The Finns were a hardworking people who worked primarily in forms of hard labor, such as in the mills, by farming, and by running boarding houses. These Finns did not work in white collar jobs such as an office clerk, and when Finns tried to open their own businesses in Newport, they were usually unsuccessful. The Finns were not businessmen, their talents were in creating the foundation of society, rather than the business that keeps day to day trade prospering. This in turn affected Finnish Politics, and most Finns leaned heavily to the left, either as more moderate socialists, or as communists. The reason why their politics were rarely in the middle or towards the right, was primarily because their life revolved around working hard with physical labor. When a Finn’s life revolved around working, it meant that they did not need many material goods to be satisfied, so communism was heavily appealing to the Finns, but so was socialism, and leftist politics in general. This part of the project aims to explain how the two go hand in hand, and some of the more gritty parts of being a Finn in Newport.
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Photos are from The Richards Free Library 58 N Main St, Newport, NH. 03773. 603-863-3430.