The newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, May 27, 1918:

To the citizens of Finland.

The people of Finland has now won the highest victory in the nation's history so far. The domestic battle was directed against the combined attack by Russian oppressors and our own insurgent citizens, and in this battle both the foreign oppression and the rebel terror are now broken.

This victory resulted from the righteous-minded strength and devotion shared within the nation and making people to sacrifice all for the political independence and legitimate social order of Finland. The victory we won gives us courage and strength to work for the political and social reforms now expected to be solved. With full confidence in our people we have to face also the important question, now brought to us by the very need to execute the full power of Finland's independence, namely, the question about the form of government.

Somewhere in capital city circles has emerged a demand that the Finnish people should adopt a monarchical form of government which is the only way, as they say, by which our nation can be rescued from re-emerging political and social disasters, similar with those we just were able to ward off. For our farming population the idea of establishing monarchy is totally alien and is met with resolute opposition.

Deeply convinced of the benefits and necessity of the republican form of government we, the undersigned, want shortly motivate why there is no necessity to abandon the principle of a democratic republic, once unanimously adopted by the government and the Diet and for which goal the defenders of the legitimate order have fought their battle.

A monarchy lacks all domestic roots in Finland. The monarchical system has well a long history behind it but there never existed our own native royal house. At us, the king has no such aura, glorified by ancient heroism and deep-rooted national conscience, which could now blind us with its brilliance. The question about the form of constitution should simply be dealt with true circumstances and in the light of the factual popular opinion.

Our nation is in need of a strong government which will be able to secure the social order and the rights of every citizen. However, this kind of power should not be delegated to a king introduced here from a foreign country, or, to his heirs whose suitability is not known to anyone but with whom our nation would thus become joined for times to come; such powers might more safely be delegated to a head of state who is a man of our own people and is elected by the people itself. Our own circumstances have implanted in the minds of our people such a supposition that the duty, entrusted a man in a high political position, shall entail him a deep responsibility in front of his people and the history. A head of state who has been entrusted by the people with the highest political power can have a unifying, elevating and factionalism lessening effect, but a monarchy, influenced by some narrow alien circle, can easily arouse disgust and suspicion in broad social layers of our people.

This will be the case if the supreme holder of the governmental power has a real decision making and in constitution laid power instead of being a mere decorative figurehead. The latter kind of a ruler will not be missed here when genuine interests of the country and of the people are taking care of.

But is it not question about reasons of the foreign policy that are dominant when striving for a monarchy? It is argued that for defending the Finnish independence we have to find support from the mighty Germany without whose participation the Finnish fight for independence would have demanded a lot of more victims; the arguing also goes that the German protection will be secured best if we adopt a monarchy and invite a German prince to become our king.

We, too, think that the present political situation do demand close relations with Germany whose mighty assistance is still important to our nation. But even leading statesmen in Germany have clearly pointed out that the real interests of the German Reich give no grounds for German interference in Finnish internal affairs. Finland might become a much more valuable ally of Germany if the Finnish constitution enjoys support of domestic standing and of the national spirit of Finland instead of an alien way of life forced on us and lacking all such political consciousness what we respect. In the light of her interests and cultural duties Germany can maintain relations equally with either a republican or a monarchical Finland. And there is no justification for such an insulting suspicion that Germany is seeking a way to subjugate us into a status of an dependent vassal state through a monarch got from there.

Our deep conviction is that by securing the republican form of government and giving up all experiments to plant a monarchy here, a system that is very alien to the majority of our people, will prove to be the best way for Finland to develop the democratic culture inherited from our fathers and it will thus secure best her status as an independent country respecting the law and culture.

When the parliamentary groups last April nearly found a common consent to introduce a republican constitution based on democratic principles and a strong government, the prospects were that it will be adopted at the sitting of this Diet in which it enjoyed the statutory majority. This opportunity is now jeopardized by a new tendency seeking monarchy, it threatens to postpone the very type and form of the constitution, now at hand for Finland, to an unknown future. The only remedy to repel this danger is a quick and firm confirmation of the independent republic of Finland.

Helsinki, the 27th of May, 1918.
Pekka Ahmavaara
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Kaarlo Ahtiala

Santeri Alkio
Author, member of the Parliament.

Erik Alopaeus
Mayor, member of the Parliament.

K. Arffman
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Pontus Artti
Newspaper editor, Turku.

Juho Astala

Ilmari Auer
M.A., Secretary for Farmers' Union.

Uuno Brander
Head of goverment office.

[Ms.] Helena Brander
Member of the Parliament.

Zachris Castrén
Dr. Philos.

Eero Erkko
Newspaper editor.

Santeri Haapanen
Teacher, member of the Parliament.

Eero Hahl
Agronomist, member of the Parliament.

J.A. Heikkinen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Taavetti Heimonen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

J. K. Hirvensalo
Agronomist, head of cattle raising institute,

Emil Hynninen
M.A., functionary in
Farmers' Union.

Pekka Hälvä
Teacher, member of the Parliament.

Arvo Inkilä
M.A., newspaper editor.

Vilkku Joukahainen
Teacher, member of the Parliament.

Antti Juutilainen
Newspaper editor, member of the Parliament.

Jalmari Jyske

K. V. Järnefelt
High school teacher.

Teuvo Kaitila
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Kyösti Kallio

T. M. Kivimäki
M. of Laws.

J. P. Kokko
Teacher, member of the Parliament.

Arvi Kontu
Agronomist, Turku.

K. V. Koskelin
Agronomist, bank director, Jyväskylä.

Oskari Lahdensuo
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

[Ms.] Augusta Laine
Member of the Parliament.

J. Fr. Lantto

V.A. Lavonius
Managing director of
Suomi Insurance Co.

Mikko Leinonen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Niilo Liakka
Secretary of National
Educational Society.

H. J. Linna
M.A., member of the Parliament.

K. E. Linna
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

K. A. Lohi
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

M. Luopajärvi
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

[Ms.] Tilda Löthman
Headmaster, member of the Parliament.

Albin Manner
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Oskari Mantere
Dr. Philos.

Akseli Nikula
Lic. Med.

Juho Niukkanen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Severi Nuormaa
Head of Workmen's institute.

Kalle Nurmela
Land surveyor, member of the Parliament.

Hannes Nylander
Honorary councillor of agriculture,.

Erkki Paavolainen
M.A., newspaper editor.

Pekka Paavolainen
Lawyer, member of the Parliament.

E. Y. Pehkonen

Pekka Pennanen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Erkki Pullinen
Honorary councillor of agriculture,
member of the Parliament.

[Ms.] Bertta Pykälä
Member of the Parliament.

E. J. Ramstedt

Lauri Kr. Relander
Dr. Philos., member of the Parliament.

Antti Rentola
Pastor, member of the Parliament.

Heikki Ritavuori
B. of Laws.

Pekka Saarelainen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Aleksis Salovaara
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

Gunnar Sarva
Dr. Philos., schoolmaster.

Georg Schauman
Dr. Philos., University Chief Librarian.

Elias Sinkko
Agronomist, member of the Parliament.

E. V. Sopanen
Judge. Kangaslampi.

K. J. Ståhlberg
Professor, member of the Parliament.

E. Takkula

P. Tanskanen
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

V. Tarkiainen
Associate professor.

Iivari Tervonen
Lawyer, Oulu.

V. V. Tuomioja
M. of Laws.

Emil Wekara
Agronomist, member of the Parliament.

J. H. Vennola

K. V. Vuokoski
Farmer, member of the Parliament.

A. O. Vuorimaa
Vicar, member of the Parliament.

E. Zitting

Translated from the Finnish original by Pauli Kruhse (© 2007).
Newspaper appeal for a monarchy.

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