NORTH INGRIA BANKNOTES
5 Penni 1920
10 Penni 1920
25 Penni 1920
50 Penni 1920
1 Markka 1920
5 Markka 1920
10 Markka 1920
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About Republic of North Ingria
The revolution in Russia after World War I was infested with protests from native peoples resisting the communist regime. One such group was the Ingrians near the Finnish border. In 1919, they declared independence, establishing the Republic of North Ingria.
The newly created nation was dirt poor and relied on Finland to assist them in both financial and defense matters.
As is the case for most new nations, the issuance of money and postage stamps offers credibility. Through the help of Finland, postage stamps were printed and the numbers were impressive.
Postage stamps denominated were printed to the tune of 200,000 in the 5, 10, 25 and 50 Pennia. The larger Marrka denominated stamps were limited to 1,000 to 10,000 of the 1, 5 and 10 Marrka.
A second issue in June 1920 with different denominations and an overstrike issue were printed.
There is no information on currency or coinage issued by North Ingria but it is thought some notes and or coins were put in use to build credibility for the new nation but especially to be sold to collectors. The poor nation lacked the resources to support itself, so postage stamps and possibly coins or banknotes provided some 70% of the Government's budget.
The Republic of North Ingria was tiny, just 7,413 acres or 11.583 square miles.
The nation was in the southern part of the Karelian Isthmus and home to only 400 people who lived in 5 small villages.
The population was involved with raising livestock, farming and some fishing. The nation was primarily a self-sufficient agriculturally-based nation. None of the villages were large. Each had a dozen homes or so, surrounded by each home's plot of land for cattle grazing and gardening.
The nation began to form in July 1919 but did not fully declare independence until January 1920. On December 5, 1920, North Ingria was absorbed into the Soviet Union.
The government was republican in form and controlled by a council that was headed by an individual of the council. Although there were 3 leaders, the official republic was headed by only one leader, a former Finnish military man, Georg Elfvengren. His salary was in the form of the newly issued postage stamps, receiving 9,000 sets of the 5, 10, 25 and 50 Pennia stamps and 2,500 of the 1 Marrka stamps. This was 10,600 Marrka in stamps. He sold his holding in postage stamps mostly to people in the Netherlands. Elfvengren was shot by a firing squad in Moscow in 1927. One can only determine his death at least resulted in part from his involvement with the Republic of North Ingria.
Little more is known of North Ingria but one may presume the reason for declaring independence was likely to associate with Finland at a later date. Certainly, the people felt their way of life, culture and language to be threatened by the Russians.
Compiled by Bill Turner 2008