A history of Finland

After the second World War, Finland maintained a policy of neutrality throughout the Cold War. Its foreign policies in general were understandably cautious considering its proximity to the Soviet Union. Instead, Finland cooperated with the other Nordic countries and refused to take a side with any of the superpowers involved in the Cold War. The Nordic Council formulated a passport union in 1952 of which Finland was a part. This union allowed citizens of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland to easily cross borders, obtain jobs and more. This was important to Finland as many of its citizens sought higher paying jobs in Sweden during the 50's and 60's.

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The 1970's saw Finland recovering remarkably from World War Two and its economy also took a turn for the better. Finland's GDP rose to a level that rivaled Japan and the United Kingdom and an education boom took off as many Finns went abroad to schools in Europe and the United States. Finland was mainly a capitalist country, which was unique among most countries bordering the Soviet Union. That form of economy was widely supported by Finns and savings rates remained around eight percent until the 1980's, which was among the highest in the world.

The years between the 70's and 90's saw Finland become one of the most advanced countries in the world with a high standard of living. Social and political stability remained at an all-time high. However, a depression awaited Finland in 1991. Depressed markets around the world, Finland's own economic overheating and a fixed currency led to the depression and saw stocks and housing decline by half. The GDP went down by 15 percent and a nearly 100 percent employment rate went down to one fifth of the workforce being unemployed. The depression hit bottom in 1993 and Finland's markets slowly started to recover.

Finland joined the European Union in 1995 and quickly integrated. Finland also increased its protection against its Russian borders by building a military force that is involved in both NATO and UN missions. The growth rate of Finland's economy and GDP is still one of the highest in the Western world.

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