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[UNDER SWEDISH RULE] - [AUTONOMY UNDER RUSSIA] - [INDEPENDENCE]

Independence
Tiina Tuulasvaara-Kaleva

The Russification attempts of the government could also be witnessed in Tampere. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, plenty of Russian troops were stationed in town. A revolution broke out in Russia during the final stages of the war. Finland won her independence, but long-term disagreements between the workers and the bourgeois circles led to a bloody Civil War in 1918. The war culminated in the conquest of working class city Tampere and victory for the Whites. Major areas of the city were destroyed. The workers who had fought on the Red side were rounded up in Kauppatori and Keskustori squares and sent to prison camps. In the camps, many of them died of hunger and diseases.

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Reconstruction began immediately after the war, but the nation's deep and insurmountable division remained for decades to come. In 1919 the townspeople got equal and universal suffrage also in municipal elections, and Social Democrats won majority in town administration. In Tampere's municipal life the Conservatives and Social Democrats reached an understanding, the Communists were forced underground. The town's most important tasks included the removal of social problems and annexations of new areas. Municipal housing production started in the beginning of the 1920s and the major annexations were made in the following decade. Right wing extremists kidnapped Tampere's Social Democrat chief judge Väinö Hakkila and took him by car to Lapua in July 1930. The infected relations between right wing and left wing also led to struggles when right wing members of the civil guard stripped down the flags lining the streets during a Social Democrat party convention in 1933.

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Finland's Winter War and Continuation War 1939-1945 created a spirit of national integrity in the country. This facilitated co-operation between the right and the left in paying off the war reparations and in the country's reconstruction. The Tampere brothers-in-arms axle was active since the 1950s. Under the lead of Social Democrat Erkki Napoleon Lindfors the key jobs and boards of the city were manned by members of the conservative Coalition Party and the Social Democrat Party. It was characteristic of the brothers-in-arms axle to make the decisions in advance as much as possible. Tampere grew rapidly, social welfare and education were being developed, project development was beginning and plans were made to promote tourism. Despite many attempts, Tampere never succeeded in getting a Pirkanmaa province of its own. At the turn of the 1960s and the 1970s the Left became more popular and politics invaded all quarters of the society. The city confronted new challenges when industry, the traditional livelihood, drifted into difficulties in the 1980s and the 1990s. The solution to unemployment was sought from education and a new kind of entrepreneurship. New values, such as ecology and environmentalism, entered the political life. One-issue movements attracted followers together with party politics.

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