The Finnish Civil War was a part of the national and social turmoil
caused by World War I in Europe. The war was fought from January 27,
1918 to May 15, 1918, between the forces called the "Reds" led by the
People's Deputation of Finland under the control of the Finnish Social
Democrats, and the forces called the "Whites", led by the Senate of
Vaasa representing the Senate of Finland formed by the bourgeois
parties. The defeat in World War I and the February and October
revolutions in 1917 caused a total collapse of the Russian Empire; and
the destruction of the mother country resulted in a corresponding
breakdown of Finnish society during 1917. As there were no generally
accepted police and army forces to keep order in Finland after March
1917, the left and right began building security groups of their own,
leading to the emergence of two independent armed military troops, the
White and Red Guards. The Whites were the victors in the war that
followed. The Civil War remains the most controversial and emotionally
loaded event in the history of modern Finland. Approximately 37,000
people died during the conflict, including casualties at the war
fronts, and deaths from political terror campaigns and high prison
camp mortality. The turmoil destroyed the economy, split the political
apparatus, and divided the Finnish nation for many years.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
Pope John XIX crowned Conrad II as Holy Roman Emperor.
William Caxton, the first printer of books in English, printed his
translation of Aesop's Fables.
East Pakistan declared its independence from Pakistan to form
Bangladesh, starting the Bangladesh Liberation War.
The Schengen Agreement, a 1985 treaty to abolish systematic border
controls between participating European countries, went into effect.
The Melissa computer worm was released, infecting e-mail systems
around the world.
Wikiquote of the day:
The world and the universe is an extremely beautiful place, and the
more we understand about it the more beautiful does it appear. It is
an immensely exciting experience to be born in the world, born in the
universe, and look around you and realise that before you die you have
the opportunity of understanding an immense amount about that world
and about that universe and about life and about why we're here. We
have the opportunity of understanding far, far more than any of our
predecessors ever. That is such an exciting possibility, it would be
such a shame to blow it and end your life not having understood what
there is to understand. -- Richard Dawkins