Researchers have revealed that in 1809, when Finland became a part of Russia after being under Swedish rule, Czar Alexander I described the event in very similar terms as President Vladimir Putin did in his speech on March 18, 2014, on the annexation of Crimea to Russia.
Anneli Portman whose dissertation is due to be examined on 11 April at the University of Helsinki, said that both rulers strove to reassure their audience of their goodwill towards the well-regarded people in the area and appealed to both history and divine right. Alexander cited Napoleon and Putin the United States as the arrogant enemy.
The czars who ruled Finland emphasised benevolence, spirituality and conformity in their public speeches. The speeches of the presidents reflect a much wider variety of values in addition to the political situation of the time.
Porthman reveals that the czars spoke of society as a web of personal relationships and emphasised values related to the in-group and its wellbeing. The in-group includes the family and anyone else who can be included in 'we.'
The study used a total of 355 written speeches which were originally delivered to the nation between 1809 and 2000. Three types of speeches were used: Parliament opening speeches (1809-2000), prayer day declarations (1812-1999) and New Year's speeches (1935-2000).