Santeri Alkio

Santeri Alkio

Santeri Alkio (Finnicized form of "Aleksander Filander"; b. June 17, 1862 in Laihia, Finland - d. July 24, 1930 in Laihia) was a Finnish politician, author and journalist.


Alkio's parents were Juho and Maria (nee. Jakku) Filander. He married teacher Anna Augusta Falenius in 1896.

Initially Santeri Alkio was active in the Nuorsuomalainen Puolue (Young Finnish Party), but in the end decided it was too liberal for the farming population; urbanized parties did not, in his estimation, pay enough attention to the causes that were most important to farmers. To keep the agrarian folk from becoming ensnared by socialism, he founded the "Etelä-Pohjanmaan Nuorsuomalainen Maalaisliitto", which he later fused into the less ideological "Maalaisväestön liittoon" (Centre Party of Finland). Alkio became the chief ideologue of the Maalaisliitto, and is still considered the father of the party in spirit. The party still refers to "alkioish" tendencies in some of its factions.

Alkio was a member of the Finnish House of Representatives from 1907 - 1908 and again from 1914 - 1922. He was vice-chairman of the Eduskunta in 1917 and 1918, and minister of social affairs from 1919 - 1920. He was the minister of social affairs of the Vennola government from (August 15 1919 - March 15 1920). An ardent temperance-movement activist, he participated in drafting the Finnish Prohibition and also was the minister responsible for the confirmation of president K. J. Ståhlberg.

Alkio was an extremely prolific author. He founded the newspaper "Ilkka" and was its editor through the years 1906 - 1930.

His likeness graced a Finnish stamp on July 17, 1992.

Alkio's views

Alkio was a fervent spokesman for democracy and Finnish national independence. He led the youth association movement, which above all wanted to defend the values of rural life and foster temperance and healthy living, a desire the movement held in common with the coeval Christian revivalist and labor movements.

As a nationalist, Alkio supported the independent senate of Svinhufvud. During the summer of 1917 he had supported usurping the highest power in the land from Russia via the Power of Government Act (Lex Tulenheimo) while the parties on the right still opposed it.

Alkio thought the red revolt supported by Russian soldiers was an attempt to return Finland to Soviet Russia: "It [the revolt] is meant to set Finnish independence at nought." ("Sen [kapinan] tarkoituksena on tehdä tyhjäksi Suomen itsenäisyys.")

He was also a pacifist, and proponent of European unification.


* Teerelän perhe (1887)
* Puukkojunkkarit - kuvauksia nyrkkivallan ajalta (1894) ( [ full text] )
* Murtavia voimia (1896) ( [ full text] )
* Jaakko Jaakonpoika (1913) ( [ full text] )
* Uusi aika (1914)
* Patriarkka (1916)
* Ihminen ja kansalainen (1919)
* Yhteiskunnallista ja valtiollista (1919)
* Maalaispolitiikkaa I - II (1919, 1921)
* Kootut teokset I - XIII (1919 - 1928)
* Valitut teokset (1953)

External links

* [ Keskusta-party web-page]

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