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Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Finland - History

Finland - History
Print Finland - History Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.3

     challenging words:    fifth-highest, national-language, dissatisfaction, tsar, nationalist, long-standing, modern-day, believers, civilian, present-day, civil, revolution, independence, conflict, industry, nation
     content words:    Swedish Vikings, Martin Luther, Catholic Church, Protestant Reformation, Mikael Agricola, Great Wrath, Under Russian, This Finnish-language, World War II, German Nazis

Finland - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman

1     For most of its modern history, Finland has been a battleground of Scandinavia. Its location between Sweden and Russia kept it at the center of conflict for many years. Its location also meant that for much of its history, it would be ruled by either Sweden or Russia. It has been only in the last 100 years that Finland has enjoyed true independence.
2     The history of people in Finland goes all the way back to when the country was covered in ice. In 8,000 BC, the ice started melting (in the south at first) revealing land suitable for humans. According to Finnish tradition, tribes began moving into Finland around this time. The ancestors of modern-day Finland moved into the area from present-day Russia and Estonia between 3,000 BC and the first century AD.
3     From the earliest times of Finland's history, Sweden, to Finland's west, and Russia, to Finland's east, wanted to control Finland and its people, the Finns. During the years of the Swedish Vikings (800-1050) the Swedes first met the Finns, and first got the idea that they'd like to rule Finland. But so did the Russians, and in the 13th century, the Russians and the Swedes went to war over (and in) Finland. By the war's end in 1323, the Russians had managed to hold on to some land in Finland, but the Swedes took control of most of the rest of Finland. The Swedes ruled Finland for almost 500 years.
4     The Swedes belonged to the Catholic religion, so during the early part of Swedish rule, Catholicism was the religion of the Finns. Catholic churches served as schools and government buildings. But the Catholic religion wouldn't be the only religious force in Finland.
5     In 1517, in nearby Germany, a scholar named Martin Luther became dissatisfied with how the Catholic Church was operating. He wrote a paper (the 95 Theses) that argued against many of the church's functions. His arguments against the church sparked the Protestant Reformation, which quickly spread to Finland. Luther's writings found many believers in Finland, where the Lutheran church quickly took hold. A Finn by the name of Mikael Agricola was so impressed with Luther's writings that he translated the Bible into Finnish. Because the Finnish language hadn't yet been seen in print, Agricola is known as the father of the written Finnish language.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
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