Government had when the Polish insurrection was going on, and later, in the equally difficult period through which we passed at the close of the seventies, Finland remained perfectly calm; and in the long list of political criminals sprung from the various nationalities of Russia, we do not find a single Finlander.
In like manner fear of Finland's aspirations toward independence, of her inordinate demands in the matter of military legislation, of her turning her population into an armed nation; in a word, all the apprehensions felt that Finland may break loose from Russia are, down to the present moment, devoid of foundation in fact.
Continued on Wednesday, October 8th.