In accordance with this declaration, the policy of Russification in Finland was steadily maintained, and caused much disappointment, not only to the Finlanders, but also to the other nationalities who desired the preservation of their ancient rights.
The early Finlanders do not seem to have had any governmental organization, but to have lived in separate communities and villages independent of each other.
Their mythology consisted in the deification of the forces of nature, as " Ukko," the god of the air, " Tapio," god of the forests, " Ahti," the god of water, &c. These early Finlanders seem to have been both brave and troublesome to their neighbours, and their repeated attacks on the coast of Sweden drew the attention of the kings of that country.
The famous Birger Jarl undertook a crusade in Finland in 12 4 9, compelling the Tavastians, one of the subdivisions of the Finlanders proper, to accept Christianity, and building a castle at Tavestehus.
It was Torkel Knutson who conquered and connected the Karelian Finlanders in 1293, and built the strong castle of Viborg.
After the final conquest of the country by the Swedes, they spread among the Finlanders their civilization, gave them laws, accorded them the same civil rights as belonged to themselves, and introduced agriculture and other beneficial arts.
(1150-1160) organized the Swedish Church on the model prevalent elsewhere, and undertook a crusade against the heathen Finlanders, which marks the beginning of Sweden's overseas dominion.