- Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
Infobox President|name= Pehr Evind Svinhufvud
President of Finland
March 1, 1931
March 1, 1937
Lauri Kristian Relander
Prime Minister of Finland
July 4, 1930
February 18, 1931
order3=Regent of Finland
May 27, 1918
December 12, 1918
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
order4=Chairman of the Senate of Finland
November 27, 1917
May 27, 1918
Eemil Nestor Setälä
Juho Kusti Paasikivi
death_date=Death date and age|1944|2|29|1861|12|15
party=National Coalition Party|
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad (
December 15, 1861– February 29, 1944) was the President of Finlandfrom 1931 to 1937. Serving as a lawyer, judge, and politician in the Russian Grand Duchy of Finland, he played a major role in the movement for Finnish independence. Svinhufvud was the first Head of Stateof independent Finland, first as Chairman of the Senate, and then subsequently as "Protector of State" or Regent. He also served as Prime Minister 1930-1931.
As a conservative who was strong in his opposition to
communismand the Left in general, Svinhufvud did not become a President embraced by all the people, although as the amiable "Ukko-Pekka" (Old Man Pete), he did enjoy wide popularity.
Family background and early life
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud af Qvalstad was born in
Sääksmäki. He was the son of Pehr Gustaf Svinhufvud af Qvalstad, a sea captain, and Olga von Becker. The father drowned at sea off Greecein 1863, when Pehr Evind was only two years old. He spent his early childhood at the home of his paternal grandfather, Pehr Gustaf Svinhufvud af Qvalstad (a provincial treasurer of Häme), at Rapola, where the family had lived for five generations. The Svinhufvud's were a Swedophone noblefamily tracing their history back to Dalarna, Sweden. Pehr Gustaf Svinhufvud af Qvalstad, an army lieutenant in the reign of Karl XII, had moved from there to Rapola after the Great Northern War. The family had been ennobled in Sweden in 1574, and it was also introduced to the Finnish House of Nobilityin 1818. Rapola was sold when his grandfather shot himself in 1866, and Svinhufvud moved to Helsinkiwith his mother and his sister.
He attended the Swedish-language high school in Helsinki. In 1878, at the age of 16, he enrolled at the Imperial Alexander University of Helsinki. There he gained a
Bachelor's degreein 1881, and then completed a Master of Arts degree in 1882; his main subjects being Finnish, Russian and Scandinavian History. After this, he took a Master of Laws degree, graduating in 1886. In 1889, Svinhufvud married Alma (Ellen) Timgren (1869–1953). They had six children, Yngve (1890–1991), Ilmo (1892-1969), Aino (1893-1980), Eino (1896-1938), Arne (1904-1942), and Eivind (1908-1969).
A Lawyer and a politician
Svinhufvud's career in law followed a regular course: he worked as a lawyer, served at district courts, and served as a deputy judge at the
TurkuCourt of Appeal. In 1892 he was appointed as a member of the Senate's law-drafting committee at the relatively young age of 31. For six years he worked in the committee, initially redrafting taxation laws. As head of his family, Svinhufvud participated as a member of the Estate of Nobles in the Diet of Finlandin 1894 and 1899-1906.
He found his work on the law-drafting committee tedious and moved to the Court of Appeal as an assistant judge in 1902, his long-term goal being the easy life of a rural judge. Svinhufvud stayed mainly in the background until 1899, when
Imperial Russiainitiated a Russification policy for the autonomous Grand Duchy. The Finnish answer was mainly legislative and constitutional resistance, of which Svinhufvud became a central figure as a judge in the Court of Appeals.
When some inhabitants of Helsinki lodged a complaint with the Turku Court of Appeal in 1902, concerning violence employed by the Russian Governor of
Uusimaato break up a demonstration against military call-ups, the court initiated proceedings against Governor-General Bobrikov. Bobrikov demanded that they be stopped, and when this did not happen, he used a decree which the Finns regarded as illegal to dismiss sixteen officials of the court, including Svinhufvud.
Originally a moderate of the
Finnish Partyor Old Finnish Party, after his dismissal Svinhufvud became a strict constitutionalist who regarded the resistance of judges and officials as a question of justice, not believing that political expediency offered compromises. He moved to Helsinki to work as a lawyer and participated in the political activities both of the Diet and of a secret society, "Kagal".
Svinhufvud played a key role in the birth of a new parliamentary system in 1905 and he was elected as a
Young Finnish Partymember of the new Parliament in 1906. Svinhufvud went on to serve as a member of Parliament on four occasions (1907-1908, 1908-1914, 1917, and 1930-1931).
After being appointed as a judge in
Heinolain 1906, he attempted to keep out of the front line of politics. However he was elected Speaker of the Parliament in 1907, largely because the majority Social Democrats considered him "the best-known opponent of illegality". Svinhufvud's parliamentary opening speeches, in which he laid emphasis on legality, led to the Tsar dissolving Parliament in both 1909 and 1910. He served as Speaker until 1912. Svinhufvud also served as a judge in Lappee1908-1914.
During the First World War, when Russia replaced various Finnish officials with Russians. Svinhufvud refused to obey the orders of the Russian procurator
Konstantin Kazansky, which he considered illegal, and this led to his removal from office as a judge and being exiled to Tomskin Siberiain November 1914. In his Siberian exile, he spent his time hunting and mending his clothes, still keeping secret contact with the independence movement. When he left Finland, he had promised to return "with the help of God and Hindenburg". When news of the February Revolutionreached Svinhufvud, he walked to the town's police station and bluntly announced, "The person who sent me here has been arrested. Now I'm going home." In Helsinki he was greeted as a national hero.
Independence and the Civil War
Svinhufvud was appointed as Chairman of the Senate on
November 27 1917, and was a key figure in the announcement of Finland's declaration of independenceon December 6 1917. He also personally went to Saint Petersburgto meet Lenin, who somewhat hesitatingly gave his official recognition of Finnish independence. Svinhufvud's Senate also authorized General Mannerheim to form a new Finnish army on the basis on White Guard, the (chiefly Rightist) volunteer militiacalled the "Suojeluskunta," an act simultaneously coinciding with the beginning of the Civil War in Finland.
During the Civil War, Svinhufvud went underground in Helsinki and sent pleas for intervention to Germany and Sweden. The conflict also turned him into an active
monarchist, though not a royalist. In March 1918 he managed to escape via Berlin- Stockholmto the Senate, now located in Vaasa, where he resumed his function as Head of Government. In this role he pardoned 36,000 Red prisoners in the autumn of 1918. On May 18, Svinhufvud became Protector of State or Regent, retaining this post as Head of Stateafter he stood down as Chairman of the Senate on May 27.
After Germany's defeat in
World War I, and the failed attempt to make Finland a Monarchy under the King of Finland( Frederick Charles of Hessewas elected), Svinhufvud withdrew from public life and was active only in the Rightist "Suojeluskunta"-militia.
Prime Minister and President
In 1925 he was the Presidential candidate for the conservative "Kokoomus" party, but was not elected. After the emergence of the
anti-communist Lapua Movement, President Relander appointed him as Prime Minister of Finlandon the Lapua Movement's insistence. Svinhufvud was elected President in 1931, and appointed Mannerheim as Chairman of the Defence Council, not least of all as an answer to the Lapua movement's fear of having fought the Civil War in vain.
He resisted both Communist agitation and the Lapua Movement's exploits. All Communist members of parliament were arrested. In February 1932 there was a so-called
Mäntsälä Rebellion, when the "Suojeluskunta"-Militia and the Lapua Movement demanded the Cabinet's resignation. The turning point came with the President's broadcast radio speech, in which he called on the rebels to surrender and ordered all Civil Guard members who were heading for Mäntsälä to return to their homes:
:"Throughout my long life, I have struggled for the maintenance of law and justice, and I cannot permit the law to now be trampled underfoot and citizens to be led into armed conflict with one another.....Since I am now acting on my own responsibility, beholden to no-one, and have taken it upon myself to restore peace to the country, from now on every secret undertaking is aimed not only at the legal order but at me personally as well - at me, who have myself marched in the ranks of the Civil Guards as an upholder of social peace.....Peace must be established in the country as swiftly as possible, and the defects that exist in our national life must thereafter be eliminated within the framework of the legal order." His speech stopped the rebellion before anything serious happened.
Svinhufvud was not a supporter of
Parliamentarism. He believed it to be better for Finland if the Social Democrats could be kept outside of the Cabinet. It was due to this that, in the Presidential election of 1937, the Social Democrats and the Agrarian party voted against him. He was not re-elected.
At the end of
Winter War, he unsuccessfully sought audience with both Hitlerand Mussolinibut met only Pope Pius XII. During the Continuation Warhe supported the idea of an expansionistic war.
Svinhufvud died at
Luumäkiin 1944, while Finland was seeking peace with the Soviet Union.
He refused to
Finnicizehis 500-year-old surname (maybe because its literal meaning is "swinehead").
The largest Finnish-built
steam locomotive( 4-6-2type) was nicknamed "Ukko-Pekka" after him.
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Look at other dictionaries:
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud — Svinhufvuds Unterschrift … Deutsch Wikipedia
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Pehr Evind Svinhufvud — Mandats 3e président de la Finlande 2 mars 1931 – … Wikipédia en Français
Pehr Evind Svinhufvud — (1861 1944), político finlandés, tercer presidente de la República de Finlandia (1931 1937), licenciado en derecho. Antes de la independencia de Finlandia (el 6 de diciembre de 1917, Svinhufvud era diputado en el grupo del estado noble, en el… … Enciclopedia Universal
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Svinhufvud, Pehr Evind — ▪ president of Finland born Dec. 15, 1861, Sääksmäki, Fin. died Feb. 29, 1944, Luumäki first chief of state of independent Finland, as prime minister and then as president. He headed the Finnish government during his country s civil war (1918)… … Universalium
Svinhufvud, Pehr Evind — ► (1861 1944) Político finlandés. En 1917 proclamó la independencia de Finlandia. Fue regente en 1918, primer ministro en 1930 y presidente de la República en 1931 37 … Enciclopedia Universal
Svinhufvud — bei einer Radioansprache im Jahre 1935. Pehr Evind Svinhufvud [pæːr ˈeːvind ˈsviːnhʉːvɵd], ( * 15. Dezember 1861 in Sääksmäki; † 29. Februar 1944 in Luumäki), mit vollem adligem Namen Svinhufvud af Qvalstad, war ein finnischer Politiker und… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Pehr — may refer to: * Pehr Kalm, Finnish explorer and naturalist * Pehr Wilhelm Wargentin, Swedish astronomer * Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, Prime Minister and President of Finland … Wikipedia
Pehr — Peer, auch Per, Pehr oder Pär, ist ein männlicher Vorname aus dem skandinavischen Raum. Gebräuchliche Koseform des Namens in Schweden ist Pelle. Der Namenstag ist im skandinavischen Raum der 1. August. Herkunft Es handelt sich um die norwegische… … Deutsch Wikipedia