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Aaland (Åland) Islands

Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Archipelago located in the Gulf of Bothnia, between Sweden and Finland. It comprises around 6,500 mainly uninhabited islands and skerries. These belonged to Sweden until 1809 when Aaland, like Finland, became incorporated into Russia. After the crimean war the islands' neutrality was conceded by Tsar alexander ii . Following the collapse of Romanov rule in 1917 the Finns claimed the archipelago and, despite Swedish protest, the league of nations endorsed their case in 1921. During the years 1941–4 the area was under German control. Today the islands have a population of around 27,000 and continue to form an autonomous and demilitarized province of Finland, albeit with Swedish as the official language. ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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