Republic of Finland |
A Northern European nation, Finland borders the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia. With its capital in Helsinki, Finland consists of six provinces: Aland, Etela-Suomen Laani, Ita-Suomen Laani, Lansi-Suomen Laani, Lappi, Oulun Laani. Finland is governed by the President, Prime Minister and its Council of State, and a unicameral Parliament or Eduskunta.
Before gaining its independence in 1917, Finland was a province and then a grand duchy under Sweden from the 12th to the 19th centuries and an autonomous grand duchy of Russia after 1809. During World War II, Finland was able to successfully defend its freedom and resist invasions by the Soviet Union. Finland made huge strides in transforming its agriculture based economy into a modern industrial economy, now one of the most technologically advanced in the world.