The creation of Finland as a grand duchy within the Russian Empire in 1809 opened up the question of what Finland was, in fact. Comparing Finland synchronously with other countries and diachronically with itself before and after its elevation into a grand duchy gained temporal features in which its level of development was assessed. Such temporal comparisons during the first half of the 19th century were used to shape Finland as a political unit, as they facilitated assessment of which parts of society needed to improve in order to make the country comparable with imagined or real others. Given that the Diet (the Estate Assembly) was not convened between 1809 and 1863, these comparative notions largely dealt with questions of political constitution and state institutions. The comparative mindset of the Finnish actors also developed in the process of conducting temporal comparisons. These comparisons can be analyzed through the analytical categories of descriptive synchronization, comparative synchronization, and participative synchronization, the last mentioned being possible only when Finnish actors began to think that Finland, indeed, had developed to a level of maturity.
01/01/2019 → 31/12/2021
Projekti: Helsingin yliopiston kolmivuotinen tutkimushanke