Åland Islands
   A stepping-stone cluster of islands stretching between the coasts of Sweden and Finland and marking the boundary between the Baltic Sea to the south and the Gulf of Bothnia to the north. The islands were given to Russia, along with Finland, by the Treaty of Frederikshavn concluding the Russo-Swedish War in 1809, a tertiary conflict of the Napoleonic Wars. When the Treaty of Tilsit made allies of France and Russia, the allies demanded that Sweden abandon membership in the Fourth Coalition and join them in making war against Britain. Sweden’s refusal precipitated the war with Russia in which the islands and Finland, Swedish since the twelfth century, were lost. The islands were then made officially neutral and demilitarized as part the diplomatic settlement of the Crimean War for the purpose of protecting Sweden from Russian aggression.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Andersson, Ingvar. A History of Sweden. London: Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1956.
   CARL CAVANAGH HODGE

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

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