Paper Title

Työmies and Pappi: A Critical Look at the Finnish Socialist Federation and the Suomi Synod in Early 20th Century Michigan

Location

Fisher 126

Event Website

http://www.finnforumx.com/

Start Date

12-4-2014 11:20 AM

End Date

12-4-2014 11:40 AM

Description

At the dawn of the 20th century, the burgeoning influence of the Finnish immigrant socialist-unionist movement collided with the authoritative, conservative nature of the Suomi Synod. While the Synod, headquartered in Hancock, Michigan, was attempting to recreate the Finnish state church in America, the quickly radicalizing immigrant socialist-unionist movement was attempting to convert the masses to a materialist message of class struggle manifested by then current conditions in Michigan’s Copper Country and industrial America. The most persuasive voice of class struggle for immigrant Finns at this time was the Finnish-language newspaper Työmies (The Workingman) published in Hancock. Caustic editorials on religion, critical examinations of Christian orthodoxy in translations of Marx and Kropotkin, and ribald cartoons lampooning members of the Synod clergy and laity all demonstrated the overwrought interactions between Työmies and the Synod. This paper will highlight these tense interactions through analysis of doctrine, ideology, and imagery by delving into the primary historical record to reveal the vast gulf between two of the major institutions in early 20th century Finnish immigrant social life.

Presenter Bio

Kaunonen is a PhD student in Michigan Technological University’s Rhetoric and Technical Communication program. For a time he was Archivist, Historian, and Collection Development Coordinator at the Finnish American Historical Archive. His work focuses on social, labor, and immigration history as well as the material culture of mining and industrial communities. He has written two books on Michgan’s Finns, and another on the 1913-14 Michigan Copper Strike. Two of these three books have won Historical Society of Michigan Book Awards.

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Apr 12th, 11:20 AM Apr 12th, 11:40 AM

Työmies and Pappi: A Critical Look at the Finnish Socialist Federation and the Suomi Synod in Early 20th Century Michigan

Fisher 126

At the dawn of the 20th century, the burgeoning influence of the Finnish immigrant socialist-unionist movement collided with the authoritative, conservative nature of the Suomi Synod. While the Synod, headquartered in Hancock, Michigan, was attempting to recreate the Finnish state church in America, the quickly radicalizing immigrant socialist-unionist movement was attempting to convert the masses to a materialist message of class struggle manifested by then current conditions in Michigan’s Copper Country and industrial America. The most persuasive voice of class struggle for immigrant Finns at this time was the Finnish-language newspaper Työmies (The Workingman) published in Hancock. Caustic editorials on religion, critical examinations of Christian orthodoxy in translations of Marx and Kropotkin, and ribald cartoons lampooning members of the Synod clergy and laity all demonstrated the overwrought interactions between Työmies and the Synod. This paper will highlight these tense interactions through analysis of doctrine, ideology, and imagery by delving into the primary historical record to reveal the vast gulf between two of the major institutions in early 20th century Finnish immigrant social life.

http://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/copperstrikesymposium/Schedule/Saturday/47