the roles of the Finnish and Swedish languages turned, with the help of
the local press, into party disputes concerning social issues. Following
the Manifesto of February 1899 Russification measures became stricter
and the first period of oppression began. The events of the general strike
of 1905 were centred on Jyväskylä. The country's first parliamentary election
took place in 1907.
The issue of making Central Finland a separate administrative district
was mainly kept alive by the inhabitants of the province and by the press.
In spite of political differences, the parties in the province were in
favour of a separate district. By the beginning of the century the concept
of Central Finland became rooted in the country's tourist and cultural
circles. Natural beauty and the boat traffic on Lake Päijänne added to
the province's popularity as a travel destination. In the early years
of the century Akseli Gallén-Kallela produced numerous paintings in northern
Central Finland. Gallén and his students popularised the nature of Central
Finland in particular.