Finland is a Nordic country located in Northern Europe. It was inhabited by hunters and gatherers, who used stone tools, approximately 9000 BC, during the end of the last Ice Age. Ceramics, corded ware, bronze, iron and copper artifacts have been unearthed, dating as far back as 5200 BC. Between the12th through 13th centuries, and during the Northern Crusades, colonization happened by way of the Catholic Church. This region of Finland was then part of Sweden, ruled under the King of Sweden. After the Finnish War of 1809, the Republic of Finland officially became a country on March 29, 1809. During this time the Luthern religion spread, and part of Finland was ceded to the Russian Empire. Finland then became the Grand Duchy of Finland. In 1917, Finland finally declared its independence and was officially known as the Republic of Finland.
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